Married to an Addict: Can Marriage Survive Drug Addiction?
No one enters into a marriage thinking it will end in disaster, but when one spouse is addicted to drugs, it can be difficult for a relationship to survive. Drug addiction not only affects the addicted person but also their loved ones. It can tear families apart and destroy marriages. But the signs of drug addiction are often hidden from friends and family, making it difficult to identify an issue and know if you're married to an addict.
If you believe your spouse has a drug addiction, it is important to know the signs of addiction, how drug abuse affects marriage, and what you can do to help your spouse get treatment as soon as possible.
Commonly Abused Substances
There are many different types of drugs that can be intentionally or unintentionally abused, from recreational street drugs to necessary medicines. Some of the most common include:
- Prescription drugs
In America, alcohol is the most commonly abused substance. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, about 15 million adults in the United States drink in a way that is harmful to their health, relationships, and work. However, many of these married adults do not believe they have a problem with alcohol, and may not realize the depth of their own substance abuse issues.
Meanwhile, prescription drugs and opioids are also becoming a growing problem. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reveals that about 16 million adults reported misusing prescription drugs in 2020. This is compounded by the fact that some medications are highly addictive, even when used according to a doctor's instructions. So if your spouse has been taking prescription drugs for an illness or injury, especially painkillers, they may need careful support to wean off and prevent a long-term dependence.
Signs Your Spouse May Have a Drug Addiction
The signs of drug addiction can vary depending on the type of drug being abused, but there are some general warning signs to look out for, such as:
- Changes in mood or behavior
- Loss of interest in hobbies or activities they used to enjoy
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Sudden changes in weight or appearance
- Increased secrecy or paranoia
- Problems at work or in other social obligations
- Financial difficulties
If you notice any of these signs in your spouse, it is important to talk to them about your concerns. If you are rarely involved in finances or the management of your household, you may also want to take a more active role to keep an eye out for additional warning signs and help things run smoothly.
How Does Substance Abuse Affect Marriage?
Substance abuse can have a devastating effect on marriages. It can lead to communication problems, financial problems, and emotional distance. It can also put a strain on other relationships, such as those with children or extended family members.
Because substance abuse often goes hand-in-hand with physical dependence, it can cause your spouse to make desperate and irrational decisions that impact the well-being of your entire household. For instance, they may damage your savings by spending money on their addiction. They may also become combative or paranoid as they try to disguise their behavior.
What to Do If You Believe Your Spouse Has a Drug Addiction
If you believe your spouse has a drug addiction, the first step is to talk to them. It is important to be supportive and understanding, but also honest about your feelings. Being as nonjudgmental as possible may help your spouse open up about the issues they're struggling with and accept assistance. If they are willing to seek help, there are many different types of rehabilitation programs available.
Types of Rehabilitation Programs
There are many different types of rehabilitation programs available, depending on the severity and type of your spouse's addiction. Some programs focus on detoxification, while others may include therapy and counseling.
This type of program requires the addict to live at the facility for a certain period of time, usually 30 days. During this time, they will receive 24-hour care and treatment. It is typically recommended for those with severe addictions.
This type of program allows the addict to live at home while attending regularly scheduled treatment sessions during the week. This is a good option for those with a milder addiction or who have other obligations, such as work or child care.
Support groups can provide emotional and practical support for addicts and their loved ones. It can help your spouse face the road to recovery if they have a place to interact with others dealing with similar struggles.
Other Resources for Recovery and Rehabilitation
If you are married to someone with a drug addiction, there are many resources available to help you both in the rehabilitation process. Here are a few organizations that can provide support:
- Alcoholics Anonymous: AA is a 12-step program for people recovering from alcoholism. It is a popular organization for those seeking alcohol support groups.
- Narcotics Anonymous: Similar to AA, NA is a 12-step program for people recovering from drug addiction, which also provides support groups where your spouse can connect with peers.
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: SAMHSA is a government organization that offers resources and support for those affected by substance abuse. This includes a 24/7 helpline that you can call for information on resources in your area, available at 1-800-662-4357.
- The National Institute on Drug Abuse: NIDA is a government organization that provides information and resources on drug addiction, including research and statistics.
- The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: Much like NIDA, NIAAA is a government organization that provides information and resources, but for alcohol addiction rather than drugs.
Get the Answers You Need with Countrywide Testing
Countrywide Testing can help you identify drug use and support your spouse on the road to recovery. We offer private, confidential drug testing services that can be performed in the comfort of your own home.
We also have a team of experts available to answer any questions you may have about drug addiction and recovery. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you!