When Your Spouse is a Victim of Substance Abuse

Watching loved ones battle substance abuse is treacherous and heart-breaking, but you should know that you are not alone in this situation. Not only are many other people in similar situations, but you also have an array of options for help. Learning how to talk to a drug addict is an important part of helping someone with substance abuse issues.


Note Specific Circumstances

While you do not want your spouse to feel under attack, just think about the last time you had a fight. You probably asked your spouse to provide specific examples of his or her accusation, and you should offer the same acknowledgment in return. When you can show your spouse specifically what he or she did that proves substance abuse, you can have a more successful intervention. Your loved one can recognize how the actions hurt you and how they led to negative repercussions.

Protect Yourself

Some signs of substance abuse involve degradation of the person’s physical body or a lack of interest in activities. However, in other cases, your spouse might turn violent after using a substance. Therefore, you need to make sure that you, your children and your pets are protected. That means you should let people whom you trust know about what is going on. You may want to make sure your children and pets are out of the house when you confront your loved one. On top of that, you should have people around who can protect you. You may even want to call a professional to help.

Remember Who Your Spouse Is

Even though you are likely experiencing a range of emotions that might include anger, horror and extreme sadness, you should still try to remember the positive qualities that your spouse possesses during this discussion. For example, if you know that your spouse loves sports or arts, you may suggest finding a rehab program that incorporates these types of therapies. Keep in mind that this experience may allow your relationship to grow more.

Express Your Support

Your spouse may feel as though this conversation is the start of a divorce or that you are not planning to offer continued support throughout the treatment process. Keep in mind that dealing with denial in substance abuse is a part of the process as is finally accepting the issue and working toward healing. Make a commitment to yourself that you will be there for the long haul, and work to get yourself involved with a support group for the spouses of people who suffer from addictions. You will likely also need emotional and mental support during this process.

While taking the first step likely seems overwhelming, understand the benefits that doing so can have for your family.