Your Spouse Is Using and You’ve Had Enough: How to Encourage Treatment
It’s time to make some decisions. You know your loved one is dependent on drugs or alcohol. It’s their problem, but it’s impacting every part of your life. You’re at the end of the line. What can you do? How do you help when you’re so angry and frustrated?
Recognize Your Right to Step Away
If you’re at risk of being hurt due to someone else’s behavior, it’s okay to leave. It’s okay to call the police when you need help. It’s also acceptable for you to protect your own mental health by leaving a relationship.
If you decide to stay, you have the right to remain in a safe home. Know that it’s not up to you to cure your loved one. Yet, there are some things you can do to help them get into treatment.
See that Addiction Is a Disease
If your loved one is using, you just want them to stop. It seems so easy from your point-of-view, but from theirs, it is nearly impossible.
This is because your spouse has a disease. Addiction is much like other chronic diseases, such as diabetes. People who suffer from addiction cannot control what happens to them. They also cannot maintain control over their use.
That’s because those who have an addiction have developed dependency. Their brain craves the drugs. The brain and body need those drugs to function “normally.” This is what makes it so hard to simply stop using on their own.
Even in this situation, your spouse can make the decision to get help to stop using.
Take Note of Mental Health Needs
It’s estimated that 9.2 million adults in the U.S. have mental health disorders along with substance use disorder, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Your spouse may be struggling with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, or another type of mental health disorder.
Mental health disorders are not an excuse to drink or do drugs, but knowing this connection may help you understand what’s happening. Mental health problems can come first, but so can addiction. In all situations, you’ll want to consider your partner’s mental health needs. A treatment facility that addresses co-occurring disorders will be important to your partner’s success.
Talking to Your Spouse About Their Addiction
Some people know and admit they have a drug addiction. Others don’t believe they need help. They may even believe they can stop using at any time. Regardless of this, there are several things to discuss with your loved one.
Explain, with Facts, What You’re Seeing
The first thing to do with your loved one is to talk about what’s happening. Use facts, not feelings. Discuss things like missed appointments or money spent on drugs and alcohol instead of on household needs. Talk about what the kids see. Discuss how they’ve changed. When you provide facts, your spouse cannot deny the effects of their behavior.
Tell Them You Will Not Support Their Use
This may be the hardest thing to say. Yet, it may be the most important.
- Tell your loved one that you simply cannot stand by and watch them use drugs.
- Tell them you will not be around them when they use.
- Don’t give them money to buy drugs and alcohol.
- Don’t allow them to be around your children when they are intoxicated.
Talk to a Treatment Center That Can Offer Help
You don’t want to go into a conversation with your spouse until you know there is help available to them. When you call our drug and alcohol rehab center, we can discuss options with you. You’ll learn about the range of care we offer. We can verify insurance coverage with you. We can also work closely with you to determine the best care plan.
It’s up to your spouse to make the decision to get help. With the right information, firm boundaries, and a clear path forward, you’re giving them the very best opportunity to overcome their addiction.
Once you make the decision to encourage your loved one to get help, stick to it. When you do, you may find that you’re not only working to heal their body and mind but also to protect your future.
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