Tag Archives: loved ones

Drug Addiction and Marriage

There are few things that can harm a marriage as thoroughly as a drug addiction. Certainly, many people who struggle with substance use manage to save their relationships and sometimes even grow stronger through their recovery. But many marriages do not survive the damage addiction inflicts. Consider a few ways that an untreated drug addiction cuts away at the very heart of a solid marriage.

Drug Addiction Destroys Trust

Woman contemplating divorceWhen you constantly say one thing and then do another, trust can disappear quickly. Trust is the foundation of a marriage. Without it, a relationship will eventually fail. When a person can’t count on their spouse anymore, they start to withdraw from the relationship and go into self-protection mode. Obviously, this doesn’t do good things for a marriage.

Drug addiction does a lot to sabotage trust in a relationship. Intoxication can lead to many poor decisions including extra-marital affairs, mismanagement of money, and risky behaviors such as driving under the influence. Intoxication makes effective communication impossible. Continued damage occurs when an addicted person chooses drug-related activities over family obligations.

Trust is much harder to keep once it’s been damaged like this. However, treatment can make a difference and possibly save relationships that have been devastated by substance use.

Drug Use and Drug Abuse Make Marriage Imbalanced

Addiction causes a person to become very self-focused and self-serving. Everything is about them getting their drug fix or drink while avoiding reality. Marriage is supposed to be about two people supporting and leaning on each other. When one gets down, the other lifts them up. They go through the ups and downs together with each other in mind.

This is not the case when someone has an active drug addiction. The non-addicted spouse often feels neglected in the marriage. If there are children in the family, the sober spouse may also feel like they are a single parent. Nothing is balanced as the addicted spousepursues self-serving behavior. Unless something changes, all the promises to do better become lip-service. A spouse can really feel abandoned because of this.

Both Partners Can Be Hurt

As you might expect, someone with a drug addiction can really hurt their spouse’s feelings and sense of respect. Words can absolutely hurt, especially when they come from someone you’ve pledged your life to.

The other risk is real physical harm coming to one or both people in the marriage. A person who is abusing drugs can become violent.Violence and violent tendencies may vary due to the addicted spouse’s drug of choice,his or her personality, and his or her intoxication levels. If the substance-using spouse blacks out and becomes aggressive, abuse or injury may occur to the spouse or family. The risk of harm increases if children are in the home. The unpredictable nature of a drug addict puts everyone at risk.

Drug Rehab Can Help Families

Not every marriage that has been impacted by substance use can be saved. However, many relationships can improve when the addicted spouse goes through drug rehab and sticks with sobriety. Even if a marriage ends, drug rehab can help both parents cooperate better for the sake of their children. Drug rehab can also help make the future brighter for each spouse, whether the relationship survives or not. Wellness and recovery simply offer a way for people to experience better outcomes in general.

Drug rehab programs can connect spouses with support groups. Many rehab centers also encourage spouse participation during family treatment sessions. Marriage is a two-way street and addiction does a lot to block the whole road. With a good drug rehab program, recovery and marriage can move forward together.

Drug Addiction: “You Don’t Understand Me”

Addiction is influenced by your specific body, biology and brain chemistry. It is a result of your past experiences and your current environment. It reflects your personality and that of the people around you. It is the accumulation of an infinite number of factors that can never be duplicated or replicated.

Knowing this, how could anyone ever understand you? How could they understand the and why of your addiction? How could they help? They can, because although addiction is a unique and individual experience, it is also a universal and shared one.

The Guardian[1] shares, “One in seven Americans will experience a problem with alcohol or other drug misuse in their lifetimes, and some 20 million have current substance use disorders.”

No one faces your specific circumstances, but many can and do understand. As with any disease, there are treatment paths and outlines. As with any disease, addiction’s expression and your experience of it are influenced by past and present factors. Treatment outlines adjust to fit your unique circumstances. Professionals and programs recognize and provide for your personal recovery needs.

Understanding Addiction on a Biological Level

Brain retro xrayAddiction is a biological disease. As the American Society of Addiction Medicine[2] (ASAM) explains, “Genetic factors account for about half of the likelihood that an individual will develop addiction.” The body and brain you are born with shape your future drug use trajectory. This doesn’t mean addiction is inevitable or inescapable. It means you need to be aware of your genetic risk and how it impacts your thoughts, behaviors, and recovery. Treatment professionals understand addiction on a biological level. They help you explore how your genes and your physical health have interacted with your drug use. They understand how some factors leading to addiction were beyond your control. Michael’s House helps you develop coping mechanisms for managing your health. We provide the experienced medical support that is a necessary part of full understanding and recovery.

Understanding Addiction on a Social Level

Addiction is a social disease. Friends, family, peers and community members have influenced and continue to influence your drug use. A lack thereof can be just as detrimental. You may think no one understands your addiction, but your addiction may be the result not understanding others.

The Huffington Post[3] explains, “Human beings have a deep need to bond and form connections. It’s how we get our satisfaction. If we can’t connect with each other, we will connect with anything we can find — the whirr of a roulette wheel or the prick of a syringe…A heroin addict has bonded with heroin because she couldn’t bond as fully with anything else.”

Before you retreat further into addiction with the excuse that no one understands, consider how reaching out could lead to discovering much-needed social support. Recovering from addiction involves more than knowing how people influenced your drug use. It involves knowing how they can help you heal. You can and will find others in recovery who understand you. Open up to others. Share your story and listen to theirs. No one perfectly fits the stereotypical “addict” mold. You may not find understanding from everyone, but you will find understanding from someone. You will find people who have had similar life experiences, face similar challenges, and feel and think similarly about certain issues or concerns. Doing so begins with knowing that others understand you, and you can understand them. Make yourself open to the possibility of friendship and support.

Supportive friendsRecovery involves finding a community of like-minded, supportive peers. Negate social risk factors by finding the people who understand your desire for a better, healthier life. ASAM explains, “As in other health conditions, self-management, with mutual support, is very important in recovery from addiction. Peer support such as that found in various ‘self-help’ activities is beneficial in optimizing health status and functional outcomes in recovery. Recovery from addiction is best achieved through a combination of self-management, mutual support, and professional care provided by trained and certified professionals.” Michael’s House teaches self-management skills. We teach you how to find personal strength and the strength to find additional help when you need it. We connect you to professionals who understand addiction and recovery. We connect you to peers who may just become lifelong, sober friends.

How Can Treatment Help Me, Specifically?

You may think you don’t need treatment. You may think other patients won’t have a similar story to yours. You may think professionals can’t help you with your personal challenges. None of this is true. No matter how “mild” your substance abuse or addiction seems, treatment helps. No matter how alone you feel, understanding exists. Call Michael’s House and speak with our caring, compassionate staff. We want to get to know and understand you. We can create a personalized treatment path that reflects your unique situation and recovery needs.


[1] https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/18/us-drug-alcohol-addiction-statistics-treatment-reform. “US addiction statistics are dire. Small changes won’t solve the problem.” The Guardian. 18 Nov 2016. Web. 23 Mar 2017.

[2] http://www.asam.org/quality-practice/definition-of-addiction/. “Definition of Addiction.” American Society of Addiction Medicine. 19 Apr 2011. Web. 23 Mar 2017.

[3] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/the-real-cause-of-addicti_b_6506936.html. “The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think.” Huffington Post. 25 Jan 2016. Web. 24 Mar 2017.

Your Drug Addiction – Who Does It Hurt?

You’ve been using drugs or alcohol for a while now. You recognize that you use in unhealthy ways or amounts, but you’re not really sure it’s a problem. You’re pretty sure you’ve managed to hide your use from your boss, your family, or your friends. You still feel okay, even if some aspects of life may seem a little out of control.

Unfortunately no matter how much you deny the impact of substance use on yourself and your loved ones, addiction does hurt. You know this is the truth at the same time your addiction argues otherwise. Addiction has changed your life. It changes the lives of people around you.

Drug Addiction Hurts You

Woman in denial with hand over faceYou have denied, minimized, ignored, or excused it. However, the truth is that addiction hurts you. It changes how you feel and how you think. You’ve given up things that once brought you joy. You wake up feeling sick or sore. You don’t feel like the same person you once were. This sometimes seems okay, especially if you began using drugs or alcohol because you didn’t feel good in the first place. However no matter what mental or physical health challenges you face, you have to recognize that substance use hasn’t made them better. One or more aspects of your life has suffered.

The American Psychiatric Association explains, “Substance use disorders are associated with impairments in psychological development and social adjustment, family and social relations, school and work performance, financial status, health, and personal independence (e.g., as a result of legal charges associated with substance use, suspension of the individual’s driver’s license after being convicted of driving under the influence of an intoxicating substance).”

You have been hurt by addiction. Drugs or alcohol may let you push aside concerns for short periods of time, but these physical, mental, social, or emotional concerns return. They return and hurt even more than before. Recovery brings real healing and real relief.

Drug Addiction Hurts Your Family

You feel like you put on a good show around your family. You smile when you’re supposed to. You hide the extent of your drug or alcohol use and stay away when you are high. You think you’ve managed to protect those you love the most. However, anything one family member does can hurt the others.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration[1] shares, “A family is a system, and in any system each part is related to all other parts. Consequently, a change in any part of the system will bring about changes in all other parts.”

Addiction impacts everyone in the family even if you are the only one it has directly changed. Positive change can have a similar cascading effect. Getting clean and sober means healing the hurt you have unintentionally caused those who love you most.

Drug Addiction Hurts The Community

Police officer with patrol carYou don’t have to personally know someone for your addiction to impact their life. On a large scale, addiction touches every single life with no exception. The Surgeon General shares, “Alcohol misuse, illicit drug use, misuse of medications, and substance use disorders are estimated to cost the United States more than $400 billion in lost workplace productivity (in part, due to premature mortality), health care expenses, law enforcement, and other criminal justice costs (e.g., drug-related crimes), and losses from motor vehicle crashes.”

You don’t even have to look at the social impact of addiction to see how it changes lives. On just a purely financial level, every taxpayer is hurt by substance abuse. Coworkers face greater workloads on the job as they take up your slack. You risk the lives of strangers through vehicle or other accidents. You support crime and the cost of fighting that crime. You hurt the community by removing your contributions to it. Addiction is not an individual problem. It hurts every life. Recovery goes a long way towards healing that hurt. It lets you give back to the world rather than take from it.[2]

Drug Addiction Hurts

Drug addiction hurts you. It hurts the people you love and the people you haven’t yet had a chance to meet. Continued drug use puts your life, your family, and your community at risk. Begin the healing process to end the hurt and harm. Feel better and protect your family. Call Michael’s House at 760-548-4032 and learn about your opportunities for a bigger, better life.


[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64269/. Substance Abuse Treatment and Family Therapy. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 2004. Web. 22 Mar 2017.

[2] https://addiction.surgeongeneral.gov/surgeon-generals-report.pdf. Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Nov 2016. Web. 22 Mar 2017.

Suicide A Real Risk With Drug Addiction

Depression and drug use, suicide and addiction. These issues are closely related. They are dark consequences of one another and challenge efforts to rediscover health and joy in life. However a challenge is not a permanent block. Suicide is a real risk, but recovery is also a real possibility.

Is Suicide Common?

Woman contemplating suicideSuicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration[1] (SAMHSA) shares, “Nearly 40,000 people in the United States die from suicide annually, or 1 person every 13 minutes…More people die by suicide than from automobile accidents.” SAMHSA explains that nearly 25 times more people than this attempt suicide each year. This makes for a staggering number of unhappy or desperate individuals.

Help and hope are available, but people have to speak up and reach out to take advantage of available resources. This can be incredibly difficult to do when struggling with depressive or suicidal thoughts. Suicide is a real risk for any person facing mental health concerns or life challenges. Professional treatment and personal support can prevent suicide. They can restore joy and quality of life. Addiction rehab, therapy, and mental health treatment reduce the risk of suicide.

Is Drug Use Dangerous?

Drug use puts lives at risk in many ways. The Surgeon General[2] explains that substance use can result in the following:

  • Motor vehicle crashes
  • Intimate partner and sexual violence
  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Suicide attempts and fatalities
  • Overdose deaths
  • Various forms of cancer
  • Heart and liver diseases
  • HIV/AIDS

Drug use has serious effects. Some of these are fatal or have a long-term impact on health. Suicide is one of many real and potential consequences of addiction. Luckily consequences can be avoided through recovery. The earlier someone gets or seeks treatment, the safer he or she remains. Many consequences can be avoided, and others can be reversed. Mental and physical healing comes through comprehensive, professional attention.

Is Suicide Related to Drug Use?

Suicide and addiction are related because substance use and mental health are related. Addiction is considered a mental health issue. It also frequently overlaps with other mental health concerns. The National Institute on Drug Abuse[3] shares, “Persons diagnosed with mood or anxiety disorders are about twice as likely to suffer also from a drug use disorder (abuse or dependence)…Similarly, persons diagnosed with drug disorders are roughly twice as likely to suffer also from mood and anxiety disorders.”

Anyone can feel overwhelmed, depressed and suicidal. The risk of these thoughts and related actions increases with drug use. If these feelings already exist, individuals may attempt to self-medicate or escape through drug use. This ultimately worsens feelings of depression and increases suicide risk, but it can seem like an appealing or quick solution when thoughts or life seem overwhelming.

Suicide risk is tied to addiction and mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and more. Since each increases the risk of suicide on its own, when issues occur simultaneously, suicide risk multiplies. SAMHSA shares, “The most critical risk factors for suicide are prior suicide attempts, mood disorders (such as depression), alcohol and drug use, and access to lethal means. In 2008, alcohol was a factor in approximately one-third of suicides reported in 16 states…In 2011, there was a 51% increase in drug-related suicide attempt visits to hospital emergency departments.” Drug addiction makes suicide a real risk. It also provides means and methods for suicide attempts or accidents. Treatment restricts access to drugs. It gives individuals the support and tools they need to change thought patterns and behaviors. Programs like those at Michael’s House address any and all co-occurring mental and physical health concerns. This ensures patients leave happy, healthy, and ready to pursue and enjoy a drug-free life. If you’d like to speak to someone about seeking treatment for addiction and mental health concerns, give us a call at 760-548-4032.


[1] https://www.samhsa.gov/suicide-prevention. “Suicide Prevention.” Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 29 Oct 2015. Web. 19 Mar 2017.

[2] https://addiction.surgeongeneral.gov/surgeon-generals-report.pdf. The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. Surgeongeneral.gov. Nov 2016. Web. 19 Mar 2017.

[3] https://www.drugabuse.gov/sites/default/files/rrcomorbidity.pdf. “Comorbidity: Addiction and Other Mental Illnesses.” National Institute on Drug Abuse. Sep 2010. Web. 19 Mar 2017.