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Divorce and Addiction

Divorce and AddictionSubstance abuse and divorce go hand in hand, because each problem affects the other: addiction can contribute to divorce, and divorce can directly contribute to addiction. This cycle is difficult to break, but it is possible with professional help.

Addiction in Marriage

Being married to an addict can be difficult and unstable. The relationship is based on mistrust, betrayal and pain for both members. Married drug addicts may be so governed by their need for drugs or alcohol that they lie or steal to feed the addiction. Another sign of addiction is abandonment of home and work responsibilities, which can cause unnecessary stress for the spouse without an addiction.

Many spouses of drug addicts are codependent. According to Codependent No More, codependency involves preoccupation with the needs of others and placing a lower priority on one’s own needs. In other words, codependents in marriage often sacrifice their happiness for their spouse’s. They then feel unappreciated for the work they do, which creates a stressful environment that can easily end in divorce.

Early treatment for addiction can prevent marital problems that may end in divorce. Many treatment approaches can help such families, such as individual and couple’s therapy. Furthermore, many people benefit from residential treatment programs. Everyone responds differently to treatment types, but by choosing a treatment option suited to your needs addiction recovery is more likely.

Addiction after Divorce

Divorce is an emotionally devastating experience, and many people become clinically depressed afterwards. Divorce can be even more painful for a drug addict, because she may believe that her addiction caused the split. This blame intensifies grief, which can feel unbearable, which promotes drug abuse. As addicts who do not know how to cope with grief, they may turn to drugs or alcohol to avoid their feelings. It may be difficult for others to recognize the worsening addiction, especially if the addict becomes withdrawn from social activities.

Financial stress may also affect addiction following divorce. According to the 2009 US Census Bureau’s Household Economic Studies, approximately 23 percent of women and 15 percent of men who divorced in the past year received public financial assistance. Similarly, 22 percent of women and 11 percent of men who divorced in the past year were living below the poverty line. Financial stress can be a huge burden, and many people in these situations self-medicate their stress with drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, it takes a small amount of time for self-medication to turn into addiction.

Help for Addiction and Divorce

Recovery can be difficult for divorced drug addicts, but it is possible if people utilize available resources. In that vein, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you have about addiction treatment that also addresses divorce.

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