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What Are the Effects of Living With an Alcoholic Spouse?

Dealing with an alcoholic spouse can be emotionally complex and challenging. Knowing what to expect in your day-to-day life can be difficult.

Keep reading to discuss the effects of living with an alcoholic spouse and learn how to get help for loved ones!

What is Alcohol Use Disorder?

Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is a chronic brain disease characterized by compulsive drinking and the inability to control alcohol intake.

AUD affects millions worldwide and can have devastating consequences for the individual and their loved ones.

What are Common Warning Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder?

It’s essential to recognize warning signs of AUD in a spouse. Some of the critical signs to look out for include:

  • Binge drinking
  • Failed attempts to cut down or stop drinking
  • Giving up important activities to drink
  • Continuing to drink despite negative consequences in relationships, work, or health
  • Developing tolerance to alcohol
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when alcohol is not consumed

Knowing these warning signs can help identify and seek support for a loved one struggling with AUD.

What are Common Effects of Living with an Alcoholic Spouse?

AUD can significantly affect a family’s functioning.

Relationships with intimate partners, children, and other family members may suffer because of alcohol-related issues.

Families with an alcoholic partner are likelier to experience financial stress, conflict, and domestic violence than families without a relative with AUD.

Impact on Children

Living with an alcoholic partner can have profound and long-lasting effects on children.

Children of individuals with AUD have a higher risk of emotional, behavioral, and cognitive issues.

These children may struggle with anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. They are also at a higher risk of facing neglect or abuse.

Mental Illness and Physical Challenges

Living with an alcoholic partner can impact the physical and emotional well-being of the partner.

They may experience anxiety, depression, social isolation, and low self-esteem.

They may also be at a higher risk of physical health problems like liver disease, heart disease, and stroke.

What are Treatment Options for Alcohol Abuse?

If you or your partner are struggling with AUD, seeking professional help is essential.

Many treatment options are available for people with AUD, including medication-assisted treatment and behavioral therapies.

These treatments can help individuals recover from AUD, improve their mental and physical health, and rebuild relationships with loved ones.

Medical Detox

If you or your spouse depends on alcohol, medical detox can help the body get rid of alcohol safely.

During this process, healthcare providers will manage withdrawal symptoms to ensure the transition from active drinking to sobriety is safe and comfortable.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) combines medications with therapy and counseling to help people with AUD manage their symptoms and cravings.

Commonly used medications include naltrexone, acamprosate, disulfiram, and topiramate.

Behavioral Therapies

Behavioral therapies help individuals recognize triggers for drinking and learn strategies to prevent relapse.

Examples of behavioral therapies include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing (MI), and contingency management (CM).

Support Groups

Support groups can provide a safe, nonjudgmental environment for individuals with AUD to share their experiences, support one another, and receive feedback from peers.

Common support groups include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and SMART Recovery.

Holistic Therapies

Holistic therapies treat the whole person—mind, body, and spirit—and can be used as an adjunct to more traditional forms of treatment.

Examples of holistic therapies include yoga, meditation, art therapy, acupuncture, and equine therapy.

Family and Group Therapy

Family and group therapy can help individuals with AUD address underlying issues contributing to their drinking and manage conflicts between family members.

Mental health professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists, or social workers often facilitate these sessions.

What Happens After Addiction Treatment?

Returning to your family and friends can be difficult following an addiction treatment program.

It’s essential to have a recovery plan in place to maintain sobriety, such as attending ongoing support group meetings or individual therapy sessions or staying in a sober living home.

Have a Strong Support System

Having family members and loved ones participate in your recovery process can provide invaluable emotional support.

Make New Friends

You should establish new relationships with people with similar interests and goals.

Practice Healthy Skills

Practicing healthy coping skills is essential, such as participating in recreational activities, eating well, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep.

Avoid Triggers

Avoiding high-risk situations or triggers that can lead you to relapse is essential for maintaining sobriety.

Finally, remember that addiction recovery is a lifelong journey—relapses may occur, and that’s okay. You are never alone in your addiction journey, and help is always available.

Silicon Beach Treatment Center Supports Those Living with an Alcoholic Spouse

Living with an alcoholic loved one can be a challenging experience.

The Silicon Beach Treatment Center provides comprehensive support for individuals and couples in recovery from alcohol or substance abuse.

From individual counseling to family therapy, the center’s experienced counselors provide a safe space for healing and understanding.

Contact us to learn how we can help you and your family navigate this challenging journey.

We are dedicated to restoring health, hope, and dignity for those in recovery from alcohol or substance abuse.

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