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Drug Rehab for Couples

If you and your partner are dealing with substance abuse, joining a rehab program together can be helpful, even if you have kids. The program can help your relationship recover from the impact of addiction. While it may seem overwhelming, the program can benefit everyone in your family.

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Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centers for Couples

Managing the difficulties of alcohol and drug addiction can be an arduous task for individuals, especially when it involves intimate relationships.

The situation can become even more complicated when the couple is facing substance abuse issues and they have children, having a profound impact on the family as a whole.

Seeking help from a couples rehab program can provide invaluable support and guidance to partners struggling with substance abuse and its impact on their relationship.

Although it may seem daunting to consider entering a rehab center for couples, the benefits it can bring to everyone involved are significant and well worth the effort.

How Drug and Alcohol Addiction Affects Couples

Relationships can be complicated, especially when substance addiction is involved. For couples where one or both partners struggle with addiction, the effects can be far-reaching and devastating.

Substance abuse can lead to emotional distress, which is often compounded by financial instability and a breakdown of trust. The partner who is not addicted may feel overwhelmed, neglected, and resentful, while the one who is battling addiction may experience intense feelings of guilt and shame.

When both partners are struggling with addiction, the situation can be even more challenging. Children who are exposed to this toxic cycle can feel unsafe and uncertain, which can lead to a loss of emotional connection between all family members.

Sometimes, the communication breakdown can become so severe that the relationship ends. Seeking help and support is important when addiction is involved, as it can be a difficult and complex issue to manage alone.

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Scope of Substance Abuse in Couples

While finding specific data on substance abuse in couples is difficult, there is plentiful data on substance abuse across genders. It may be used to make educated guesses about certain aspects of substance abuse in relationships.

Statistics related to substance abuse and couples include:

  • 22% of males and 17% of females have reported abusing or misusing at least one substance in the past year.
  • Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug by both males and females.
  • 59% of men report drinking alcohol in the past month, while 47% of women do.
  • Men are twice as likely to binge drink as women.
  • Approximately 69% of adults over 18 in the United States are in a committed partnership or relationship.

Risk Factors for Addiction Issues in Romantic Relationships

Some people may be more prone to substance abuse than others, and it can be a disastrous combination when two people enter into a relationship who both have risk factors for addiction.

They may end up exacerbating each other’s problems with drugs or alcohol, amplifying them to the point where professional intervention is needed.

Risk factors for addiction issues in couples include:

  • Community risk factors: Living in areas with high drug availability or lacking community resources and services.
  • Familial risk factors: Abuse or neglect during childhood or having a parent or other family member who abused substances.
  • Individual risk factors: Low self-esteem or depression, low education or income, young age, or a previous history of heavy alcohol and drug use.
  • Societal risk factors: Exposure to pro-substance use messages in media or a lack of access to education about the dangers of substance use.

Some of these risk factors, such as whether a person grew up around an addicted parent, are out of their control.
Other factors, such as the location where a couple lives, can potentially be changed to reduce negative outcomes.

Signs of Substance Abuse in Your Partner

When it comes to seeking couples addiction recovery treatment, in many instances, only one in the relationship has a substance use disorder.

In these cases, the person without a substance use disorder usually attends treatment with their romantic partner. Entering treatment helps show their support for their partner and also helps to work through the problems substance use has caused in their relationship.

Signs of substance abuse in your partner include:

  • Secretive behavior: Your partner may become more secretive, lying about their whereabouts or hiding evidence of substance use.
  • Relationship issues: Increased arguments, emotional distance, and episodes of domestic violence may be signs of substance abuse in your partner.
  • Prioritizing substance use: Your partner may prioritize their drug or alcohol use over other aspects of their life, including your relationship.
  • Neglecting responsibilities: Your partner may start neglecting their personal, work, or family responsibilities due to drug or alcohol use.
  • Behavioral changes: Your partner may exhibit mood swings, irritability, or increased aggression, which can be signs of substance abuse.

If you notice any of the above signs in your romantic partner, it may be time to talk to them about their substance use and suggest a couples alcohol and drug rehab program.

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Effects of Substance Abuse on Couples

Substance abuse can wreak havoc on a relationship, whether it is one or both people in the couple who is using drugs or alcohol.

Sadly, the effects of substance abuse within a couple can affect many more people than just the couple and can be especially difficult for any children involved.

Some of the effects of substance abuse on a relationship can include:

  • Communication breakdown: Substance abuse can lead to a decline in effective communication between partners, resulting in misunderstandings, arguments, and emotional distance.
  • Intimacy problems: Substance abuse can negatively impact the couple’s sexual and emotional intimacy, leading to dissatisfaction and a weakened bond.
  • Isolation: Substance abuse can lead to social isolation, as the couple may withdraw from friends, family, and activities they once enjoyed together.
  • Financial strain: Addictions can be expensive and may cause financial stress in a relationship as funds are diverted to support the habit.
  • Neglect of responsibilities: The couple may struggle to fulfill their responsibilities at home, work, or in the relationship, creating an imbalance and resentment.
  • Trust issues: Substance abuse can erode trust, as the couple may lie or manipulate each other to sustain their substance use.
  • Increased conflict: Disagreements and arguments may become more frequent and intense, fueled by the stress and tension caused by addiction.

Many relationships that involve substance abuse do not survive in the long term. However, attending couples rehab together can undoubtedly help in many instances.

What to Expect in Addiction Treatment Programs for Couples

Couples rehab programs are for relationship partners (one or both partners) living with an addiction that negatively impacts the relationship.

Below are a few of the types of treatment services you can expect these specialized programs to offer couples.

Gender-Separate Inpatient Rehab

Sometimes, couples who want to undergo drug rehab together may prefer to be in separate environments based on their gender.

This is because some people feel more comfortable doing therapy and recovery work without their partner present, as this can make them feel more vulnerable and hinder their progress.

Gender-separate rehab programs or facilities can provide a safe and welcoming space for individuals who feel this way, allowing them to focus on their healing without any distractions.

Inpatient treatment may also be the most appropriate level of care for those with a severe addiction who could benefit from 24/7 care and supervision.

Outpatient Treatment Options

Outpatient treatment options for couples usually involve multiple types of evidence-based treatments and therapy. These programs may provide detox and medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid and alcohol use disorders, utilizing medications like methadone.

Many times when couples are in this type of treatment, they will see a therapist or counselor together and then see that same therapist separately.

An outpatient program may be ideal for couples with many responsibilities or obligations at home, such as multiple children or jobs that they cannot take time off from.

Codependency Treatment

Codependency happens when two people are in a relationship, not necessarily a romantic one, and one or both develop an unhealthy relationship or dependency on the other.

Treatments that address codependency while in substance abuse treatment are psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), family therapy, and group therapy.

Another type of treatment that is particularly effective when treating couples in addiction rehab is behavioral couples therapy (BCT).

Dual Diagnosis Care

It is a frequently observed phenomenon that couples who are seeking assistance in overcoming drug or alcohol addiction are also grappling with mental or behavioral health concerns in one or both of the partners.

Dual diagnosis treatment is designed to address both substance abuse and co-occurring disorders simultaneously. A variety of disorders are often treated in conjunction with substance use disorders, including:

These co-occurring disorders can significantly impact the effectiveness of substance abuse treatment, and therefore, addressing them concurrently is critical for successful long-term recovery. Dual diagnosis treatment is a comprehensive approach that involves a combination of therapies and services tailored to address the specific needs of each individual patient.

Recovery Support Groups for Couples

If you and your partner are dealing with substance abuse, there are numerous resources available to help you overcome these challenges together. Participating in 12-step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Recovering Couples Anonymous can be an effective way to tackle addiction as a team.

It’s important to keep in mind that these groups aren’t just for those struggling with addiction, but also for their partners seeking support.

Also, if you have a loved one who is struggling with substance abuse (and you don’t abuse substances yourself), you can also find comfort in support groups such as Al-Anon and Nar-Anon.

These groups offer a safe and empathetic space for you to share your experiences and connect with others who are going through similar situations.

Family Therapy & Childcare

For couples seeking addiction treatment programs, it’s important to note that family therapy can be a valuable addition to the treatment plan.

This type of therapy involves the participation of other family members, including children, to address the impact of addiction on the entire family unit.

It’s worth noting that some centers may even offer childcare services for parents who need to bring their kids along to the treatment sessions, making it easier for the entire family to participate in the recovery process.

By including family therapy in the treatment plan, couples can work towards healing both individually and as a family unit.

Continuing Care

To achieve long-term success in recovery, it’s essential to understand that completing an inpatient or outpatient rehab program is just the beginning. Continuing care is vital for maintaining a successful recovery, which can be done through various aftercare services such as:

  • Relapse prevention support
  • Continued therapy
  • Peer support groups
  • Case management
  • and employment assistance

These resources are all part of continuing care, and they can provide the necessary assistance and guidance to help individuals navigate daily life and maintain sobriety.

It’s important to remember that recovery is a journey, and seeking out these resources can play an integral role in achieving long-term success.

Transitional Living Options

Once someone has completed a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program, it’s important to consider their next steps to ensure they don’t relapse and are able to maintain their sobriety.

Couples or individuals may find themselves in need of transitional housing options that can accommodate their previous living situation, while still providing a safe and supportive environment. Sober or transitional homes are available, with varying levels of independence for residents depending on their needs and preferences.

These homes can offer a range of services, including counseling, support groups, and assistance with finding employment or further education opportunities.

Overall, transitional housing can be a crucial step in the recovery process, helping individuals and couples to build a strong foundation for their new, sober life.

How to Work Through Substance Use Issues With a Partner

If only one of the partners is facing substance abuse, the other partner may reach a point where they want to express their concerns.

This can be difficult to do, even with someone you are in a close intimate relationship with. Here are some practical steps you can take to talk to your partner about their drug or alcohol use problems.

1. Voice Concerns About Your Partner’s Substance Use

If you have concerns about a loved one’s use of substances, it’s important to communicate those concerns in a caring and supportive manner.

One key factor to keep in mind is timing – it’s best to wait until both parties are calm and sober before broaching the subject. Additionally, it’s a good idea to have a plan in place for how to approach the conversation and what points you want to make.

By being thoughtful and compassionate in your approach, you can help your loved one feel heard and supported as they navigate their relationship with substances.

2. Allow Your Partner to Express Their Concerns

It’s not uncommon for someone struggling with substance abuse to deny that they have a problem, and they may even try to deflect blame onto their loved ones. If you’re concerned about your partner’s substance use, it’s important to be prepared for potential pushback.

However, it’s still crucial to approach the conversation with an open mind and be willing to listen to their perspective. Ultimately, seeking help and support for substance abuse is a difficult but necessary step toward recovery.

3. Provide Support During Your Partner’s Recovery

When dealing with addiction in a relationship, it is crucial to ensure that your partner understands that you are fully committed to their well-being and are willing to attend a rehabilitation program for couples if they are open to the idea.

It is important to communicate that the goal of the program is to improve your relationship and tackle the addiction together as a team.

By taking this step, you are showing your partner that you are willing to put in the necessary effort to help them overcome their addiction and strengthen your bond as a couple.

4. Offer Information on Addiction Treatment for Couples

When it comes to finding a rehab program for couples, the process can be a bit more complicated than a standard addiction treatment program. It’s important to take the time to conduct thorough research and compile a list of programs that meet your specific needs. This list should include programs that are available in your area, as well as those that accept your insurance coverage.

It’s also a good idea to consider factors such as the level of care provided, the types of therapy offered, and the overall success rates of each program.

By taking these steps, you can ensure that you’re selecting a couples rehab program that will provide you and your partner with the best possible chance of recovery and long-term success.

Benefits of Addiction Treatment for Couples

Addiction treatment for couples can help both partners with their addiction and strengthen the overall bond and health of the relationship.

This type of treatment can work to help keep couples and families together.

Some of the benefits of substance abuse treatment for couples include:

  • Better relationship satisfaction: Couples who undergo addiction treatment together often experience increased relationship satisfaction, leading to a more stable and fulfilling partnership.
  • Enhanced family functioning: Couples addiction treatment can improve the romantic relationship and family dynamics, promoting healthier and happier family interactions.
  • Strengthened emotional bonds: Addiction treatment can help couples better understand each other’s emotions and needs, fostering a deeper connection and empathy within the relationship.
  • Reduced substance use: Evidence suggests that certain forms of couples addiction treatment are even more effective than individual counseling in reducing substance use.
  • Improved communication: Addiction treatment for couples can help improve communication skills, allowing partners to express themselves more effectively and honestly and fostering healthier relationships.
  • Enhanced trust: Couples addiction treatment works to rebuild the trust that may have been eroded due to substance abuse, creating a stronger foundation for the relationship.

Cost of Rehab Programs for Couples

Many couples who are struggling with addiction or other issues may hesitate to enroll in a rehabilitation program due to the potential expenses involved.

However, it’s important to know that various options can help reduce the costs of couples’ treatment and make it more affordable. From sliding-scale fees to insurance coverage and government assistance programs, there are many ways to access the care you need without breaking the bank.

By researching and reaching out to qualified professionals in your area, you can find the support and resources you need to overcome your challenges and build a healthier, happier life together.

Health Insurance Coverage

When seeking therapy treatment in a relationship, it’s important for each individual to have their own insurance plan. They may not need separate plans if they both have coverage together through an employer or private insurance.

There are options for those who may be eligible for Medicaid, including pregnant women, caregivers to children under 18, disabled individuals, and those with low income.

In an outpatient setting, one member of the couple’s insurance provider may cover the therapy sessions if attended together.

If insurance doesn’t cover therapy or neither member has insurance, there is usually a singular fee for the session rather than a fee per person.

Scholarships and Treatment Center Discounts

It’s important to mention that rehabilitation programs for couples are accessible and provide different payment choices like scholarships and federal grants.

To encourage couples to attend the program together, some places might offer a reduced cost compared to going individually.

Examine all the available choices and select a program that is suitable for both partners’ requirements and objectives.

Payment Plans at Couples Rehab Centers

Payment plans are another option that can make couple rehab treatment more affordable, though not all rehab programs offer this or other types of financial assistance.

Many rehab centers also charge what is called a sliding fee scale, meaning they charge fees based on each individual’s income level and what they can afford. Sliding scale payment plans are typically based on income.

Barriers to Addiction Treatment for Couples

Deciding to enter addiction treatment can be difficult when only one person is involved, but it could be even more challenging when a couple or family is involved.

Both partners must be willing to enter treatment and must also be open to the entire treatment process.

Some of the barriers that prevent couples from seeking addiction treatment include:

  • Financial limitations: Lack of insurance or concerns about the cost of treatment can be a significant barrier for couples seeking addiction treatment together.
  • Availability of couple-friendly treatment programs: There may be a lack of addiction treatment centers in their area that specifically cater to the needs of couples, making it difficult for them to find a suitable program.
  • Fear of separation: Couples may be reluctant to seek treatment together if they believe they will be separated during the process, mainly if one partner is more codependent than the other.
  • Relationship issues: If the relationship is already strained or unstable, couples may be hesitant to enter treatment together, fearing that addressing their addiction issues might exacerbate relationship problems.
  • Work and family responsibilities: Couples may struggle to balance their job and family obligations with the time commitment required for addiction treatment, especially if they have children.

Resources for Romantic Partners Seeking Addiction Treatment

Both couples and individuals have numerous resources available to them when it comes to navigating their relationship during a period of addiction.

Resources for couples seeking addiction treatment include:

The above resources are available nationally, but you likely have local resources available to you as well.

For additional information on local drug and alcohol abuse resources, contact your healthcare provider or your partner’s provider.

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Find Help for a Partner Who Is Battling Addiction

If you or your partner are facing addiction, joining forces to seek treatment could be a life-changing and gratifying experience. Facing addiction as a couple not only allows for mutual growth and recovery but also enables you to strengthen your connection while navigating the path to wellness together. Remember that you’re not alone in this quest; numerous resources are available to help you get started.

When you are ready to proceed, consider looking into findtreatment.gov to explore couples rehab programs nearby.

These programs provide a secure and supportive environment where you and your significant other can work on creating healthier personal and family relationships.

Kent S. Hoffman, D.O. is a founder of Addiction HelpReviewed by:Kent S. Hoffman, D.O.

Chief Medical Officer & Co-Founder

  • Fact-Checked
  • Editor

Kent S. Hoffman, D.O. has been an expert in addiction medicine for more than 15 years. In addition to managing a successful family medical practice, Dr. Hoffman is board certified in addiction medicine by the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine (AOAAM). Dr. Hoffman has successfully treated hundreds of patients battling addiction. Dr. Hoffman is the Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of AddictionHelp.com and ensures the website’s medical content and messaging quality.

Jessica Miller is the Content Manager of Addiction HelpWritten by:

Editorial Director

Jessica Miller is the Editorial Director of Addiction Help. Jessica graduated from the University of South Florida (USF) with an English degree and combines her writing expertise and passion for helping others to deliver reliable information to those impacted by addiction. Informed by her personal journey to recovery and support of loved ones in sobriety, Jessica's empathetic and authentic approach resonates deeply with the Addiction Help community.

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  2. Mitchell, T. (2020, August 20). A Profile of Single Americans. Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project. https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2020/08/20/a-profile-of-single-americans/
  3. SAMHSA. (n.d.). Risk and Protective Factors. https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/20190718-samhsa-risk-protective-factors.pdf
  4. Simmons, J., & McMahon, J. M. (2012). Barriers to Drug Treatment for IDU Couples: The Need For Couple-Based Approaches. Journal Of Addictive Diseases. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4204204/
  5. Warning Signs of Substance and Alcohol Use Disorder: Information for Family and Friends. Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program. (n.d.). https://www.ihs.gov/asap/familyfriends/warningsignsdrug/

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