Addiction can be challenging not only for those experiencing it but also for those in a relationship with someone struggling with addiction. If you are concerned about your partner, below are some helpful tips for identifying addiction and seeking support.
Signs of Addiction In A Partnership
- Change in Behavior – If your partner begins to spend more time away from the home without an explanation, they begin to spend time with a new social group, or when “a drink after work” turns into multiple drinks every night after work this may indicate a substance use concern.
- Prioritizing substance use over other responsibilities – Drinking and being unable to go to work or calling in sick.
- Being disconnected from his/her surroundings – If you feel like your partner is “never really there” when you talk to them or spend time with them, this could indicate an addiction.
- Engaging in secretive behavior – If you find hidden alcohol or paraphernalia or lies regarding activities involving substances it could indicate substance use concerns.
- Unexplained need for money or financial problems – Addiction can be expensive, whether it’s to gambling, substance use like drugs or alcohol, or to any other behavior. This could lead to financial difficulties in your life.
- Regularly getting into legal trouble – Legal trouble for things like public intoxication, DUI, and other such issues could be a sign that your partner has an addiction.
What to Do If Your Partner Is Struggling with Addiction
You may not know where to start if your partner is suffering from addiction. Strong emotions and family ties can complicate things if your loved one is addicted to harmful substances or behaviors. Here are a few steps you can take to get them the help they need.
- Get help for yourself – Community support groups, counseling, and other resources can help you learn more about how to help your partner and take care of yourself.
- Educate yourself about addiction as a disease – Addiction is a mental health disorder, and it’s important to educate yourself about the basics of understanding addiction as a disease.
- Communicate with your partner – Communicate your concerns to your partner in a non-threatening, blaming approach to open the door for honesty and support. Be realistic, as your partner may not be ready to open up and have the discussion upon the first try.
- Do not make excuses for your partner – If your partner has an addiction, it’s important that they get the help they need. It can be challenging to make excuses as to why they don’t need help, delaying from getting professional help can do more harm than good.
- Do not blame yourself for your partner’s addiction – Addiction is not your fault. Don’t blame yourself. This is not constructive, and won’t help you or your partner escape the negative effects of addiction. Focus on creating a plan and finding support moving forward rather than on the past.
Note: If you need immediate help or advice, contact the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357. If you or your children are being abused by a partner with an addiction, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800.799.SAFE (7233).
Bayless Integrated Healthcare Is Here to Help with Addiction & Counseling Services
If you and your partner need to make a change, Bayless Integrated Healthcare is here to help. We offer drug rehabilitation and counseling services, couple’s and family therapy, and mental health treatment for people afflicted with addiction. Set up an appointment today.