Substance abuse and addiction habits are actually a lot more common than what many people realize. And while almost everyone knows someone who has been affected by substance abuse there is still an element of silence on the subject. This is actually more harmful to both those that have an addiction and those that it affects than it is to be out in the open with these issues and talk about them. In addition, the more open we are as a society about the nature of addiction and substance abuse, the more likely those that suffer from it will seek treatment. Meanwhile, it is frequently those who are most closely associated to abusers that are the first to try and find treatment opportunities for them.
This is why husbands and wives are frequently the ones to do the calling, the research and the initial contact with various treatment facilities. And while this is extremely well intended, it should be remembered and understood that the addict is the only one who can actually make the change and they have to want to get treatment and deal with the problem before that change can take place. However, with that being said, it is also the threat, or actuality, of loosing one’s spouse and or family that can finally provoke an addict to admit they have landed at rock bottom and become willing to seek treatment.
Once a substance abuser is willing to enter a treatment facility or participate in a program it becomes necessary for the spouse to seek his or her own therapy. Depending on the nature of the addiction and the amount of damages to the relationship and lifestyle that have occurred, different treatment options are available for the partner. Sometimes, in the case of alcohol addictions, there are programs such as Al Anon that are particularly focused on helping the family members of alcoholics learn to deal with their own issues as well as cope with the effects of living with and loving an alcoholic. It is important to remember that whatever the addiction, it does not only affect the life of the addict, but also those that love him or her. And it is equally important to receive support services and not to ignore your own needs when you have a partner who is addicted to drugs and or alcohol.