Addiction is a serious disease that can ruin lives very easily. It can affect the families, the friends, the marriage, and everyone that an addicted person loves.
It is true that not every single need will be met in a relationship or a marriage, but being married to a drug addict can leave you stranded emotionally, financially, physically.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health conducted in 2014, more than 20 million people in America are fighting with drug or alcohol related addiction.
The probability that this number is much higher today is very big. Moreover, according to Psychology Today, around 12 million marriage partners are struggling with a significant other that is addicted.
If you have been dealing with an addictive partner, you probably know how hard it is to watch somebody that you love destroy himself. And at times, it sure does look hopeless and too complicated for it to have a way out, but there are some things that you can do.
If you are married to a drug addict there are ways to support a spouse in addiction recovery. Here are the 6 things you need to do when your spouse is addicted to drugs.
1. Confront them
Now, you may be suspected for a while now that your partner is using substances that are dangerous for them and makes them more agitated. It is never a good idea to pretend like you don’t know, especially since it is important to do something about the addiction as soon as possible.
The first step to overcoming drug addiction is confronting them and openly talking about their addiction can be the first thing that you can do to let them know that they are hurting you and your family.
Don’t lie for them, cover up their addiction from the public, or avoid the issue altogether before it escalates. The thing about addiction is that is a progressive disease so if you don’t tackle the problem early on together, it will escalate.
2. Ask for help
There is a great quote that says “Just because I carry it all so well doesn’t mean it’s not heavy.” Even if you think you got this, ask for help!
Tell your family and friends about the struggles that you are going through and you might be surprised. Some of them might even have experience with this kind of thing or know something that might help you.
If not, having the support from the people that are closest to you can give you the strength to keep fighting. Reach out to the family physician for help with programs, counseling, recovery institutions, programs for how to detox etc.
3. Do research
If you are still holding on to your loved one remembering the times when you were falling in love with each other and everything was nice and easy, the best way to help them is to understand what exactly are they going through.
Addiction can tear apart your marriage and your family if you let it, so gathering all the information possible about it can be very invaluable to you.
Consider talking to people that are professionals on the subject and ask anything that is not clear to you about addiction. Making contact with therapists, specialists, and doctors can really help you out with your decision-making process.
4. Do an intervention
When it comes to actually doing something proactive to get your husband to get better, this step goes a long way. Many of the spouses that are using are already feeling ashamed and know that they are doing something that is hurting the family.
Interventions are a great way to make him admit to himself the situation you are all facing as a family. Consider his character and which opinion is valuable to him.
You have to be careful not to make too big of a gathering since situations like that rarely work. The addict might feel pressured or ambushed. Instead, do a small event where you and the people your husband looks up to can talk to him about his actions.
The most important thing to do before going through with the addiction is to have a treatment plan in place! This is crucial because if your husband accepts that he needs help, you have to act fast.
There is no time for going over the options with a person that is not stable and might change their mind after a few days.
5. Treatment plan
When considering where to get your husband the help he needs, you will have plenty of options that use different methods for winning this. There are many centers with doctors that will oversee the withdrawal period and physiologically work with their patients.
Being around other people that are experiencing similar scenarios can be very helpful for the addict. A great place to start looking for a good treatment is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services’s Behavioral Treatment Services Locator.
Talk with your insurance company to see what expenses or programs they are covering and ways that will help you with the treatment costs.
6. Know your boundaries
We are all different and we all are willing to go to different lengths when it comes to the people we love. However, sometimes knowing what is enough is crucial. In the end, you can’t help a person that doesn’t want to be helped.
If that is the case after many failed tries maybe that is your cue to leave for a better life. The things that often come with addiction can be a valid reason to say that enough is enough.
Sometimes, people that are addicted to drugs can get very violent both verbally and physically. You should know when it’s time to protect yourself and your children if you have them.
Moreover, drug addicts are often prone to stealing, getting into deep debts, infidelity, open drug use at home, inviting strangers at home, and many other behaviors that are not acceptable in a marriage.
Love is a powerful thing, but being safe and sound and protecting your children have to always be the priority.
And sometimes, when your husband knows that you are no longer a partner in his addiction and that it’s either your family or drugs, they just might realize the cost of their actions.