In 2017, around 38% of adults were diagnosed with a drug addiction?
Addiction to drugs is a condition that affects the whole family, not only the individual. If you suspect your spouse might be battling this disease, there are many resources available to you.
Read on to learn the steps to take if you're married to an addict.
What Is Addiction?
Addiction is considered to be a brain disease. It makes a person with an addiction to compulsively consume a substance ignoring the dangerous consequences.
People can be addicted to many things, such as alcohol, meth, cocaine, tobacco, marijuana, heroin, crack, LSD, PCP, Xanax, and other stimulants.
People who have an addiction have changed in their brains due to substance abuse. It changes how the brain functions and makes you feel intense cravings for the substance.
Signs of Drug Use in Spouse
Although there are more signs that indicate your spouse is battling an addiction, there are the most common signs.
- Noticing unusual money being spent
- Going to bars, happy hour, clubs, parties and not inviting you
- Driving drunk or doing a dangerous activity after you told them not to
- Neglecting work, family, responsibilities
- Not being as home much
- Feeling disconnected from you and his/her surroundings
If you notice your spouse displaying some of these behaviors, it might be time to give them some help.
How Being Married to an Addict Affects Your Marriage
Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol can impair judgment. Causing stronger anger outbursts, not being able to control feelings, which may cause conflicts at home.
Addiction can destroy families and relationships. Substance abuse can lead to physical abuse, verbal abuse, and sexual abuse.
Having financial difficulties is also a common problem of couples affected by addiction. Drunk driving is also extremely common.
Ways You Can Help Your Spouse
The first step in helping your spouse with an addiction is to educate yourself on their addiction as much as you can. The more informed you are, the more confident you will feel when you talk with them.
Talking to your spouse is crucial, but it can be tricky. Sometimes people with an addiction refuse to accept that they have a problem and will get very defensive. If that is the case, when you have the conversation, express how much care for them and try not to make them feel attacked.
Listen to how they feel and make them feel safe with this conversation. Later on, suggest a few options for treatment that you think will be good for them.
Remember, not everyone will accept drug rehab treatment, but once you have done all you can, it is up to them to make the right decision.
It is important to set boundaries to protect your mental health and well being. Both of you need to have clear boundaries to avoid potential conflicts in the future.
What Not To Do
If you want to help your spouse, it's important you avoid making excuses for him/her, ignore that there is a problem, give them an ultimatum and not follow through.
Do not blame yourself for the situation. Your spouse is an independent individual, and it is up to them to get better. You can offer support, but that's all you can do.
Are You Ready to Give Your Spouse the Help They Need?
Now that you know how to identify the signs you're married to an addict, it's time you get them the help they need to get better.
When you want to help your spouse, the first step is to understand what an addiction is, identify the signs, and find ways to help them.
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