5 Things Spouses Should Know About Drug And Alcohol Dependence

If you love somebody who is going to inpatient treatment, you are already coping with a lot. No matter how much you have on your plate, understanding these four concepts will make it easier to cope with the aftermath. You will find that you are not battling the issue of drug or alcohol abuse on your own.  

1. Risks associated with alcoholism and drug dependence have a genetic influence.

While you may be inclined to associate your spouse's behavior with a moral issue, it is unfair to deny the genetic component associated with drug and alcohol dependence. A family history of abuse indicates that one is four times as likely to develop a problem as somebody without a family history.

2. You need support too.

Therapy can work wonders for a spouse trying to cope with addiction. Your partner may be in drug addiction treatment, but this does not mean that you are also not dealing with new issues. Speak with a professional psychotherapist with experience in working with family members of those with addictions. Even if you do not choose to go to therapy, it is important that you have a support system of people who care about you. Don't forget to ask for help so that you are not shouldering everything on your own.

3. Support groups are available for families too.

You may have heard of Alcoholics Anonymous, but did you know there are Al-Anon family groups? Al-Anon is not an advice group. Rather, it is a place for individuals to share their own experiences and listen. You might be surprised to learn that there are plenty of spouses—people just like you—who are dealing with many of the same situations as you.

4. You need to know the signs.

Whether you are noticing signs of drug and alcohol abuse for the first time or you believe that your spouse may be relapsing, it is important that you realize the symptoms. These include an apparent lack of care for people and activities they once loved in addition to a change in one's level of activity. Your spouse may have a changing pattern of sleep, leading to insomnia or dramatic change in weight. You may notice that your spouse avoids answering questions and seems moody.

These tips may not solve all your problems; however, they may help you develop empathy and learn to be the best spouse possible when the person you love is struggling with dependence issues.