Substance use and treatment are often seen as solitary pursuits. Even when both partners are using, recovery is often sought on an individual level. The decision to enter detox together can strengthen your relationship, but there may be some drawbacks. You might even have to be prepared for changed feelings after recovery, but the important part is becoming as healthy as possible so you can have healthy relationships.
What Kind of Couples Benefit From Couples Recovery?
This is not a viable option for casual partners who aren’t in a committed relationship. You needn’t have been together for years to benefit, but you should both be dedicated to working on your relationship and on getting clean. Married couples, especially if they have children together, and domestic partners normally have the best odds of success with a united approach to recovery.
How Does Couples Drug Detox Differ From Individual Rehab?
The steps for recovery are the same whether you’re going through it alone or together. There will be a detox period, a longer therapeutic phase where you’ll identify and learn to cope with your issues, and an ongoing period of after care. Detox will be done individually as no two people have the same level of addiction or medical needs. This period can last from three days to a couple of weeks, depending on the type of substance and severity or duration of use.
The second phase of addiction treatment involves therapy, but it may vary by the facility. Some inpatient drug treatment centers allow couples to share quarters, while others require separate sleeping areas. The most common time-fame for this phase of treatment is 30 days, but some facilities offer 60, 90, or 120-day rehab. The length of your stay will depend on the results of your assessment during intake.
Although there hasn’t been much research in this area, experts believe that separate living quarters can bring couples closer together after treatment and offer better outcomes. During this part of rehab, you’ll undergo private counseling sessions and group therapy. A comprehensive approach that provides group, individual, and 2-on-1 sessions allows both partners to work on individual issues and address problems in their relationship. This is essential your future as a couple and your continued sobriety.
Aftercare is provided on an outpatient basis, and it can be there for as long as you need continued medical intervention or counseling. Couples will learn how to maintain sobriety in the face of problems that confront all committed partners while offering support to each other to stay clean. You’ll also explore how to put coping skills and tools you’ve learned in therapy to use in the real world.
What Should You Look for in a Treatment Center if You Want to Get Clean Together?
Once you’ve committed to drug or alcohol rehab, the second decision you’ll face is whether to go through inpatient treatment or intensive outpatient treatment (IOP). The goal of rehab is to remove as many stressors from your life as possible so you can focus on recovery. If your drug or alcohol use is severe or long-term, or you need medically supervised detox, an inpatient program might work best during the initial stage. Work obligations or children might be a factor in your decision to elect inpatient or outpatient care.
Barriers to successful recovery can be compounded when you’re going through the process with someone you have an intimate relationship with. You may not be making progress at the same rate, there may be underlying mental health problems, or resentments may develop. It’s essential to have a safe space where you can feel free to talk about your issues without affecting your own or your partner’s recovery. Therefore, different group sessions should be available at the facility, and partners should be able to choose separate sponsors. The program you select should also have supportive counselors on staff who specialize in helping couples who are in treatment.
When Couples Treatment Isn’t An Option
Your main priority during rehab should be to recovery, whether together or individually. In order for treatment to work, both partners have to be committed to getting clean. There are dynamics that make entering treatment together an untenable idea.
History of physical or emotional abuse: Couples recovery includes counseling to work out your issues separately and as a unit. However, when physical abuse or aggressive behavior are added to the mix, it can inhibit progress toward recovery. Whether the abuse started before the addiction or as a result of the addiction, these issues should be addressed separately.
Normally, an individual with aggression issues would deal with this during the course of addiction treatment as part of the process. But, when it’s a component of the overall dynamic of a couple wanting to get clean together, a different approach is necessary. The best way to handle this is for the abusive partner to seek treatment for anger management or abusive behavior before considering reahb as a couple.
One partner isn’t committed to recovery: Overcoming addiction is a very personal decision. In order for couples rehab to work, both partners have to be equally committed to treatment. You can’t get clean in an environment where one person is still using or vulnerable to relapse because they weren’t ready or weren’t fully engaged in the process.
There is an unhealthy dynamic to the relationship: An uneven dynamic where one half of the partnership is too passive or too consumed by their partner and his or her recovery will not benefit either partner. In order for treatment to work, the initial concern must be with your own health and wellness. Only then can you approach long-term recovery as a unit.
The risk of relapse is slightly higher when both people in a relationship are dealing with addiction. Most therapists recommend undergoing individual treatment. However, finding the right facility for your situation can bring you closer together in sobriety.
When you’re ready to begin treatment, call 866-802-6848 to learn how. We’re there for you and your partner 24/7.