How to Offer Addiction Support to Your Partner During Rehab

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Apr 25, 2016

How to Offer Addiction Support to Your Partner During Rehab


Overcoming a drug or alcohol addiction can be a long and difficult process and addiction support throughout the process is vital. If someone you know is struggling with a substance use disorder, it’s important to find professional help as soon as possible. The drug treatment process can be split into three separate yet integrated components: detoxification, rehabilitation, and aftercare support.

How to Offer Addiction Support to Your Partner During Rehab

Why Addiction Support is Important During Addiction Rehab

Detox enables the cessation of drug use under medical supervision, rehab addresses the emotional and environmental precursors of addiction, and aftercare promotes long-term recovery. While medication treatment and psychotherapy form the basis of most rehab programs, addiction support is a crucial and often overlooked aspect of recovery. People are much more likely to get clean and avoid relapse when they have help from those around them, including partners, friends, and members of the wider community.

People Need Addiction Support

Everyone reacts to addiction treatment in different ways, with some people ready to make positive changes and others reticent about the recovery process. If you’re helping your partner through the rehabilitation process, it’s important to be there for them and offer support while they receive treatment. Addiction support can be made available on a formal or informal basis, from a gentle hug or loving discussion through to joint counseling and family therapy sessions. While access to professional treatment and willingness to change are the two most important factors, people without external support are much less likely to recover and much more likely to relapse in the weeks and months that follow treatment.

How to Offer Addiction Support to Your Partner During Rehab

Psychological Support at Rehabilitation Centers

Rehabilitation programs are largely based on psychotherapeutic methods, including cognitive behavioral therapy and various forms of motivational therapy. These programs attempt to identify unhelpful cognitive and emotional patterns in order to enable long-term lifestyle changes. If your partner is currently engaged with a rehab program, it’s important to support them while they make these difficult changes. Addiction is a learned response that develops slowly over time, with new psychological associations also needing time to develop.

If you can forgive your partner and make a commitment to the recovery process, your partner is much more likely to make a long-term commitment to sobriety. If couple and family therapy sessions are available, it may also be a good idea to work through problematic relationship dynamics with the help of a professional therapist.

Practical Addiction Support and Relapse Prevention

Aftercare programs are typically applied once rehab has been completed, including 12-step support groups, ongoing counseling, and sober living communities. Most aftercare programs are based on cognitive, behavioral, or motivational principles. By recognizing the emotional and environmental precedents of addiction, therapists help patients become more aware of their feelings and environment so they can make different lifestyle decisions and avoid relapse.

Practical support systems also play an important role, with people much less likely to relapse when they have somewhere stable to live and work while they recover. You can help your partner greatly by supporting them on a practical level while they reintegrate with everyday life, assisting with transportation, helping with food, and providing them with a sense of stability while they focus on the treatment process.

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