You live with your spouse and you see them every day. That doesn’t mean it’s easy to recognize or admit that they have a problem with alcohol or drugs, but you are in a good position to discover their addiction.
If you can help them seek treatment before the problem grows out of control, you may be able to save their life.
Your spouse may need to go to rehab if they:
- hide their drug use
- are not acting like themselves
- spend a lot of money on alcohol or drugs
- show physical signs of substance abuse
- have health problems from drugs or alcohol
- have withdrawal symptoms
A person doesn’t have to show all of these signs to need help. Even one of these can indicate the beginning of a problem. The sooner someone gets help with their substance abuse, the less destruction addiction can cause to their life and health.
They Hide Their Drug Use
Your spouse may drink alcohol on occasion or take medication prescribed by a doctor for a legitimate health reason. Alcohol and drug use becomes problematic when a person consumes them excessively, loses control, or hides it from their loved ones.
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You may find alcohol bottles hidden around the house so that you are unaware of how much alcohol your spouse is drinking. They may come home smelling like alcohol but not admit that they had any.
Drug paraphernalia may turn up as an indicator of illicit drug use. Common paraphernalia for drugs like cocaine and heroin include pipes or foil for smoking, straws or rolled paper for snorting, and syringes for injection.
If your spouse is abusing prescription drugs, you may find unmarked pill bottles or multiple prescription bottles from different doctors.
Hiding alcohol and drug use is a sign that someone knows they have a problem or that their loved ones will perceive it as a problem. They may want to quit or cut back but are unable to because they have become addicted. This is when they need to go to rehab.
They Are Not Acting Like Themselves
Your spouse may previously have been a reliable person with hobbies and close friends. Substance abuse causes many people to change in significant ways and withdraw from things that used to be important to them.
They may lose interest in hobbies and social activities, breaking engagements and even disappearing without explanation. You may not know what they are doing, or you may notice them spending time with a different group of people who abuse drugs or alcohol.
As addiction consumes your spouse’s life, it may become more evident to you that something is wrong.
Their work performance is likely to suffer, which could result in job loss. They may try to hide this from you as well, but it is difficult to hide a lack of income for long, especially when a person continues to buy alcohol or drugs.
They Spend A Lot Of Money On Alcohol Or Drugs
Addiction changes the way a person’s brain works, causing them to crave an abused substance and take it without regard to the consequences.
Many drugs cause the body to build a tolerance, meaning that a person needs more of them over time to achieve the same euphoric or sedating effect. The more they take, the more they have to buy, which can get very expensive.
To keep up with these costs, your spouse may borrow or steal money from friends or loved ones. They might lie about why they need it and seem to constantly need more.
If you share a bank account with your spouse, you may be able to tell how much of their money is going toward their addiction. If money seems to disappear or never make it into the account, this can be a red flag of excessive spending on substance abuse.
They Show Physical Signs Of Substance Abuse
You likely spend more time with your spouse than anyone else, so you may be the first to notice physical signs of substance abuse. These can vary based on the type of drug as well as how it is abused.
Physical signs of substance abuse can include:
- intense sedation
- excessive energy
- twitching or tremors
- flushed skin
- dilated or pinpoint pupils
- itching and skin sores
- significant weight loss
- scars from drug injection
- nosebleeds from snorting drugs
- burns from a crack pipe
- a smoker’s cough
- “crashing” or long periods of sleep
Your spouse may try to hide these things by wearing long sleeves to cover needle marks or blaming a cough on seasonal illness. If you notice other symptoms of addiction, think twice before dismissing physical signs as insignificant.
They Have Health Problems From Drugs Or Alcohol
Prolonged alcohol and drug abuse is hard on the body. It weakens the immune system, making a person more likely to get sick. Depending on the abused substance, addiction can lead to health problems in any of the vital organs (brain, heart, liver, lungs, and kidneys).
Substance abuse can also be damaging to a person’s mental health. Some drugs cause paranoia, hallucinations, and psychosis. Others lead to cognitive impairment and memory problems.
When the adverse health effects of addiction are apparent, but your spouse continues to abuse drugs or alcohol, they need to go to rehab. Addiction is very difficult to overcome alone, and the negative consequences will continue to grow worse if your spouse does not change their lifestyle.
They Have Withdrawal Symptoms
Some drugs—opioids, benzodiazepines, and alcohol in particular—cause a person to develop physical dependence, which means their body will react adversely if they cut back or stop using them.
Physical withdrawal symptoms may be:
- nausea and vomiting
- twitching, shaking, or tremors
This can occur with prescribed use of certain medications and does not necessarily mean that your spouse needs to go to rehab. They may be able to safely taper off these drugs with the help of their doctor.
However, physical dependence often accompanies addiction, as it is more likely to occur with prolonged use of drugs or alcohol. Physical withdrawal symptoms indicate that there may be a bigger problem, which is likely marked by other signs your spouse needs to go to rehab.
If someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol, they will likely show psychological withdrawal symptoms as well. This is common with stimulant drugs that do not cause physical dependence and may include depression, anxiety, paranoia, and suicidal thoughts.
Helping Your Spouse Find A Rehab Program
If you believe your spouse needs to go to rehab, it is essential that you approach the subject in a loving and supportive way. If they agree to seek treatment, you can help them find a rehab program that is suited to their needs.
At The Treehouse, we provide individualized care that considers a person’s unique experience with addiction. Through behavioral therapy and a variety of evidence-based treatment types, your spouse will learn coping skills and how to make healthier lifestyle choices.
Our inpatient rehab program gives your spouse time away from home so they can focus on resolving issues that may cause a relapse. Still, we encourage family involvement in the healing process. Your support is vital in helping your spouse achieve lifelong recovery.