The Best Tips for Couples Affected by Addiction
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For the millions of Americans who suffer from addiction, finding a way to get healthy and sober becomes increasingly elusive the longer the addiction goes on. Relationships suffer, job performance drops, and financial issues become more prevalent, leading to issues across many different aspects of their lives. Stress, anxiety, and depression are common in individuals who are battling an addiction, and the cycle feeds itself as they use substances to cope with their feelings.
If you have a loved one who is in the throes of addiction, it’s important to remember that introducing guilt or blame into the conversation will likely make things worse. For couples, this can lead to a divide in the relationship that may never be repaired. Instead, focus on helping your partner find treatment and look for healthy ways they can cope with their stress, such as taking up a hobby or practicing yoga/meditation.
Keep reading for some great tips on how to help your loved one get through an addiction.
Know the Warning Signs
It’s imperative to know the warning signs of addiction and what they signify. Opioid addiction is a crisis in our country and has become some of the most common substances abused because they are so habit-forming. Look for nausea, drowsiness, and constricted pupils, as well as sudden unexplained financial issues, extra pill bottles in the garbage, and taking more than the prescribed dosage of medication. For some helpful information on how to spot opioid use in your partner, click here.
Find Healthy Ways to Cope
Because stress, anxiety, depression, and un-diagnosed mental health disorders are often the cause of substance abuse, it’s important to look for healthy ways for your loved one to cope with their feelings. Spending time in nature, participating in art therapy, cooking or baking, and gardening are just a few of the relaxing activities you might enjoy doing together that can boost mental health. If you can find a way for your loved one to get active and focus on their mindfulness at the same time -- such as by practicing yoga -- it will go a long way toward helping them get healthy.
Talk About Options
It’s imperative that your loved one understands that getting treatment is their decision; trying to force someone to get sober never works and may only end up causing more discord between you. Instead, talk about the various options that are available nowadays to people who are battling an addiction. Talk therapy, religion-based treatment, art therapy, holistic treatment, and inpatient or outpatient treatment are all options depending on your loved one’s needs.
Work on Your Relationship
Even if you don’t feel your relationship has suffered directly due to your loved one’s substance abuse, it’s a good idea to seek counseling so you can talk to one another in a controlled environment with someone who can help you dig deep and talk about painful issues that might be otherwise very difficult to bring up. Working on your relationship can help boost your loved one’s self-esteem and will show that you are committed to helping them get healthy.
If there has been a history of abuse in the relationship, remember that you have options, yourself. While every couple is different, separating while your loved one seeks help may be the best move so that everyone stays safe.
Many couples are affected by addiction all over the country. Remember that you are not alone, and try to be patient during this time. It’s important not to lay blame or judge your loved one as they try to get back on track, as this may cause a relapse. With a good plan and a lot of patience, you can help your partner get healthy.