Substance abuse, drinking problems, and addiction are family diseases, meaning that they impact more than just the user. Addiction affects more than 10% of Americans, making it somewhat common for addiction and relationships to existing side-by-side. When you struggle with a substance abuse problem, you are more likely to experience domestic violence, conflict, and instability. During addiction, it is common to divert the majority of your finances to acquiring drugs and alcohol, which can cause significant debt and unpaid bills.
These problems make addiction and relationships especially unstable. Substance abuse disorders are mental health disorders that are chronic and require life-long management and treatment, such as relationship therapy. Complex changes to your brain chemistry and pleasure and reward center can make it difficult to stop using without help. You can deal with intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms if you immediately stop using, which can make you vulnerable to relapsing.
Addiction and Relationships
Addiction is a progressive disease that worsens over time and causes you to compulsively abuse substances despite negative consequences or having a strong desire to quit. There is no known cause of addiction and anyone, regardless of age, race, background or income, can develop a substance abuse disorder. Drugs and alcohol are neurotransmitter inhibitors, causing your brain to release more neurotransmitters than normal. This rush of neurotransmitters floods your brain and body with pleasurable neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which is what causes the positive feelings associated with intoxication.
Over time, your brain’s pleasure and reward center changes and begins to reward drug use by releasing neurotransmitters when you use. Once the effects wear off, you are suddenly depleted of neurotransmitters until you use again. The lack of neurotransmitters can cause depressed moods and intense cravings. Your brain also begins to associate things that remind you of your substance of choice with pleasure. These are triggers, which can be people, places or things.
Addiction and relationships are a dangerous combination. Addiction causes increased conflicts, making relationships especially tense when a partner is dealing with an addiction. It can also worsen your relationships with your children, parents and other family members. Substance abuse disorders are also an increasingly common reason for divorce and custody disputes.
Signs and symptoms of addiction include:
- Inability to stop or control your drug or alcohol use
- Arguing with friends and family members about your drug or alcohol use
- Denying that you have a problem with drugs or alcohol
- Isolating from others in order to abuse drugs or alcohol
- Concealing your drug and alcohol use
- Experiencing legal or employment problems because of your drug or alcohol use
Since addiction is a chronic, incurable condition, treatment is oftentimes necessary to ensure you fully recover. When you are dealings with addiction and relationships that are suffering because of your substance abuse, treatment centers offer family and marital counseling. Marital and family counseling can help you rebuild trust with partners and loved ones and provide a way to construct healthy boundaries.
Treatment is done in either an inpatient treatment or outpatient treatment environment. Medically supervised detox services are usually best done in an inpatient setting, which decreases your risk of experiencing withdrawal complications. Detox can alleviate intense withdrawal symptoms, making it easier to continue recovering.
Inpatient and outpatient programs offer both evidence-based and holistic treatments. Many programs also provide medication assisted treatment, which can improve your treatment outcomes and strengthen your recovery.
Finding Help Today
Addiction and relationships can cause significant interpersonal conflict. When you struggle with a substance abuse problem, it affects your loved ones and family members. Treatment can help you regain control over your life and rebuild your relationships. Pillars Recovery, which offers relationship therapy and substance abuse treatment, knows what it takes to recover. Call us today at 866.782.0247 to learn more about our programs.