It’s a challenging situation when one person struggles with drug or alcohol addiction. It’s even more difficult when both people in a relationship have substance abuse issues.
Addiction has the potential to harm not only your physical and mental health but also your personal relationships. You may wonder if rehab programs for couples can be successful, and the answer is yes.
It’s not for everyone, but for some people, treatment for couples can be a positive experience and a way to support each other on the road to recovery.
Here’s a guide to the benefits of drug and alcohol treatment for couples.
Couples and Addiction
People who have a substance use disorder or addiction may exhibit drug-seeking behaviors and find it difficult to quit abusing drugs or alcohol. When both people in a relationship struggle with substance abuse, it can be very difficult to break the cycle of addiction.
The destructive patterns of one person may reinforce the behavior of the other. The relationship can become toxic, with the couple enabling each other’s addictions by constantly helping them, rescuing them, and allowing destructive behaviors to continue.
Warning Signs of Addiction in Couples
Each couple’s relationship and addiction are unique. There are some classic signs of addiction in couples to look for. These include:
- Drinking or using drugs is what you do together as a couple
- Arguing about drug-related issues like getting drugs or paying for drugs
- Needing to drink or use drugs to deal with tension or stress
- Domestic violence issues due to drugs
- Needing to get drunk or high to be intimate
- Isolating yourselves from family and friends
Can Drug Treatment for Couples Work?
Some couples who are motivated to turn their lives around and stop abusing drugs and alcohol can benefit from couple’s therapy. Not all drug rehab facilities offer treatment for couples.
For those that do, you must meet certain requirements, including no physical violence with your partner. It takes a commitment to the relationship and a desire for sobriety for a couple’s drug treatment to work.
You can’t force your partner to admit they have a problem with drugs or alcohol, and you can’t force them into treatment. You can suggest the opportunity and encourage them to go.
Ultimately, it’s an individual decision to seek help. Unless both people are committed to making it work, treatment will likely be unsuccessful in the long term.
Some different treatment options for couples include:
- Individual counseling
- Behavioral couple’s therapy (BCT)
- Self-help groups such as AA, NA, and Codependents Anonymous
- Recovering Couples Anonymous
Mutual Support and Accountability
Couples rehab helps partners develop mutual support and accountability. They can confront negative behaviors and motivate one another throughout the recovery process.
They can confront their own and their partner’s destructive behaviors constructively and offer support. Partners can openly share their struggles and begin to understand what the other is going through.
Holding each other accountable can deter relapse. Couples can work as a team to stay focused on their sobriety goals.
They can celebrate their treatment milestones and sobriety anniversaries together. They can attend couple and group therapy together and monitor one another for signs of relapse.
Every relationship has its own dynamic, so no two couples are alike. That’s why an individualized approach to treatment can increase the chances of successful recovery.
Addiction therapists can assess each person’s addiction patterns, trauma history, mental health, and relationship dynamics. This helps the therapist develop a personalized treatment plan for each couple.
In some cases, couples may have the same addiction, and in other cases, their drug of choice may be different. The treatment plan must be tailored to each individual’s addiction.
Many people who abuse harmful substances have a co-occurring disorder like depression or other mental health issues. Mental health must be addressed for drug treatment to be successful.
Stronger Connection and Increased Closeness
Couples rehab helps partners rediscover each other, improve communication, rebuild trust, and deepen understanding. Counseling helps couples identify the root causes of addiction, address past traumas, and rebuild trust broken by destructive behaviors.
Couples learn to rely on one another during the challenging times in rehab. This builds commitment and hope for the future.
Partners learn to express themselves in a healthy way and communicate openly without blame or judgment.
Healthy Choices and Financial Stability
Couples therapy promotes a healthy, sober lifestyle and financial responsibility. Partners learn skills for socializing without drugs or alcohol. They learn to manage their finances in a more responsible way.
Partners can work together to plan and prepare their meals. Budgeting workshops teach couples to consider their state of employment and what they need to do to become more financially responsible.
They learn to track their income and expenses and consider a budget without having to buy harmful substances day after day. Therapists can help couples identify and engage in healthy hobbies to fill their free time in meaningful ways.
Leave your old habits in the past and move on to a healthier life. Consider whether couples rehab may be a good choice for you and your partner.
Couples addiction treatment can provide partners with an array of tools and skills to help them face the challenges of recovery. They can find ways to cope and maintain a supportive, healthy relationship.
Some tools and skills for coping include:
- Effective communication, such as active listening and conflict resolution
- Support networks and connecting with others in addiction recovery
- Boundary-setting to maintain a healthy and respectful relationship
- Strategies like mindfulness, stress reduction, and self-care
- Relationship-building and a stronger foundation for your partnership
Couples can learn coping skills for a fulfilling life without drugs and alcohol.
Focus on a Brighter Future
Couples rehab allows partners to get drug treatment together and set goals that will motivate them to live a better life. They can look to the future with the goal of maintaining their sobriety and finding new meaning in their lives.
Couples can work with a counselor to identify common goals. They can begin to sort out priorities, such as buying a home, going back to school, starting a family, or others.
Couples can set short-term and long-term goals, such as goals to remain motivated and focused on lasting sobriety. Couples can spend time together and brainstorm healthy activities they can do together when treatment ends.
Is Couples Rehab Effective?
The effectiveness of couples rehab hinges on the effort and commitment of the couple. When both partners are focused on the same goal and their commitment to live a sober life, treatment can be highly effective.
Couples therapy isn’t suited for every couple, but having a partner to go through treatment with can lead to:
- A higher rate of completion
- Improved relationship
- Longer periods of sobriety
- Decreased chance of domestic violence
- A healthier family and lifestyle
Spouses who have a good attitude about treatment and a willingness to grow and change can break free from their addictions and live a happier, healthier life.
Couples rehab won’t look alike for every couple. Some available treatments include:
Detox is the first step toward freedom from drug or alcohol addiction. During medical detox, the toxins are flushed from the system and your body begins to react to the absence of drugs or alcohol.
Medical detox involves the use of medications to ease withdrawal symptoms and make the detox process more comfortable. Detox is a necessary part of treatment and the first step of couples rehab.
For some couples, inpatient rehab is the best option. If you want to shut out the world and work towards sobriety as a couple, inpatient treatment may be right for you.
Some addictions are more severe than others. Inpatient rehab is often recommended in these circumstances. Couples receive support, proper care, and treatment around the clock.
During their time in rehab, couples stay together and receive treatment in the rehab facility.
In residential treatment, couples stay in a home-like setting as they receive treatment, support, and counseling. Residential treatment for couples is typically 90 days or less.
The time couples spend in residential treatment varies and is determined by their doctor’s recommendation.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is frequently used in couples rehab to help partners identify and change unhealthy thought patterns and behaviors. CBT can be instrumental in teaching people to identify triggers, cope with triggers, and find alternative solutions besides alcohol or drugs.
Get the Help You Need as a Couple
Dealing with one addiction in a relationship can feel like an uphill battle. When both partners suffer from addiction, life can seem hopeless.
The good news is you can turn your life around. If your partner is also committed to sobriety, you may benefit from drug treatment for couples.
At Purpose Healing Center, we offer individualized inpatient and outpatient programs to help you recover from addiction. Our evidence-based practices ensure every patient gets the treatment and the tools they need for long-lasting recovery.
Imagine a life with purpose. Contact Purpose Healing Center today to get started.