A Couple in Therapy- Thors Therapy
This entry was posted in Alcohol and Drug Rehabs on by .

Do You Need Couples Rehab? When Drug Addiction and Relationships No Longer Mix

If you and your partner have gotten to a point of wondering if your substance abuse problems are beginning to affect your relationships, it may be time for you to consider couples rehab for both of you.

When someone is wrestling with a drinking or drug use problem, the personal and romantic relationships they are engaged in can really be challenged and put to the test.

Relationships go through their ups and downs, regardless.But when alcohol or drug abuse is involved, the entire relationship will be much more complicated. If you or your partner are abusing drugs or alcohol, the effect of that substance abuse is going to be felt by everyone in your life.

Sadly, children usually are the most affected by a parent’s drinking and drug use.

And if both parents are engaged in the behavior? It can be even more damaging to the children involved and to the relationships.

Understanding how substance abuse harms family members and all the intricacies of the various relationships is an important part of understanding why addiction treatment can ultimately be the best way to get all of the family relationships back on track to being healthy and productive.

Just remember – by even exploring the topic of addiction and relationships is an important first step toward healing your family and repairing the dynamics so that your family can move forward after an addiction has taken its toll.

Couple in therapy

It is not irreparable. But you must start somewhere to get your family and other important relationships on a path toward ultimate happiness and long-term health.


What are Some of the Signs that Drug Abuse or Alcohol Abuse has Affected Family Relationships

By the time one partner realizes that addiction treatment may be the only real option toward true family healing, there has usually already been some substantial damage done.

Once a relationship deteriorates to a point of people taking notice, some may feel that it’s hopeless, that the damage has already been done and there’s no possible chance of repair happening.

But this isn’t the case.

Relationships – whether they be amongst a couple, with children, with other family members, friends or even co-workers are almost always salvageable.

A couple in disagreement

The truth is, humans are wired to yearn for positive contact and connection with one another, even when a disease as devastating as substance abuse has crept in and taken its toll.

We are especially desirous of forming deep bonds with the people we are closest to, even when those bonds have been challenged or seemingly destroyed because someone’s substance use disorder has taken a priority for years.

Probably the hardest part of repairing relationships is the acknowledgment they have been damaged.

And if one or another partner is still in denial, true healing will be harder to initiate.

Let’s begin by looking at some of the ways that alcohol addiction or drug abuse problems steal from otherwise healthy relationships.


Substance Abuse Causes Secrecy

Way before a family is even aware that a drug addiction or alcohol addiction has crossed the line from recreational to being problematic, the signs are usually there, but the issue is disguised because of the secrecy that is involved.

Most people who are struggling with a substance use disorder learn ways to hide it from their family and friends early on

Whether it’s learning how to only use drugs or alcohol at given times, how to hide it from those around them, or whether it’s finding ways to make excuses for it, most addicts become masters of manipulation and secrecy early on in their addiction…way before they – or anyone around them – realize the extent of the problem.

One good example of this is when a person becomes addicted to prescription pain relievers.

Prescription pain medication has its place in our society. When someone experiences an injury or an operation that then requires pain meds to help them cope, this can be a positive use of a drug that is prescribed by a physician to help combat the pain and discomfort associated with such a medical issue.

But prescription pain meds can be highly addictive, and care should always be taken when they are being prescribed.

The use of such medications should also be carefully monitored.

That said, if a person starts to become dependent on these meds even after their injury or medical condition has improved, they will find ways to continue to fill prescriptions and get their hands on the medications that they are now convinced they need.

This is a real form of substance use that can go from being necessary to being abused…many times before an addict’s family, friends, or even healthcare providers realize it’s happening.

Prescription drug abuse has become an increasingly common form of inappropriate drug use in our society, and it’s often hard to diagnose, because of the secrecy associated with it.

Unlike alcohol, which is easy to smell on a person, or notice when bottles are piling up, prescription drugs can easily be kept secret for years from an abuser’s family, since it’s not always as obvious.There’s also the challenge for loved ones to convince the substance user that they no longer “need” the medication for pain relief, and that instead, they are now using the medication in an addictive way.

Sometimes the only way to really deal with a problem like prescription drug abuse is to have a treatment professional get involved.

A well-trained medical professional can determine if the drug use has become problematic and is no longer being used appropriately.

They can identify the negative consequences that are beginning to result for the person’s use and can discuss what sorts of treatment options are available to help the addicted individual acknowledge their dependence on the substance and begin the path to recovery.

A couple arguing

Substance Abuse Causes Anger and Possible Violence

Another unfortunate and extremely damaging consequence of drug addiction or alcohol abuse is the potential violence it brings into a family.

Sadly, experts believe that the majority of domestic violence and child abuse that takes place in our country today could be prevented if substance use wasn’t involved.

That’s not to say that all domestic violence or child abuse is the result of a person using alcohol or drugs.

But in many instances, a substance user will become increasingly violent when they are in active addiction – whether that abuse is emotional, or mental, or turns into physical violence.

Holding hand aggressively
It goes without saying what type of long-term damage that anger and violence can do to a family.
Even after an abuser enters into an addiction treatment program there will probably need to be time spent in family therapy while everyone comes to terms with what exactly transpired, what was the severity, and if reconciliation is possible.

But the good news is this –

If you are taking the first step toward sobriety and recovery, you are well on your way to taking ownership of any abusive behavior that occurred and making the necessary amends with the people in your life that you hurt.


Substance Abuse Allows for Enabling Behaviors

One reason why alcohol and drug addiction can be so difficult to treat isn’t always just because of the person with the addiction.

Often when we love someone, it’s easy for us to want to ignore their behavior or make excuses for it.

Sometimes we even support it without realizing what we are doing.

Ignoring someone’s destructive behavior – or making excuses for it – is called enabling.

And enabling can keep someone in the cycle of addiction for much longer than they have to be because the people around them are incapable of seeing things for what they really are.

When a couple is struggling with alcohol or drug addiction together, the enabling behavior can become significantly worse, since both parties don’t want to acknowledge what is going on.

Think about it this way – if you know your partner has a problem with alcohol, but you do too, you may not want to talk to them about their issue, for fear that it means you will have to address yours.
Enabling behaviors are one of the trickiest parts to deal with when a patient or couple enters into an alcohol or drug addiction treatment program.Through individual therapy, family therapy, and behavioral couples therapy, it will become clear quite quickly how much enabling behavior is happening, and what needs to be done to help change it.

Luckily, once a person or couple is willing to enter into an alcohol or drug treatment program, they will be connected with professionals who can help them and their family members recognize and begin to work through behaviors that other individuals are exhibiting that are playing a role in the addict’s inability to get sober.

By entering into an effective treatment program, a substance abuser’s whole family can now begin to become healthy and change patterns that have long been established and have helped keep the family in a cycle of secrecy, abuse, and enabling for many years…sometimes even generations.

A happy and healthy family

What’s the Next Step for Couples and Families Who Want to Heal?

If you are ready to start the journey to a life that is free from alcohol and drug abuse, then congratulations!

You are taking a big step, and not an easy one.

But luckily, we have people who are going to walk with you every step of the way.

At San Clemente Alcohol & Drug Rehab & Addiction Treatment Center, we are aware that seeking treatment for substance abuse is not an easy decision.

There have probably been patterns established in your family for so long, that you’re unsure what would happen if you began making changes now.

We’ve heard that a million times before. And luckily, we know how to handle it.

When you enter into our alcohol and drug addiction treatment facility, you will be met with people who get you.

From the intake staff who will answer all your questions about our facility, to the support groups and multiple treatment programs that we will design for you, there will never be a time that you aren’t surrounded by people who understand exactly where you’ve been and where you want to end up.

While in our rehab for couples, you will meet with mental health professionals who will work with you to uncover any mental health conditions that may be contributing to your abusive behaviors.

You’ll also receive individual counseling as well as group counseling and other support services that are going to be especially designed for you.

Treatment facilities such as ours are unique. Not only do we offer a treatment process that will be beneficial to the individual or couple who is involved in the residential treatment, but we will continue to work closely with immediate family members to ensure that the work we do at our residential treatment facility won’t be lost once you return home.

A substance abuser knows that it’s only a matter of time before their time is going to run out.

But a substance abuser who is ready from treatment also knows that the time they do have is precious and they don’t want to waste any more of it.

Give us a call today. You and your relationships deserve it.