Codependents Anonymous Support Group
While not every spouse of a person with an addiction is codependent, many are. Codependents Anonymous is one such support group that can enable spouses to learn how to work on themselves and their coping skills, regardless of whether the addicted person seeks treatment. Codependent people tend to deny their own needs, investing all their time in the addicted person. By enabling an addict through covering up for them or making excuses or other such rescuing behaviors, the codependent spouse actually reinforces the using behavior. This group teaches spouses how not to do this, and provides them alternative responses.
You May Like: How Can I Break My Sugar Addiction
Healthy And Unhealthy Forms Of Emotional Support
Partners and spouses of addicts will obviously want to help their loved ones recover from a substance use problem. However, watching someone go through this process is emotionally challenging. Even if your spouse is trying to minimize their addictions impact on your family, it is still hard. Many patients do not make that sort of effort.
Some partners and spouses will not care for themselves properly because they focus so heavily on their partners addictions. Their partners also might become too dependent on them. You may feel unwilling to hold your partner with an addiction accountable for their actions and behaviors. This will only increase the burden that they feel and make the underlying situation worse.
Addicts are much more likely to get better if they have empathetic and supportive partners and spouses. Their partners have to make sure that they are not hurting themselves in the process, however. Most importantly, drug addicts absolutely need professional help in order to recover, and their partners cannot help them through this process independently. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available today for both addicts and their partners.
Educate Yourself On Addiction
Understanding why your spouse is addicted can help you be more empathetic. When you communicate from a place of empathy, you get better results. Substance abuse is a chronic disease of the brain. People cant just quit once theyre dependent on drugs or alcohol. Drug addiction and alcoholism change the brain. They also frequently co-occur with mental illness. People with depression, anxiety and other co-occurring disorders may abuse substances to cope with psychiatric symptoms. Alcohol and drug abuse can also bring on psychiatric symptoms. Self-medication is a vicious cycle. These facts dont excuse your loved ones behavior. It doesnt invalidate your feelings of anger and sadness. Those emotions are legitimate reactions. Addiction education serves you by helping you understand how your addict spouse got here and what they need to get better.
Read Also: How To Help Drug Addicted Person
Be Consistent With Boundaries
Setting boundaries is hard, but then you must also continue to enforce them. Alcoholics and drug addicts test boundaries. Substance abuse wires their brains to continue alcohol or drug abuse at any cost. If youre married to an addict, consistency is key. Be clear about what you wont tolerate and the consequences of their actions. When they cross your boundaries and they likely will enforce those consequences. If you let them get away with something once it sends a message that behavior is acceptable.
Support Groups For Spouses Of Drug Addicts In Tampa
Drug or alcohol addiction can drastically change the way an individual feels, thinks, and acts. Unfortunately, its not only the addict who experiences these alterations. Spouses often witness every broken promise and careless comment firsthand and experience the blunt reality of the changes and tragedy drugs can bring. For spouses of addicts, support groups are a way to learn how to cope with their loved ones addiction and help them navigate the recovery process, and we can help you find the support you need as well as the treatment your spouse needs. Few people enter a relationship expecting to deal with addiction, but there are ways to recover from the experience and foster a happy, healthy future for both partners.
Don’t Miss: How Long Does It Take To Recover From Addiction
Staging An Intervention When Youre Living With An Addict
Staging an intervention when youre living with an addict is a crucial step in the recovery of both your partner and yourself. The process can be an extremely difficult one, but its necessary for both you and them to get on the road to healing.
No two interventions are ever alike, so each person will have to find their own way through this special type of chaos. One thing is always certain however, every addict benefits from the help provided by family and friends during an intervention.
Here are some steps that will help make things go more smoothly:
How To Stage An Intervention For A Spouse
Staging an intervention can introduce several uncomfortable interactions and intense feelings. Its vital to set the stage in a neutral setting. If you feel stuck on where to begin, reach out to someone you know who may have experience with staging an intervention. Seeking the help of a professional interventionist would be key.
Rally the support of close friends and family members. Prepare what you intend to say during the intervention. Its best to use I statements rather than you statements during the intervention to express how their addiction has affected you both. Educating yourself about addiction can prime you for the evidence of how their substance use is devastating.
Its important to lay out a plan for their recovery by being assertive. Even offering to transport them to addiction recovery services can help. The spouse may refuse to enter addiction treatment or deny their substance use, but its crucial to remain steadfast. Unfortunately, your determination will be tested.
You May Like: Why Is Facebook So Addictive
Being The Spouse Of An Addict: The Effects Of Addiction On Your Relationship
It can be difficult being in a relationship with someone who is abusing substances. The situation can take a toll on you and your spouse. Apart from the physical symptoms your spouse experiences, you too can feel the mental effects of seeing them under the influence of substances.
As a result of substance abuse, your relationship may begin to deteriorate. Some cases of addiction can lead to constant fighting or disagreements, not to mention the mental toll. Addiction can make a relationship much harder to deal with for the spouse of an addict.
How Can I Get Help For Spouses Of Alcoholics
Spouses have it especially difficult when there are children involved. Some spouses experience emotional and physical abuse. The alcoholic, often unaware of the significance of their actions, screams and becomes violent. When this occurs, the spouse, after personally suffering, has to try to explain what happened to the children and sometimes any other family members, friends, loved ones, or strangers who may have witnessed the behavior of their addicted spouse.
Unable to manage their addiction, the alcoholic also makes irresponsible decisions regarding money and other family choices, which creates more difficulty for the non-addicted spouse. Thankfully, there is help for spouses of alcoholics as well as their children. They can learn new coping skills and how to support the alcoholic without enabling them to continue in their behavior.
You May Like: How To Help Someone With Food Addiction
Lean On Northern Illinois Recovery For Support
For spouses of addicts, patience becomes one of their most useful tools in coping with these uncertain situations. Addicts can see many low points before they ever reach recovery. There are no certainties in married life anymore, only the cold hard reality that your spouse may die due to substance abuse problems or that they could cause serious injury or even kill someone else because of their substance abuse problem.
Northern Illinois Recovery aims to support you or your loved one during these challenging times. Reach out to one of our facilities to begin the new path in your journeys.
The Donts Of Dealing With An Addicted Spouse
In addition to this list of dos, theres also a list of donts when dealing with an addicted spouse.
In order to help your addicted spouse, dont:
- Turn away from your spouse: Even if you have to move out temporarily, keep in contact with your spouse. Turning away or locking them out of your life should be a last resort reserved for people who become violent or abusive.
- Blame yourself: It is never your fault that your partner struggles with addiction. Genetics, social factors and, yes, family factors can influence addiction. But the ultimate choice to drink or do drugs was with your spouse. After a while, the ability to choose is lost as addiction takes hold. Your spouse did choose to take that first drink or dabble in drugs. Youre not to blame for their behavior.
- Expect things to return to what they were: Even after your spouse enters recovery, your life and your relationship will never return to what it was before. That happens no matter what serious illness a couple faces, whether its cancer, a heart attack or an addiction. Accept that your relationship is on a new footing, and learn what this means as you both embark on your spouses program of recovery.
Read Also: How Do People Get Addicted To Opioids
Help Get Family Support To Deal With A Drug Addicted Or Alcoholic Spouse
Addiction can take a toll on any marriage. It can create a variety of problems for couples including financial hardship, arguments, trust issues, legal problems, and codependent behaviors. Loving a spouse with a substance use problem creates a unique set of challenges that only a person who has experienced it firsthand can truly understand. Support groups can provide spouses of addicted loved ones with the support of a group of peers who can relate to their struggle.
All of the support groups listed above provide supportive services to spouses and other family members of addicted people.
There are also supportive programs available exclusively for spouses, including:
- Recovering Couples Anonymous: Recovering Couples Anonymous is a support program that uses the principles of AA but is not affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous. They provide support groups for any couple who is suffering from addictions or other dysfunctions that are impacting their relationships. The only requirement to join Recovering Couples is that the couple is committed to remain together, to work on improving their relationship, and to deepen their intimacy with one another. They are currently offering meetings in 15 U.S. states.
- Al-Anon for Spouses and Partners: In some locations, Al-Anon offers special support programs for spouses and romantic partners of individuals with alcoholism. Check their website to find out what programs may be available near you.
Life As The Spouse Of A Drug Addict
Support groups for spouses of addicts were formed in response to the realization that living as the spouse of a drug addict can be physically and emotionally draining. Drugs drastically alter the natural chemistry of the brain, making it difficult for the addict to make logical decisions or to experience joy or contentment in anything other than the substance theyre abusing. For a spouse, this can mean watching someone you love slip into a dulled, depressed shell of their former self. Even after their loved one has completed a rehabilitation program, a spouse may need counseling in order to deal with aftershocks of the addiction and adjust to life as it is now.
If you are the spouse of a drug addict, the first and arguably most important thing to remember is that their addiction is not your fault, nor is it your responsibility to cure it. Addiction can be managed, but it requires constant, lifelong effort, and that effort must be made on the part of the addict. Take care of yourself, and evaluate whether you have become codependent as a consequence of the addiction. If this is the case, you may need to speak to a professional who can help you learn better strategies for living with your spouse.
Don’t Miss: How To Help Someone Addicted To Adderall
Tips For Finding An In
While an online community is a great way to begin your own emotional healing, it is also beneficial to find in-person support. You might be surprised by just how many groups are available in your area. Here are some tips for finding the right group near you.
Start with the list above
Your first step is to use the list of online groups above. Many of these include an in-person group search feature. The larger, national organizations are often facilitating in-person meetings, especially around larger cities.
Ask local organizations
If you dont have any luck with the organizations above, think local. In-person grief support groups are typically held at:
Search online for places and organizations near you to see what they offer. You might also need to call and ask yourself. Dont feel uncomfortable about asking its common to ask about emotional support groups. Theyre more common than you think.
Meetup is an online platform for connecting with others with similar interests. Its not just used for fun activities and hangouts. Many widow groups post on Meetup to arrange local events, support groups, and more. Search your local area to see whats near you.
Search widow support group + your city
Dont underestimate the power of a simple Google search. By searching your city name and widow support group or grief support group, you might find just what youre looking for. Its also effective to search for these events on social media as well.
Unsure Where To Start Take Our Substance Abuse Self
Take our free, 5-minute substance abuse self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with substance abuse. This evaluation consists of 11 yes or no questions that are designed to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of a substance use disorder. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result. Please be aware that this evaluation is not a substitute for advice from a medical doctor.
Don’t Miss: What Is Drug Addiction Definition
Support Groups For Siblings
While it is common knowledge that addiction takes a toll on all members of a family, the impact on the wellbeing of affected siblings may be somewhat overlooked when it comes to addiction. It isnt easy being the sibling of someone with a substance abuse problem, whether its alcohol or drugs that they misuse.
Drug addiction and abuse can affect the lives of siblings in many ways. For some, it may put a strain on the relationship and lead to complete separation and estrangement. For others, a sibling may end up unknowingly enabling a brother or sister with substance abuse. Having an addicted sibling could mean another child is getting less attention or support from a parent. Many parents put so much energy into supporting and possibly enabling an addicted child that the other children become neglected.
Unfortunately, there arent many resources available exclusively to siblings. But most family support programs are open to siblings as well as other family members. Some of the resources available for siblings include:
Al-Anon for Siblings: Al-Anon understands that it can be painful and traumatic to watch a brother or sister suffer from alcoholism. They provide siblings access to stories written by other siblings of addicted loved ones as a means of peer support and insight. Depending on your location, they may have face-to-face support programs available in your area as well.
What Are Signs Of Substance Abuse If Youre Married To An Addict
The signs of substance abuse if youre married to an addict will differ on the frequency, type, and potency of the substance. But whatever the substance, here are some signs of substance abuse you should be looking out for:
- Change in mood swings
- Frequent absence from family activities or together time
- Increased secrecy or privacy, especially on their electronic devices or accounts/computers.
- The decline in personal hygiene
- The decline in work performance or other responsibilities
- Increased risk-taking behaviors
- Disappearance or lack of funds
Drug And Alcohol Use In America
Alcoholism is one of the more common substance abuse disorders. It affects many marriages. All statistics are taken from the National Institute on Drug and Alcohol Abuse. Numbers reported are as of 2013, the most recent year figures are available.
- 7 percent of adults ages 18 and older have an alcohol abuse disorder.
- This translates into 16.6 million people in the United States.
- The majority who have an alcohol abuse disorder are men, with 10.8 million men suffering from alcohol abuse disorder.
In addition to alcohol abuse, drug abuse also strains marriages:
- Some 24.6 million Americans aged 18 or older used an illicit substance in the past month.
- Some 6.5 million Americans used prescription drugs nonmedically.
- Other commonly abused drugs include methamphetamine, heroin and synthetic drugs.
Compare these numbers to the number of married couples in the United States during the same time period. There were 59.2 million married couples in 2013.
Addiction can strain and even destroy marriages, especially when only one person is struggling with the problem. Consider these research findings:
- Couples who have one person who heavily uses alcohol and another who does not are more likely to divorce than couples who both heavily use alcohol.
- Alcohol abuse and heavy drinking are closely linked to low marital happiness.
- Abuse of alcohol or drugs is the No. 3 reason cited by women in divorces. Its No. 8 for men.