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  • Olivia Sanders
    Olivia Sanders

    How do I deal with my partner's addiction to drugs or alcohol?

    When a loved one is struggling with addiction, the effects can be far-reaching. From financial struggles and family breakdowns to physical and mental health issues, addiction can have devastating implications for everyone involved. If you are trying to support your partner as they battle their way through addiction, it is important to think about managing both the practical and emotional effects of this illness.

    The psychological effects for those close to an addict can often be overlooked. We think about the cravings and struggles that come along with drug and alcohol dependence, but not always the effect it can have on everyone around them. From resentment, anger and blame to guilt, deep sadness and grief, those close to someone abusing addictive substances bear a heavy burden.

    That being said, even the most addicted individual has the right to be supported and helped if they choose to pursue sobriety. It’s important to remember that although full recovery and sobriety may not be possible, managing a drug or alcohol problem can drastically improve someone’s quality of life and save relationships.

    If your partner is struggling with addiction, it’s important to understand that any progress they make is a step in the right direction. Although change may happen slowly, it’s essential to remain patient. Try to commit to supporting your partner in whatever ways you can – but also understand that you can’t do any of the hard work for them. Addiction is a disease, and a chronic one at that; ultimately, the responsible party must be the one to take action.

    Above all, practice self-care. When faced with a situation like this, it’s easy to feel alone and overwhelmed. Find a safe space to express your emotions and be honest about your needs. Joining a support group for family and friends of those battling addiction can provide a great opportunity for connection, expression and emotional rejuvenation.

    If you’re feeling particularly stuck in certain emotional experiences or patterns of behavior, considering talking to a counselor or therapist. Professionals who specialize in addiction can offer great insight into how to manage practical aspects, such as how to support your partner without enabling them or their habit. They can also help you manage your own mental and physical health.

    Finally, like in any relationship, it’s essential to have honest dialogue and know when to set boundaries. If you have already expressed your concerns and offered support, but something is still not working, it’s okay to take a step back and manage your own wellbeing first.

    Dealing with an addiction to drugs or alcohol presents a host of challenges to an individual and their loved ones. As long as you put your own health first and equip yourself with the right tools, it’s possible to better manage the demands of addiction – both practically and emotionally.

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