As a husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend, you know your spouse better than anyone else, and if they have a drug problem, you probably at least suspect that something is going on. Addicts can try to hide their habits, but within the home it is hard to keep these behaviors a secret forever. Whether through intuition or concrete signs of drug use, you are going to find out sooner or later, and when that time comes, a drug intervention may be the only way to get your spouse to see the necessity of rehab.
A few of the more noticeable signs of a drug habit include:
- Unusual hours, especially late nights
- Sudden loss of weight without diet or exercise
- A sudden change in your spouse’s overall attitude
- Secretive activities
- Frequent social outings to which you are not invited
- Moodiness, nervousness, or irritability
- An excessive need for his or her own space
- Chronic lying
- An unexplained shortage of money
- A rapid decline in personal care or hygiene
If one or two of these signs appear, they could easily be attributed to other causes such as work stress or undiagnosed illness. But if you notice three or four or more of them occuring simultaneously, you might want to look a little more closely at your partner’s activities and consider whether a drug intervention is called for.
If your spouse is addicted to drugs, it is also important to look at your own activities. Obviously, you are not to blame for your partner’s addiction, but you may unwittingly be engaging in enabling patterns. Over the months and years of a relationship, it can be easy to fall into these patterns without even realizing it. For example, if you are in the habit of leaving your spouse alone during the hours when he or she uses drugs, or if you regularly fill in for your spouse when they are incapable of fulfilling their responsibilities, this qualifies as enabling. These patterns can be hard to change, but must happen.
Meanwhile, you may feel that this problem is too big for you to deal with on your own, or perhaps you are worried about how your spouse will respond when confronted about the addiction. In this case, you might want to get in touch with a few other close family members to talk about a drug intervention.
A drug intervention may seem extreme, but it is appropriate if your spouse is likely to deny the addiction. The goal of an intervention is to show the addict that the habit has gotten out of control and has begun to negatively affect others. This can be a difficult thing to say without support, so work with others, and you may want to bring in a professional interventionist to guide you through the process.