Substance abuse doesn’t just impact the individual; it affects their family, friends, and partners.
If one or both people in the relationship have a substance use disorder, it may be challenging to have a healthy relationship.
In these cases, it is usually recommended that the couple attends separate rehab facilities, but there are cases when that is not possible.
Couples who attend addiction treatment together can attend couples therapy at Bedrock Recovery Center, which can provide them with a safe space to share their feelings and work toward rebuilding the relationship.
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The Dynamics Of Substance Abuse In Couples
In couples where one partner engages in alcohol or drug abuse, the couple often enters a downward spiral of conflict.
In this spiral, alcohol or drug use causes conflict, the conflict leads to more substance use to reduce tension, and conflict arises again, repeating the cycle.
Studies have shown that when both partners have substance use disorders, there are higher rates of self and other-directed violence, and intimate partner violence is common.
Couples who abuse substances together are often codependent and may encourage each other to continue negative behaviors such as the misuse of alcohol or other drugs.
Substance use among couples may also lead to financial problems and psychological consequences, including denial, anger, stress, resentment, neglected health, and isolation.
The Benefit Of Couples Joining Separate Programs
Experts suggest that couples who struggle with substance use should not attend the same rehabilitation program if at all possible.
Unhealthy relationship dynamics may hinder the process of recovery when couples go to treatment programs together.
Recovery is a highly individualized process, and one person may progress through recovery faster or slower than the other, which can pressure the other partner or create a sense of resentment.
Many couples who actively use drugs and alcohol together are codependent and engage in unhealthy patterns of behavior together.
In a codependent relationship, the more passive partner may find it difficult to speak freely about their feelings and experiences with providers in addiction treatment.
Couples may become too focused on each other’s recovery and neglect their own recovery. Relapse by one partner may also trigger the other partner into relapsing.
Bedrock’s Approach To Couples Therapy And Addiction
Bedrock Recovery Center offers inpatient, outpatient, and residential treatment programs that may include couples therapy.
However, Bedrock generally doesn’t encourage couples who both struggle with drug or alcohol abuse to enter the same program.
A Focus On The Family
While we offer couples therapy, it is rare that couples are in the same program. Instead, Bedrock focuses on family therapy sessions and individual counseling.
Family therapy sessions may include various family members or other loved ones, including spouses or significant others.
These sessions may use evidence-based psychotherapies, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
CBT assumes that family relationships, addictive behaviors, and emotions have a mutual influence on one another and that dysfunction in one of these areas may result in conflict that can lead to drug or alcohol use.
CBT focuses on changing unhealthy thinking patterns to elicit behavioral change and encourage individuals to move toward healthier behaviors and away from drug or alcohol addiction.
Building Communication Skills
Communication patterns within families and relationships can significantly influence how family members act toward each other and individuals outside the family or relationship.
Family therapy can encourage healthy and open communication between family members and
partners and develop problem-solving skills to help the family cope with stressors together.
The treatment provider also helps the individual openly communicate to set boundaries during recovery while respecting the family’s role in the process.
Rebuilding trust in relationships is an integral part of recovery and may be a focus in family or individual therapy.
Repairing your relationships requires you to view and take accountability for your past behaviors. Being honest and direct with your loved ones is crucial to rebuilding trust.
Rebuilding trust with family members must often be done over time.
However, involving your family in the recovery process can reassure them that you are serious about your recovery.
Coping Mechanisms For Stress And Other Triggers
Family therapy can also teach both the individual and family members valuable coping mechanisms to handle stress and other triggers such as places, situations, or people.
These coping mechanisms may be especially important for those who have a dual diagnosis of substance use disorders and mental health problems.
Healthcare providers may teach individuals and families coping strategies such as mindfulness, meditation, and other practices.
Substance abuse treatment teaches the individual strategies for relapse prevention in high-risk situations where they may be encouraged to abuse substances.
High-risk situations may include a certain emotional state, cravings, or places that the individual associated with substance use.
Relapse prevention strategies may include lifestyle changes that increase the individual’s well-being, enhancing self-efficacy, stress reduction activities, and support groups or 12-step programs.
Learn More About Addiction Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center
If you or a loved one are looking for an accredited substance abuse treatment center in Massachusetts, we can help.
Contact our team at Bedrock Recovery Center to learn about our addiction treatment plans.
- American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy https://www.aamft.org/Consumer_Updates/Substance_Abuse_and_Intimate_Relationships.aspx/
- American Psychological Association (APA) https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2019-03863-005/
- Edith Cowan University https://ro.ecu.edu.au/theses_hons/33/
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) https://nida.nih.gov/sites/default/files/podat-3rdEd-508.pdf/
- National Library Of Medicine: Bookshelf https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK571087/
- National Library Of Medicine: Bookshelf https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK571084/
- National Library Of Medicine: PubMed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3215582/
- National Library Of Medicine: PubMed https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21771314/
- Taylor & Francis Online https://doi.org/10.1080/13548506.2019.1679847
- United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) https://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/get-help/treatment/ebt.asp/