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How to Help My Husband with Drug Addiction

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By: Renaissance Recovery

Medically Reviewed by: Diana Vo, LMFT

Last Updated: 7/1/2021

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Authored By: Joe Gilmore

Table of Contents

If you notice your significant other is dealing with a problem with drugs or alcohol and you need help learning how to help your husband with drug addiction, take some time to learn what you should do to help them achieve sobriety. and how to help someone addicted to drugs.

With NSDUH data showing over 20 million adults in the United States have substance use disorder, millions of Americans find themselves in a close relationship with a partner abusing substances. Not only can this type of addictive behavior undermine the relationship, but it can impact the whole family, especially if children are involved.

Helping an addicted spouse involves effort and teamwork, and the first thing you need to establish is whether your husband is addicted to drugs, and to what extent he is addicted.

From there, it is best to seek out a professional treatment program to help your husband overcome this issue. At Renaissance Recovery, we have a top-notch Orange County drug rehab available to help all those who have fallen victim to addiction.

Whether it is a prescription drug problem or something like heroin, we have treatment programs in place for all types of substance abuse problems.

Before we outline how to help your husband commit to recovery, we’ll double down on how to determine if he is addicted to drugs.

Is My Husband Addicted to Drugs?

Every relationship is different, so it might be that you are fully aware your partner has issues with drink or drugs. For others with a husband who manages to compartmentalize and conceal their addiction, it may come as a genuine surprise to discover they are abusing alcohol or drugs.

Others may find addiction creeps slowly, imperceptibly, into the marriage. For example, your husband might start taking prescription opioid painkillers following surgery. Maybe, due to the addictive potential of opioids, your husband finds he can’t stop taking them. Perhaps your husband always smoked the occasional joint, but is now spending inordinate amounts of time and money on marijuana. Others may notice stops at the bar after work become nightly instead of only on Fridays.

Ultimately, the route to addiction will always vary, but what counts is recognizing the signs and symptoms of addiction so you can better learn how to deal with a drug addict husband.

Picking up on the signs of drug addiction is not always straightforward, and every situation is unique.

That said, the following are all universal red flags that recreational drug use is becoming something more serious and sinister:

  • Finding drug paraphernalia stashed around the house
  • Noticing money vanishing without explanation
  • Your husband starts spending more and more time socializing without you
  • Being barraged with broken promises not to use substances
  • Establishing that your husband appears unable to moderate or discontinue substance use
  • Your partner driving while under the influence of drink or drugs
  • Your husband’s actions start endangering others
  • Health issues developing in your partner
  • Your partner starts experiencing problems at work, possibly even losing his job

While none of the above signs means your husband is an addict, if you notice several of these symptoms manifesting together, it might be time to initiate a discussion about treatment and recovery.

My Husband is on Drugs, What Do I Do?

Learning how to live with a drug addict spouse is challenging, so you should begin by learning as much as you can about the progressive and relapsing disease of addiction. You should also explore the most effective methods of treatment.

The difficulties you’ll encounter along the way will depend to some extent on the substance in question. Crack cocaine abuse brings with it a very different set of problems to alcoholism or heroin addiction.

According to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, the most common problems for couples impacted by substance abuse within the relationship are:

  • Financial problems
  • Legal issues (drunk driving, illicit drug use, child custody issues)
  • Verbal abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse

If you feel in any danger due to your husband’s behavior, you should seek help immediately, whether from a healthcare provider, from legal authorities, or from a substance abuse treatment center.

Consider moving out, at least temporarily, in any of the following circumstances:

  • Experiencing physical violence at the hands of your husband
  • Undergoing either verbal or emotional abuse, particularly if children are involved
  • Infidelity that can expose you to STDs
  • Overt drug use in the home, especially around children
  • Strangers in your home following a binge

Assuming you are not in any imminent danger and you’re committed to helping your husband get back on track, how can you go about this?

Well, here are 5 easily actionable steps you can take right now:

  1. Discover as much as you can about addiction
  2. Reach out for help
  3. Show your husband unwavering support
  4. Don’t neglect self-care
  5. Pack plenty of patience

1) Discover as much as you can about addiction

The more you learn about addiction, the more it will help you to understand why your husband is abusing drugs.

As you discover more about the power of cravings, and how the brain undergoes changes to function and structure after prolonged periods of drug abuse, the more you’ll realize you don’t need to feel unloved or unwanted.

Ultimately, the more you know about addiction and recovery, the more effectively you can help your husband get the help he really needs.

2) Reach out for help

Don’t be afraid to reach out for help once you have established that your husband is abusing drugs.

Start by broaching the issue with your healthcare provider and ask for referrals to the resources and services you need.

Kickstart the process of finding the right rehab center to get your husband back on track. Crucially, the variety of outpatient treatment programs at your disposal means rehab does not necessarily need to mean remortgaging the heads and packing your spouse off for a month or two in an inpatient facility.

At this stage, you may still find some resistance to engaging with treatment, and this is to be expected. Revisit the idea with your husband again at a later date. Do not ignore the issue, though. Addiction is highly unlikely to resolve itself.

3) Show your husband unwavering support

If your husband shows an interest in attending 12-step support groups, encourage him to do so.

Express your unwavering support and commitment to help your husband throughout his recovery, but emphasize that he needs to do the hard work himself.

4) Don’t neglect self-care

It can be exhausting and debilitating being married to someone battling drug addiction.

Make certain to look after yourself physically and emotionally, and don’t neglect your own needs and welfare.

5) Pack plenty of patience

While you are understandably keen to see your partner change, change often unfolds gradually.

Be prepared for a long journey alongside your husband to complete recovery, and be prepared for this not to happen overnight.

Help for Husbands and Wives of Addicts

There is plenty of help for wives of addicts, so there’s no need to suffer in silence.

12-step support groups like NA and AA are invaluable for those wrestling with substance use disorder and alcohol use disorder, but how about if you’re the spouse of an addict?

Well, sister groups of the above – Nar-Anon and Al-Anon – can help you benefit from the support of other women going through similar experiences with husbands addicted to drugs.

Spouse of an Addict? Renaissance Recovery Can Help

If your husband accepts that he has a substance use disorder and he is ready to take action, we’re here to help him and you at Renaissance Recovery Center.

Our personalized outpatient treatment programs include PHPs (partial hospitalization programs) and IOPs (intensive outpatient programs) mean your husband will get the level of structure and support he needs to kickstart his recovery.

Through evidence-based MAT (medication-assisted treatment) delivered in combination with psychotherapy and counseling, your partner will soon be back in your loving arms and substance-free.

All you need to do is reach out to Renaissance today at 844.912.2284 to learn more about how to help your husband or wife with a drug addiction.

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Pat C

“I owe my life and my happiness to these people. October 8th, 2019 marked two years of sobriety for me, and prior to finding Renaissance I hadn’t had 24 hours sober in nearly 20 years.”

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Paige R

“They truly cared for me and the other people that I served with! From this group, I have made 8 new brothers and friends for life! We have continued on, after the program, to take care of each other”

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Courtney S

“Great staff who took the time to get to know me. They have a lot of experience in this field and have first hand experience with what I was going through. IOP is outstanding and really built up a ton of great relationships and found this program to be a ‘breath of fresh air’.”

Diana Vo, LMFT

Diana is an addiction expert and licensed marriage and family therapist who has been in the field of mental health for over 10 years.

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country