Addiction may devastate a happy marriage. During the first few years of a relationship, spouses may be entirely unaware of their partner’s addiction and only learn later, when things are already getting worse and drug usage is out of control. It all starts with something small before it becomes an addiction. What began as a casual use of cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol can quickly grow into dependence without your knowledge.
Maintaining a relationship with an addicted spouse is never simple, and it may be terrible at times. Substance misuse may transform someone you thought you knew for a long time into someone you hardly know, no matter how close you are. Addiction is not classified as a personality feature. It is, however, a chronic condition, and treatment options are available.
You may become aware of this if he is unable to keep up with his employment and your shared savings begin to evaporate without explanation. You may also notice this if your spouse begins to spend too much time away from your house, less time with the children, and more time with friends.
“What are the phases of substance abuse?” you may be wondering. Don’t worry, we’ll go through everything one by one so you know what to look out for. This might benefit not only you but also your friends and family.
Understanding Substance Abuse and Addiction
Drug addiction is a drug-seeking behavior that is difficult to stop, even when the individual is fully aware of the consequences of doing so. What complicates matters is that the medicine affects the brain and hinders one’s capacity to make informed decisions. It severely impairs a person’s capacity to resist the desire to use drugs. People believe that individuals who use drugs lack the willpower or the values to just stop, yet it is a condition that is so complicated that quitting requires much more than good intentions.
This is why those close to those struggling with drug addiction, particularly the spouse, play an important role in their rehabilitation from addiction therapy.
Stages of Addiction and Drug Abuse
Peer pressure and curiosity are only two of the many variables that might lead to alcohol or drug usage. Others start using drugs lawfully with a doctor’s prescription. Substance abuse experiments can begin at any moment. Older adults become involved in substance misuse for a number of reasons, including the loss of a loved one or failure in their employment. At times, it appears like alcohol or drug use is their only way out.
If you suspect someone of experimenting, you should question them about why they are doing it and how frequently they do it. From there, you can determine whether it has the potential to become something more serious.
2. Continual Use
People become used to drug abuse, but some are unaware of this. Regular usage is the second stage of drug abuse. This does not imply that they do it on a daily basis. They do, however, develop a fairly clear pattern, such as doing it on specified days or when they are frightened, upset, or lonely.
You will eventually discover that they have incorporated their addiction into their everyday routine. They can’t seem to get through the day without a cigarette or a shot of booze. As their substance usage becomes more regular, you will notice subtle changes in their behavior.
3. Dangerous Use
You will notice a significant shift in a person’s entire state throughout this stage of substance misuse. They frequently endanger their own and others’ lives by driving while intoxicated or high. They may also struggle to carry out their job tasks and responsibilities. Others will struggle at school as well, sacrificing their marks in the process.
There will also be a noticeable shift in their interpersonal interactions. They may also have bodily changes as a result of substance addiction, however, this varies from person to person. Physical changes may include a swollen face, bloodshot eyes, and an unusual shift in skin tone. If this worries you, you can encourage them to get treatment before it is too late.
When someone becomes addicted to a substance, it appears that they cannot get enough of it. Even though they are completely aware of the consequences, they are unable to stop themselves at this point. Because their mind and body have already built a tolerance, they tend to consume more at this stage of substance misuse.
This is when the physical effects of substance usage become more visible. You will notice extreme weight loss, dilated pupils, and behavioral abnormalities. There are evident mood swings, reclusiveness, and unpredictable actions that can occasionally cause harm to others. At this point, you should seek professional assistance so that therapy may begin.
This is the most difficult stage of substance misuse to control. This can be life-threatening in some circumstances. People who get addicted require rapid expert assistance. There are several repercussions associated with drug abuse.
Addicts frequently lose their jobs or fail in school. Their relationships are likewise in shambles. It’s as though their entire lives have been flipped upside down. Professional involvement and therapy are critical at this time.
How To Encourage Your Husband To Attend Therapy
You must be gentle and cautious when persuading someone to seek treatment. Starting a discussion about getting treatment may be difficult and unpleasant. If you were used to having simple chats with your spouse before the addiction, be aware that encouraging him to see a therapist now may be more difficult. If this is not done correctly, you may wind up in a large dispute, which will be annoying if you bring it up again in the future. But don’t give up just yet. Here are some pointers if you are sure that your husband is displaying signs of substance abuse:
Open communication is essential for maintaining a healthy marriage. Miscommunication is a stain that stains everything. When communicating with your spouse, be honest about your difficulties, but do it in a non-confrontational manner.
Show empathy and do not use judgmental language. Make him feel like you are concerned about him and that you are starting to notice things. Say something like, “I am getting more concerned about you.” I noticed that you are no longer playing basketball like you used to. Our kids also miss you. I also noticed you are not sleeping well at night. It also keeps me awake at night.”
Do not nag. Do not threaten. Nagging and threatening, especially when combined, will only lead to heated arguments and will not do any good in achieving your goal of convincing him.
Ask the appropriate questions. Certain lines of inquiry can turn on the light and serve as a solid starting point for a dialogue. However, there are some inquiries that might put a stop to a just-initiated dialogue. For example, asking “why” questions suggests judgment. “How come you did that?” “Why didn’t you seek help?”
Why ask “why” questions that are often backward-looking? Yes, it is introspective, but it mostly comes off as an interrogation. By rephrasing these “whys” as “whats” and “hows,” it becomes more forward-thinking and hopeful. “What may be the reason you’re no longer playing basketball?” for example, or “How can we assist?”
Don’t be judgmental. The goal here is not to excuse yourself, but to lead your spouse down the path of acknowledging that something is amiss.
Express your reasoning.
If you speak negatively about your husband, he may misinterpret your intentions. Your husband will only be offended if you offer to help him.
Be open about your emotions. Say something like, “I see you’re suffering. That is why I proposed obtaining therapy.” Assure him that you care about him by saying, “I am extremely concerned about your health. I want to help you because I care about you and our family.”
Engage him in a dialogue in which he may be candid about his feelings.
Your husband would want to make his own choices. If they are compelled to do anything, they will most likely resist.
Discuss the possibilities (do your homework ahead) and ask inquiries about his preferences while encouraging him to seek addiction therapy, substance abuse rehabilitation programs, or drug and alcohol addiction counseling. Would he, for example, prefer a male therapist? Does he favor one program over another?
You must be patient and empathetic in order to get him to attend treatment, but you must not make excuses for his conduct. You must promote responsibility. Setting appropriate limits means encouraging commitment and responsibility.
Every person’s path to addiction is unique. Some people take their time, while others go from zero to sixty in a matter of seconds. Regardless of how long your journey has been, most recovery counselors agree that there are five major phases of drug addiction. It is critical to understand the addiction cycle and the symptoms of substance abuse so that medical experts, friends, and family can intervene. Addiction vulnerability varies from person to person and is influenced by both environmental and genetic variables, such as mental health, a family history of addiction, or social context.
Haven House Recovery can help your husband.
Everyone will surely benefit from understanding these stages. When you detect a significant shift in a person’s life, you must speak with them and inform them that help is readily accessible through drug addiction therapy.
Remember, it is never too late to stop and recover from addiction. You may inform them about Haven House Recovery Center, which is a Nashville rehab center specializing in helping guide men towards the right path. We can assist you in obtaining therapy. Our staff is eager to provide you or your loved ones with the assistance you require. You will be able to overcome this problem thanks to our Christ-centered programs and your dedication to staying clean. Please do not hesitate to contact us.