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Couples Drug Rehab… Can It Really Work for Us?

There comes a time in every relationship when both partners may find themselves trying to find some answers to some very tough questions.

This could be about any number of things – jobs, family, finances – and each presents the couple with their own set of challenges and solutions.

But when the issue is about drug addiction, the questions can be much more complicated for the couple to answer.

Have you both decided there is a drug abuse problem?

Are both partners ready to seek help through a substance abuse treatment program?

And perhaps most importantly…

Are you wondering if you can treat your drug addiction together?

Before we dive into some of the answers to these questions, it’s important to acknowledge one thing.

Good for you for coming here! You are taking the first step toward a substance-free romantic relationship that is going to give you both the freedom to rediscover what life can be like without addiction playing a part.

This, as you know, is no easy step.

And when two people have committed to it together, it’s even more impressive.

So, take a minute to congratulate yourselves on committing to finding out if a rehab for couples on drugs can work for the two of you.

Now, let’s get started.

Couple during therapy

Can Couples Drug Rehab Work For Us?

For years it has been believed that when a couple is struggling with substance abuse, there should not be an attempt for both people to try and go into an addiction treatment program together.

Why is this the case?

For one, most healthcare providers have believed that substance abuse is something that an individual needs to work through on their own, as most addiction problems start at a deeper root within each of us and have less to do with the actual substance addiction itself.

Experts believed that – for a person to get sober from their substance of choice – they needed to work through their inner issues first.

It was also widely believed that if a couple were to try and do substance abuse treatment together, other issues besides the drug abuse would be raised, which could hinder both people’s progress.

Therapists strongly encouraged couples to work on their addiction separately, then spend the time necessary to work through their relationship problems in behavioral couples therapy after their addiction treatment was over.

Now, however, most substance abuse experts have realized that this concept has no merit and is counter-productive to both people’s long-term recovery process.

Couples drug rehab can work for you and your partner if the following concepts are true for your relationship:

  • both partners want to enter into a substance abuse treatment program
  • both partners have dealt with or are ready to deal with any issues surrounding domestic violence
  • both partners are committed to the success of the relationship after their period in addiction treatment is over
  • both partners want to continue behavioral couples therapy after their time in substance abuse treatment is over
  • both partners are committed to signing a recovery contract

Let’s look at each of these concepts so you can better understand why each is going to be important for couples drug rehab to work effectively for both of you.


Do Both Partners Want to Enter a Substance Abuse Treatment Program?

Before anything else can be decided, the first question you’ll have to honestly ask yourselves is this…

Do both you and your partner want to enter into a substance abuse treatment program?

This question is not as easy to answer as you might think.

Perhaps both you and your partner are ready for a change. Maybe neither of you is happy anymore with the trajectory of your lives and feels that your substance abuse disorder is a big reason for that. It’s gotten to the point where you have looked at each other and said, “something has to change.”

That is a great first step, no doubt.
But – is it enough?
For years, people who have studied and worked with drug and alcohol addiction have discovered various factors that lead to a person’s addiction and their ability or inability to want to get clean and then maintain sobriety.There have been endless books, research papers, and case studies targeted at helping those who are struggling with trying to overcome addiction…from what motivates a person to be prone to drug and alcohol abuse in the first place, to what types of drug rehab programs and addiction treatment services can help motivate them to want be in the recovery process and eventually maintain sobriety long term.

Bottom line?

No individual will be able to quit their drug or alcohol addiction unless they are the one who wants it. An addict might be able to be talked into seeking treatment, but the only person they will ultimately be able to maintain sobriety for themselves.

Partners holding each other

Knowing this, it’s important that this be the first question both you and your partner ask each other and yourselves before you begin the treatment process.

You will have to be able to not just look at each other, but also be able to look in the mirror and say, “I want to seek treatment for me. I want to rid my life of my addiction once and for all.”

Put it this way – treatment centers take up a lot of a family’s time and financial resources. There will be big decisions to make, such as what will you tell your friends and family, how will your job be affected, and who will take care of your home and/or kids?

Seeking treatment for your drug abuse will definitely be worth it. But the commitment has to be there for it to truly work.

So, before you can decide if couples drug rehab is going to work for you and your partner, you need to both start with this question.


Have Both Partners Dealt with or Are Ready to Deal with Any Issues Surrounding Domestic Violence?

Statistics show that one of the highest rates of domestic violence in our society is correlated with drug and alcohol addiction.

Whether the substance abuse is seen in the battered or batterer, it is incredibly common for domestic violence to play a heavy role in a home where drug or alcohol addiction is prevalent.

And… physical abuse and substance abuse are oftentimes generational.

Many addicts have shared personal stories about the abuse they have experienced at some point in their lives, as well as the levels of physical and emotional abuse they’ve watched others have to endure, usually a parent, a grandparent, or a sibling.

Sadly, domestic violence and addiction are closely connected.

Being caught in a cycle of physical and emotional abuse can make it significantly more complicated for a couple who is seeking addiction treatment together. If the physical and emotional abuse has not been addressed, then there is little hope for the couple to be able to recover from their substance use disorder.

Addiction thrives in environments where dysfunction lives.

You will have to address the physical abuse before you can address the substance abuse. Or, you need to at least acknowledge that there is a problem and it needs to be fixed.

Sometimes a professional treatment provider will suggest that couples drug rehab is not a good idea for a specific couple, based on the ongoing domestic issues that have not been addressed.

In these situations, it’s possible that trying to battle a substance addiction as a couple could intensify the physical or emotional abuse to a point that the treatment process won’t be beneficial to either party.

It may be suggested that the couple begins their treatment process by first seeking individual addiction treatment help, with the plan to reassess both parties’ progress at a later date.

A happy couple
But other professional addiction specialists don’t always agree with this approach.Some believe that the drug abuse and the physical or emotional abuse that is occurring in a relationship can be addressed at the same time, in a couples rehab setting.

In fact, these experts feel that a relationship that is suffering from substance and domestic abuse will have the most success at ridding itself of both when the couple chooses to go to a drug rehab program together.

The reasons behind this are varied, but most believe that in a well-monitored environment where intense levels of therapy are present, domestic issues can be worked through along with the issues of substance abuse.

For example, in an inpatient rehab facility, both people in the relationship will be required to attend various forms of group therapy sessions, individual therapy sessions, and behavioral couples therapy sessions as well.

Through this type of intense and regular sessions with experts, the multi-layered complexities of a couple’s relationship can begin to be understood.

Issues around not only each person’s substance use disorder can be worked through, but also issues around the couple’s history of physical violence and emotional trauma can be unpacked, as well as physical and emotional abuse that has happened to them even before their relationship began.

Addiction treatment is a complicated process and usually has many layers of abuse that are part of it. A couple who is committed to dealing with and addressing any domestic issues that have or are happening in their home will benefit from the intense process of working through it in treatment centers together.


Are Both Partners Committed to the Success of the Relationship After Their Period in Addiction Treatment is Over?

This is another important question for both of you to ask yourselves before you decide that couples drug rehab is right for you.

Sometimes, when a couple has been caught in a cycle of drug and alcohol abuse, there may come a time when one or both parties realize that they no longer want to work on the relationship.

At this point, couples rehab may not work.

Addiction can steal so much from people. And it can erode relationships for years before anyone actually realizes that is happening.

If you and your partner have been battling a life of addiction simultaneously, there is a good chance you’ve allowed poor choices and bad behavior to rule your lives.The toxic cycle that your relationship has known for years may not be discovered until you both start the recovery process.

This is one of the reasons that keep an addict from seeking the help they so desperately need. They may fear the changes that are going to happen to their relationships when they give up drugs or alcohol for good.

A couple sitting on a park bench

Anyone who is entering a couples drug rehab program needs to be prepared for the fact that there is a good chance you’re not just going to quit using and abusing substances, but you may have to give up other things as well in order to truly live the life you want to.

Some people realize that their relationship with their partner is just as toxic as their relationship with drugs or alcohol. And – if both parties aren’t committed to changing that, then there may not be a point in going to a couples drug rehab program together.

Are you both committed to your relationship, after you leave the couples drug rehab program together?

Only you and your partner know the answer to this question.

If you are both committed to getting your life back without drugs being a part of it, then there are plenty of options for treatment programs available to you.

But – if you are not necessarily committed to getting your relationship back, then you may be better off choosing one of those other treatment programs that doesn’t focus on the couples rehab aspect of the program.

Couple in therapy
Again…addiction steals many things from people. It can take an otherwise healthy relationship and turn it into something that no longer exists.That said, if both you and your partner want to make changes together and value the relationship you have, then a couples drug rehab program could not only end your addiction to drugs and alcohol, but it could also heal your relationship in a way that individual treatment can’t.


Do Both Partners Want to Continue Behavioral Couples Therapy after Their Time in Substance Abuse Treatment is Over?

Yet another important question to ask yourselves is going to be this: do you both want to stay engaged in behavioral therapy after you leave the treatment facility?

Oftentimes couples who have been dealing with alcohol and drug abuse for a long period of time may have never experienced therapy before now. Or they may not trust the mental health services administration because of past experiences.

Other times, therapy may be something they’ve tried (either with each other or someone else) and it may have turned out poorly, or not given them the results they had hoped for.

Regardless of the reasons, regular therapy is not something most of us prioritize. Taking the time to sit and discuss issues in front of a therapist can be exhausting and force us to deal with problems we would prefer not to.

But it’s important to remember this – part of what allows a person’s addiction to strengthen is a decision to not deal with the past traumas or relationship issues that may surface over time.

Instead, it’s easier to use substances to push down those feelings and keep them under the surface.Substance use disorder is a way of not having to talk about the tough stuff that life has presented you.

But you won’t find a couples rehab program to be beneficial if you don’t commit to continuing to engage in therapy after you walk out the treatment center’s doors.

What type of therapy you should continue will have a lot to do with where you are emotionally and mentally when you leave treatment.

Contract signing

It will also be up to you and your professional treatment provider to decide what course of action is next for you in order to continue to do the work on recovery while you were seeking addiction treatment as an inpatient couple.

Most therapists will suggest that you both continue with individual therapy with a trained substance use counselor.

They will also most likely recommend that you continue to engage in couple’s therapy as well. You may even be encouraged to enroll in an outpatient couples rehab once your time at an inpatient rehab is over.

Whatever the treatment plan is, it will be imperative to your long-term success that you commit to continued therapy after couples rehab, and that both of you understand the expectations that are required, especially in the early recovery stages.

Addiction is a hard foe to beat alone. You need to make sure you both have the support and resources surrounding you once you are dealing with real life again.

Couple in therapy

Are Both Partners Committed to Signing a Recovery Contract?

Finally, before you both decide to begin a couples drug rehab program, you’ll need to create some boundaries and rules around what life is going to look like on the other side of treatment.

Questions such as, “will we allow drinking or drugs in our home” or “what happens if one of us relapses” are the types of concerns many who are in recovery face every day.

An incredibly helpful tool for couples who are both trying to maintain their sobriety from drugs or alcohol is to create a Recovery-Centered Contract.

A contract is a way of making some clear rules about what life is going to look like when you both go home.

It can be a great way to set expectations, make clear boundaries, and hold each other accountable to decisions you’ve made while in treatment and lay out a game plan for what’s going to happen next.

You can also share the contract with others in your family, making it easier for them to understand where you both are, and what is and is not acceptable behavior going forward.

The contract should be created with your therapist’s input. They can remind you of areas that need to be included and help you both come up with a clear understanding of what the consequences will be if the contract is broken.

A contract is going to be essential to the ongoing recovery process for both of you and needs to be taken seriously for sobriety to be the number one priority in your next stage of life.


We Are Ready to Try Couple Drug Rehab…What’s Next?

If you have thought about and discussed each of these questions and you both are still interested in trying a couples rehab program, congratulations! You have both proven already that you are ready to do the work needed to make your recovery journey possible.

Here at San Clemente Alcohol & Drug Rehab & Addiction Treatment Center, we are an alcohol and drug addiction facility that takes great pride in our couples rehab programs and what they’ve done for our patients and their long-term recovery from many forms of addiction.

We’ve helped thousands of couples get their lives and relationships back, while also healing family trauma and helping them end the cycle of drug and alcohol addiction.

Our state-of-the-art couples rehab facility is located in the beautiful San Clemente area and offers home-like environments that will allow you to deal with your addiction in a setting that will emulate what it will be like when you return home.

We are even pet-friendly, for those of you who feel bringing your dog or cat will benefit you in the process.

Give us a call at 866-507-1035 and speak with one of our knowledgeable and compassionate staff members. They can start the process of learning what steps are going to be best for you and your partner and get you in touch with the correct therapists, healthcare providers and mental health services administration at our facility to begin your recovery journey.

home pets

This is an overwhelming time for you and your partner, but you’ve done the hardest part…made the commitment to changing your lives. And you made that commitment together.

Addiction treatment programs like ours can change your life.

Let us help you navigate to that next part.