Does your spouse abuse drugs or alcohol and you want to help? There are three important questions to consider, which can help both you and your spouse get the proper help:

  1. Is your spouse in denial of his addiction?

  2. Has your spouse acknowledgedor admitted that he thinks he might have a problem with addiction?

  3. Has your spouse asked for helpwith his addiction?


Probably the most important issue you face in getting help for your spouse is getting him or her to admit the problem. Denial is huge, and addicts tend to have all kinds of excuses to justify using, ignoring the actual root of their problems. When they use, they temporarily numb their sorrow and pain, and for a short time, they escape their own reality. When the effect of their drug wears off, they repeat the cycle, gradually losing the ability to live without it. Constantly feeding their addiction never addresses the underlying cause of their drug usage.


Once your spouse can understand or at least acknowledge that he or she has become dependent on addictive substances, then the door is open for your help. Move quickly because that door could close just as rapidly as it was opened. Let him or her know that you are on his side and you want to help.

You are not trained in addiction recovery, and though you want to help your spouse, your best option is to contact a professional who is trained in treating addiction. You may want to have already done your research and found out about addiction treatment facilities before talking to your spouse.

Drug and alcohol treatment facilities are expensive, though many times insurance companies will cover some or most of the cost. Contact your health insurance company and find out about your coverage. They may already have a list of facilities in your area that are covered under your policy. You can also find a list of addiction treatment facilities and programs in your local area by researching online or looking in a telephone book.

There are other organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous that offer free recovery group meetings, as well as family support groups. Alcoholics Anonymous work with all types of addictions as well Alcoholics.

Addiction's hideous influence isn't exclusive to the addict. Addiction affects the entire family and more. Be sure to research and inquire about family support groups for yourself and others affected by your spouse's addiction. Alcoholics Anonymous have Al-Anon groups, which were originally designed for the support of the spouses of Alcoholics who were attending the AA meetings. It has since evolved to be a wonderful group designed for the support and healing of spouses and families of addicts.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also has 12 step recovery and support program for addicts as well as for family support. These meeting focus on all types of addictions and there are group meetings, found all over the world and in different languages, for all addictions. They even have specific meetings that address and focus on pornography and eating disorders. You can find information about the LDS Family Services Addiction Recovery Programmeetings by going to http


Asking for help

When your spouse finally admits that his or her addiction has taken over his or her life and realizes help is needed, be sure to let him or her know how proud you are for the courage it took to admit this to you. Let your spouse know how important he or she is to you and your family, and express how grateful you are that your spouse would acknowledge the need for help.

When dialogue is open, do your best to not accuse or say things that would put him or her on the defensive. Let your spouse know that you love him or her and you have observed things about his or her behavior that concern you. Do your best to keep the tone of your voice soft, non-judgmental and supportive so your spouse will be receptive and listen to you. Let him or her know that you will be there for support as his or her health and well-being is of the utmost importance to both you and your family.

Many spouses have the mistaken impression they have the tools and ability to cure their spouse's addiction. Addiction is bigger than both the addict and spouse. It can engulf both in unhealthy, codependent behaviors that compound the problems they are already having. Seek professional help and don't let yourself get drawn into believing that if you love and pray hard enough, and you have more patience then even Job, the problem of addiction will just fade off into the sunset. It won't! Not to say that your love and patience isn't an important part of recovery, but let the professionals do their job they have been trained for while you do yours in the supportive role.

There is hope in healing, and you can break the bands that bind you both. Your lives can be changed from the devastating effects of addiction. Take the first steps toward recovery and find joy and peace in life once more.

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