Alcohol and drug addiction can have a devastating effect on the entire family. It is important to understand how substance abuse treatment works, what family interventions can look like, and how to help children from families affected by alcohol and drug abuse. When addiction takes hold of a marriage, it can be difficult to know what to do. It is important to remember that addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences.
The initial decision to use drugs is voluntary for most people, but repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person's self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense drug cravings. The effects of addiction are not limited to the addicted person; it can have a ripple effect that influences behaviors in the family that you wouldn't otherwise have experienced. The partner of the recovering addict may not be ready to give up alcohol or drugs, and this can cause tremendous stress for the non-addicted spouse. It is essential to learn the telltale signs that the addicted spouse is lying, and there are steps you can take to prevent addiction from ruining the relationship between you and the one you love. The most significant thing is that couples should seek professional help.
Introducing yourself to your addicted partner doesn't seem just one way, and you can work with professionals to determine what makes the most sense for your unique partnership. Beyond professional help, many married people with addicts ease their loneliness and sense of isolation by attending 12-step support meetings. It is also important for non-addicted spouses to practice radical self-care and talk to their doctor or counselor if their family is facing an addiction that has caused their health to deteriorate. Even if your spouse agrees to seek help, drug addicts and alcoholics are notoriously capricious, so once they agree, it is better to start treatment IMMEDIATELY. A person who has become addicted to a substance is susceptible to personality changes that include aggression and violence. The addicted spouse intrinsically knows that the substance that controls his or her life should not play any role in it.
Therefore, it is important for couples facing addiction in their marriage to seek help as soon as possible.