My Spouse Is Addicted to Heroin—What Do I Do? Walking the Road to Recovery Together
Your partner’s decisions and behaviors are not your responsibilities, but you can take an active role in their successful recovery from heroin addiction. You don’t have to do it alone, and, in fact, their very best chances for positive change come from compassionate professional help. Find out what to expect from a treatment program that prioritizes safe detox, comprehensive therapies, all-family recovery, and long-term relapse prevention.
What will tomorrow bring? You have more power over the answer than you may realize.
When your spouse is addicted to heroin, you don’t have power over their choices. But you do have a wide range of resources at hand that can turn the tide in the direction of healing: their healing and yours.
It makes sense to believe that things can get better if you take steps forward toward reliable help and recovery strategies. Again, you can’t force your partner’s hand or decisions, but with a wealth of resources and motivation, they will be closer to effective recovery than ever before.
Tomorrow could be the day that you open the doors wide to the possibilities for change.
When Your Spouse Is Addicted to Heroin, What Is Your Role?
Your partner’s addiction, their behaviors, and their consequences are not your responsibility. However, when you live closely with this person and their heroin addiction, codependency can develop, in which you both become accustomed to the cycles of their substance dependency and the habits necessary to maintain a minimal equilibrium. By adapting to and perpetuating these habits, you may be forestalling significant consequences and enabling their continued substance abuse.
It’s difficult to recognize these patterns when you are enmeshed in them. You may even continue for years living in this way. While there is so much potential for healing and better living on the other side of recovery, it can be understandably difficult—and even scary—to approach those big, game-changing steps.
- You might be afraid of your partner’s reaction when you bring up the problems. But will it really be worse than the misery and the daily reactions you’ve already been dealing with?
- You might be concerned about the effects on your relationship if you shake things up and promote treatment. But the honest truth is that your relationship is in much worse shape under the volatile power of their substance use disorder.
- You might question your own fortitude and whether you even know what to do to move forward in a positive direction. But you don’t have to do it alone. In fact, professional help is necessary for your spouse’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being—and your own.
Your role is to keep an eye on the healthy and hopeful path. By reaching out to a heroin addiction treatment center, you will be tapping into all the resources necessary to support the right steps forward. This includes clinical and psychological support for your spouse, not to mention well-rounded support for your needs throughout the journey.
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What Can You Expect from a Heroin Addiction Treatment Program?
When you reach out to a comprehensive treatment program, you will be in touch with addiction specialists who understand how difficult it can be to approach someone about rehab. But these experts also know of the effective strategies for appealing to the individual’s personal goals and offering them treatment options that promote respect and dignity. Your best plan may be to work with a professional interventionist to prepare for a successful intervention carefully and knowledgeably. Ideally, the interventionist will also have direct connections with outstanding treatment programs so they can steer you and your spouse in the direction of real next steps in recovery.
Depending on your husband or wife’s particular needs, their individualized treatment program will likely consist of:
- A carefully monitored medical detox designed specifically for heroin use and withdrawal.
- Dedicated sessions with a psychiatrist to oversee any medications necessary for treatment of heroin use and any other co-occurring disorders.
- Diverse and extensive psychotherapy to address your partner’s substance abuse as well as any range of personal challenges below the surface.
- Supportive collaboration with a welcoming community of peers in recovery.
- Broad life skills training as needed.
- Holistic and experiential therapies to support your spouse’s personal goals and resilience.
- Comprehensive after-care plans and relapse prevention resources to extend beyond the treatment bounds.
How Can You Support Your Partner in Rehab?
Integrative addiction treatment programs also incorporate family programming because recovery outcomes are immensely improved when an individual has grounded, guided support from those closest to them. Know that a long, fulfilling life in recovery will require continued commitment to the strategies and resources gained in heroin addiction treatment. And not just your wife or husband’s learned strategies—you, too, will develop new ways of relating to your partner, to their addictive behaviors, and to yourself.
You’ll learn to embrace the following positive habits and more:
- Do set healthy boundaries.
- Don’t take responsibility or make excuses for your spouse’s behaviors.
- Don’t isolate or miss out on the life-changing support available.
- Do give adequate time and attention to your own recovery.
You are not alone. You can take small steps one at a time in the direction of big changes. And the first step you take—reaching out for help—will reverse the dangerous trend of isolation that keeps you stuck and hopeless. You can trust that hope and help are right around the corner.
Alta Mira offers comprehensive treatment for people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction as well as co-occurring mental health disorders and process addictions. Contact us to learn more about our renowned programs and how we can help you or your loved one start the journey toward recovery.