When your loved ones are struggling with a substance use disorder (SUD), you may feel like your life is out of control. You may want to help, but you don’t know what to do or how to convince them to accept help. They say addiction is a family disease because the individual with the SUD is not the only one impacted. Addiction can be mentally and emotionally painful for loved ones. Here are some suggestions on what to do if your spouse is struggling with a SUD.
The first thing you can do is join a support group of spouses and loved ones of those struggling with opiate addiction. There is an old saying, “You cannot pour from an empty cup.” This means you need to take care of yourself before you are capable of taking care of others.
Being married to someone with a SUD can take away your feelings of trust or safety as your spouse acts in ways that scare you when they are actively using. It directly impacts your financial well-being, and if you have children, you may be concerned with how it is impacting your children. Going to a support group will provide you with tools and resources to help you stay mentally and emotionally healthy, as well as people that understand the situation and can be there is listen when you need to talk.
The second thing you can do is educate yourself about opiate addiction and substance use disorders. Educating yourself on the facts of addiction will help you know how to help when your spouse is ready to accept help. You will already have a basic understanding of how detoxification works, which will allow you to help your spouse get into effective programs such as ultra rapid detox centers.
The third thing you need to do is be ready to provide your spouse with love and support when they are ready to seek treatment. Once they go through detoxification and the drugs are out of their system, they still need to address the behavioral condition. Most often, opiates are used to mask untreated physical and emotional pain. The drugs help numb the individual of the pain they are trying to avoid. Once the drugs are out of their system, they will feel all the pain they were trying to mask. If those underlying reasons continue to go untreated, they will be more likely to relapse.
Finally, don’t fall into the trap of thinking; there is only one right path to recovery. When going to support group meetings, you may hear strong opinions by others on how their loved ones should be getting clean or maintaining recovery. However, recovery paths are as unique as individuals. There are many paths to recovery, and you need to support the path that your spouse finds most helpful.
The first step on that path is going through “detox.” This is the process of getting the drugs out of their system without introducing more drugs. During the detoxification process, the individual will experience withdrawal symptoms, which can range from mild to severe. Detox can be scary for someone with a SUD because they do not want to be in pain or sick for days at a time. Ultra-rapid detox centers use the Waismann Method, which decreases the duration of the detox while also making it comfortable by allowing the individual to go through withdrawal under sedation. Instead of days of suffering, your spouse can wake up after hours of sedation completely detoxed.
The Waismann Method is conducted under the strict and careful instruction of doctors in a hospital setting. Once detoxed, your spouse can attend a treatment program that will get them through the very early stages of recovery and help them get settled on a recovery path that will work for them.