A spouse’s return from inpatient drug treatment can be a joyous but difficult time. Drug rehab is only the first step in addicts’ long-term recovery processes, and their spouses need to be ready to provide constant love, support, and understanding. This can a difficult task even for the most happily-married people, but it is crucial for preventing relapse. To provide for the highest likelihoods of sobriety and happiness, people need to understand how to prepare for their spouses’ returns from inpatient drug treatment.
Providing Support during Rehab
Preparation begins long before addicts return home. Most rehab programs restrict their patients’ outside communications for the first few weeks, but consistent support is crucial after that time. Spouses should send letters of encouragement, make phone calls, and visit when possible. Even more importantly, they should attend family therapy sessions. Trained addiction counselors can help addicts and their loved ones address stressful marital problems and plan for better home lives. They can also help couples become better parents to children who have been hurt by addiction.
Preparing the Home
To prevent unmanageable cravings, addicts’ spouses should take care to remove the triggers that probably exist throughout their homes. Some items are obvious – bottles of alcohol, drugs, and drug paraphernalia. However, others are more difficult to spot. It may be necessary to hide or remove prescription medications and even over-the-counter drugs. It might also be important to get rid of certain music, electronics, or artwork which remind the addict of getting high.
The Right Social Network
Spouses may play the most influential roles in addicts’ lives, but other people can have profound effects on their recoveries. If an intervention was necessary for an addict to attend inpatient drug treatment, the other participants should continue to provide friendship and encouragement. People who have strong enough positive influences on addicts to get them to attend rehab will probably help to keep them sober, as well.
However, it may also be necessary for addicts’ spouses to ensure that negatively-influencing people stay away from their homes. For example, friends who still use drugs can provide pleasant company – but their presences will almost inevitably lead to relapse. Even stressful family members may need to be discouraged from coming around. Relatives who have been hurt by addictive behaviors are not always supportive, and they may cause undue stress and sadness for people struggling with cravings.
Seeking Marriage Counseling
Most married couples face a great deal of strife when one person develops a drug addiction. The family therapies provided at rehab centers may be a good start to fixing these problems, but longer-term counseling will probably be necessary. To ensure the survival of their marriages, spouses should contact counselors before addicts return from rehab. They shouldn’t force the issue at first, but eventual sessions might be necessary for the relationships to last.
No matter what addicts’ relationships were like before they developed their drug problems, their spouses will need to be the stable foundations of their marriages after rehab. To this end, patients’ husbands and wives need to take care of themselves, as well. Maintaining mental health through relaxing activities is important, as is staying physically well with nutrition and exercise. It may be difficult to find personal time, but spouses who don’t address their own concerns won’t be able to provide the crucial support that married addicts need.
If you or any of your loved ones are struggling with addiction, call the number at the top of your screen now. Our dedicated addiction specialists are standing by the phones day and night to help you take your first steps on the path to recovery. Get started with an inpatient drug treatment program, and finally take back control of your life.