0203 955 7700

Help For My Alcoholic Husband

Quick Access

Addiction rarely only affects the person with the addiction – it can impact friends and family members too – and of course, can take its toll on any marriage.

If you think your husband may be addicted to drugs or alcohol, you may be left wondering what your options are, and how you can help him.

Spousal addiction can be overwhelming, and very difficult to deal with. However, at Help4Addiction, we understand the difficulties that people can face with addiction, and we can help.

If you’re looking for help for your alcoholic husband, we’re here to help. At Help4Addiction, we can ensure your husband gets the support he needs to overcome his addiction for good.

Personalised Support For Your Recovery

We provide personalised support and resources for addiction recovery. Take the first step towards a brighter future today.

Signs Your Husband Has An Alcohol Addiction

First of all, it’s important that you can recognise the signs of substance abuse or alcohol abuse.

Drug and alcohol use isn’t always obvious, especially in the early stages of addiction. If your partner is a ‘functioning alcoholic’ or functional drug user, the signs may not be evident at first.

Here are some signs that your partner’s drinking has gotten out of hand:

Declining Physical Health

Substance use can impact a person’s physical and mental health. If your husband has a substance use disorder, you may notice changes in his physical health.

These changes may vary depending on the substance – for example, excessive alcohol consumption is linked to ‘drinkers nose’, cancer, organ failure and many more. Alcohol use is linked to over 60 health issues.

Mental Health Issues

Another thing to look out for is personality changes. Has your husband’s mental health changed recently? Addiction can not only cause mental health issues but worsen existing mental health disorders.

Substance abuse can cause changes in the brain that are disrupted in mental disorders such as anxiety, mood disorders, impulse-control disorders and schizophrenia.

Increased Alcohol Tolerance

A key sign that your husband has developed an alcohol dependence is having an increased tolerance.

The more you abuse alcohol over time, the more your body gets used to the alcohol intake – your body may develop a higher tolerance to alcohol.

Over time, tolerance can turn into dependence. This means that your husband may need to drink alcohol simply to feel ‘normal’ or to function on a day-to-day basis.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

If your husband has developed a physical alcohol dependence, he will experience symptoms of withdrawal when he suddenly stops drinking or begins to consume fewer alcohol units than he is used to.

Withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person, and the severity of the symptoms can depend on a variety of factors such as addiction history and medical history.

Some common physical withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Tremors
  • Appetite changes
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Low mood
  • Mood swings


Severe alcohol withdrawal, although considered rare, can be life-threatening. Delirium tremens can include hallucinations. If you think your addicted spouse is experiencing delirium tremens, seek medical attention immediately.

How To Help Your Husband With An Addiction

If you are in a committed relationship, it’s only natural that you wish to help your addicted partner. However, your husband needs to want to change before he can begin his recovery journey.

If your partner is in denial that they’re struggling with alcoholism, any attempts at encouraging him to seek treatment will fall on deaf ears. Here are some ways that you can help your alcoholic husband:

Create An Open Environment

First of all, it’s important to create an open environment for your alcoholic spouse to open up about their addiction.

Although it can be difficult to remain calm, especially if your partner is currently intoxicated – so avoid lashing out or losing your temper. It may be best to avoid speaking about the issue until they are sober.

As well as giving your spouse a chance to open up about their issues, you can use this opportunity to talk about the effect it is having on you and others. For example, is it impacting the lives of your children or your finances?

Addiction is a disease, and it can be difficult to not only admit you have a problem but seek treatment and overcome alcohol use disorder without help.

Consider Your Own Well-Being

There’s no denying that dealing with an alcoholic can be tough, so it’s important that you look out for your own emotional health too.

Substance abuse is linked to domestic violence/ intimate partner violence. 39% of violent incidents that occurred in 2019 were related to alcohol use.

If you are in an unsafe situation, whether it be physical violence or emotional violence, it’s important to speak up to a loved one – or if you’re in immediate danger, seek emergency help.

It’s also important to assess your own behaviour and your own substance use. When living with an alcoholic, whether it be a friend, family member or your husband, be sure to eliminate any potential triggers.

If you are also taking drugs or abusing alcohol, you’re not in a position to help your addicted husband. It can be helpful to stop drinking yourself if you want to help your addicted husband.

Be sure to take care of yourself. Find time to relieve stress, whether it be taking a relaxing bath, exercising, or meditating. If you want to help your addicted spouse, you must look after yourself too, and take care of your own needs.

Don’t Enable Substance Use

One of the most important things you can do to help your alcoholic partner is to avoid enabling their substance abuse. It may seem like the easiest option to turn a blind eye to their substance use, but it will only cause more damage in the long term.

Be sure to set firm boundaries regarding your husband’s drug use or alcohol consumption, and don’t provide drugs or alcohol to your husband.

Enabling your husband’s substance abuse ultimately shields them from the negative consequences of their addiction – preventing them from seeing the severity of the issue.

This can stop them from seeking the help they need, and they may refuse treatment. However, if they can see the consequences, they may be more inclined to seek treatment for their addiction.

Encourage Them To Seek Help

You can’t always help an alcoholic by yourself. Instead, you can encourage them to seek the addiction treatment they need, whether it be residential treatment, outpatient rehab, or peer support groups such as Al-Anon.

Whether your husband is addicted to drugs or alcohol, the treatment process remains pretty much the same. Addiction treatment begins with detoxification, and upon successfully detoxing from the substance, you may then receive addiction therapy. Therapy, whether it be couples therapy, CBT, or individual counselling, can be extremely beneficial when overcoming alcohol addiction, teaching effective coping strategies and relapse prevention techniques.

Upon leaving rehab, you can continue to receive support in the form of secondary treatment. This can ease the transition from rehab to your everyday life.

Finding The Right Addiction Treatment For Your Husband

Finding the right rehab clinic can be difficult – with so many treatment options out there, the process can be overwhelming. However, at Help4Addiction, we aim to make things easier for you by sourcing the right rehab for you.

We’ll listen to your story, needs, preferences and circumstances to determine not only the best treatment plan for you and your husband but the best clinic.

We have been helping people with substance use disorders get the treatment they deserve for years, and can help your husband overcome his substance addiction or substance abuse issues by finding the right alcohol addiction treatment.

Contact us today to discuss the addiction recovery process, and to get the ball rolling on your husband’s recovery journey.

About Author

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn is a leading industry addiction expert who runs the UK’s largest addiction advisory service and is regularly featured in the national press, radio and TV. He is the founder and CEO of a drug and alcohol rehab center called Help4addiction, which was founded in 2015. He has been clean himself since 2009 and has worked in the Addiction and Rehab Industry for over a decade. Nick is dedicated to helping others recover and get treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. In 2013, he released a book ‘The Thin White’ line that is available on Amazon.

Request A Callback

Receive a callback, we’re ready to help you get on the road to recovery.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

24/7 Helpline Support

Don’t hesitate to reach out – we’re here to provide the support you deserve, anytime, day or night.