Is your wife an addict? Here’s how to help a UK Spouse to get treatment for an addiction.
If you have recently found that your wife isn’t the unique and wonderful person that you married, it may not be anything you have said or done. It is possible that your wife is hiding an addiction, or that she is struggling to cope without turning to substance misuse.
If you think your wife is drinking too much, gambling too much, or has a drug addiction problem, then reading this page is the perfect starting point. You can contact us on the number above if you need further help with your addicted wife.
Is your wife an addict?
Knowledge about addictions can be of immense benefit to you and your wife. The way in which addiction is presented in TV and film is not always accurate and often the depiction falls into cliché and stereotype. It is a good idea to seek out knowledge from experts, professional organisations and support groups.
If your wife is an addict, she might be behaving secretively, hiding spending from you, or be unable to explain where she has been or what she has been doing. However, we know that these signs are also signs of other things. For example, if she were having an affair, she may well hide spending and behaviour from you.
If you are not sure whether your wife’s secretive behaviour means she is an addict or not, look out for the signs of withdrawal, as well as the signs of addiction noted below.
Signs your Wife is in Withdrawal might include:
- Anger or extreme mood swings
- Shakes and sweats
- Anxiety or Depression
If your wife repeatedly complains of any of these, it might be that she is in withdrawal from drugs or alcohol.
Spotting the Signs of an Addiction
So how do you go about spotting the signs that your wife is an addict? Asides from the withdrawal symptoms, here are some clearly mapped out signs of a drug or alcohol addiction that is being concealed.
Signs of hidden addiction include:
- Hiding money or money unaccounted for
- Wearing long-sleeved tops in hot weather
- Borrowing or stealing from friends or family
- Making excuses to be alone
- Secretive behaviour such as hiding her phone
- Making time for friends only for her to not meet said friends.
- Skipping out on work or responsibilities for no apparent reason[ii]
If you recognise any of the behaviours outlined above, you may have an addicted partner. Contact us on 0203 955 7700 to talk about staging an intervention or to find the best rehab clinic near you.
How to talk about your wife’s addiction?
Talking about an addiction is never an easy thing to do but bringing up this difficult conversation has the potential to save her life. Make sure you approach the subject when you are both relaxed and happy and try to avoid placing blame. You can describe your issues without blaming her, otherwise you risk damaging the relationship.
How to stop enabling a drug or alcohol addicted wife?
Enabling is doing things that support your wife’s drug or alcohol addiction. You can support your wife with things like a place to live and food to eat, but you can’t give her money for drugs or alcohol. Anything you do to facilitate her substance abuse – including turning a blind eye to it, puts her at greater risk of long term addiction.
Remember to get Support for Yourself
In the storm of an addict’s recovery, the spouse who is also suffering will feel alone, confused, and frightened. Seeking help and support is often the first step in helping the addict. As the spouse of an addict, there are group-orientated meetings you can attend as well as counselling sessions that focus specifically on the partner’s ordeal as well as offering advice and tips to prevent you from actively or passively enabling your wife’s addiction.
You can go to your GP and mention that you need support. You can speak to a therapist or a close friend. There is also online support available for the spouses of addicts[iii].
Is your Wife Addicted while Pregnant?
If your wife has an addiction and she is pregnant, there is all the more reason to get her the help she needs to quit. Illegal drug and alcohol use during pregnancy increases the chance of your baby being born prematurely or dying within the first few weeks of life[iv]. NHS advice is that you tackle drug or alcohol use when you first find out you are pregnant to minimise risk to the child[v].
Substance Abuse and Breast Milk
If your wife continues to use through her pregnancy, or if she drinks excessively and then breastfeeds the baby, she could be putting your child at risk[vi]. You can learn more about the implications of being addicted to drink or drugs from birth on our site.
Should you Stage an Intervention?
If you are concerned that your wife’s addiction is getting out of control, an intervention might be the answer. You should only use this tool if you are certain that your wife is addicted to something. You can tell her about it and invite her to attend, or you can surprise her.
How to Stage an Intervention for your Wife?
You can stage an intervention for a drug or alcohol addict by gathering together some of their closest friends and family. Anyone who can support them through their recovery should be invited – but only those who understand that this is going to take work.
Gather everyone together for a rehearsal, encouraging them to write down anything they want to say to your wife. Interventions usually take one of two forms: the focus is on the addict, or the focus is on the group. When the focus is on the addict, your group should talk about how they have changed since their drug use began[vii].
When the focus is on the group, mentioning all the way our addicted spouse has hurt them because of addiction is the best path.
How to Support your Wife through Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation?
Your wife may need to go to a rehab clinic[viii]. If this is her best chance at treatment success, sending her to rehab is necessary for her treatment plan. You should support her wherever you can, including by taking over some of her vital responsibilities while she is away. You can’t go to work for her, but you can look after your pets and children, take care of her elderly parents, or otherwise stand in for her.
What are her Addiction Treatment options?
Your wife has many treatment options available for her addiction. You can read about some of them below.
Inpatient or outpatient treatment?
Your wife can be seen as an inpatient or as an outpatient for her addiction. If she opts down the NHS treatment path, then there’s a high chance she will be expected to attend outpatient treatment first. Outpatient might include attending group or psychotherapy sessions at a clinic. It might mean going to a dayhab facility or seeing an alcohol counsellor. If all else fails, the NHS will send you to a private rehab clinic as long as you foot some of the bill.
NHS Assisted Rehab
NHS assisted rehab is the budget option and it doesn’t happen often. The NHS want you to prove that every other method of addiction treatment hasn’t worked for you before they will sign you up to this type of rehab clinic.
NHS assisted rehab takes place in a private rehab clinic where you will share a room. You will have access to the same range of critical care services as private clients have. The NHS will partially fund this rehab care and you will pay the rest. Typically, this amounts to £1,400 per week but may be more.
Full time residential rehab
A full time, residential rehab clinic is almost always going to be private. This requires private health insurance to cover some of the bill unless you want to pay for it by yourself. Rehab costs amount to anything from £3,000 to £8,000 per week spent in rehab. You will live in or live offsite and travel, and you will spend most of your time within the clinic or the rehab environment.
A luxury rehab clinic will have a wider choice in holistic therapies and extra-curricular activities than a private or NHS program. Although the attention to your treatment will be the same across all types of rehab clinic, it is the luxury rehab option that allows you to recover from drugs or alcohol in the most comfortable way.
Helping your Wife through Detox
The detox process is the first official stage of recovery from an addiction. After your partner has admitted she has a problem, it is time to get them into a detox program. This program will help them get off drink or drugs in a safe and healthy way. It may be medically assisted to make it easier if you go through detox in a clinic, rather than on your own. In some cases, detoxing at home can be dangerous. In others, it is possible for mild addictions.
Helping your Wife through Aftercare
Aftercare is the transitional period when your wife has finished rehab and is tyring to return to her normal life. To help her through this period, pick a rehab clinic with a supportive aftercare program. A good program contains therapy sessions and day-to-day support and should last for as long as a full year.
Investing in Family Therapy Programs
Your wife’s addiction will undoubtedly have caused you a lot of heartaches not to mention countless moments where you have justifiably felt aggrieved. It would be best to work this pain and anger into forgiveness through seeking advice[ix]. It is important not to hold on to your resentment as that may prevent both of you from healing and moving forward. Investing in family therapy can help this process[x].
Free Consultation on How to Get Help for a Drug/Alcohol Addicted Wife
We offer free consultations to those who believe their husband, wife, son, daughter, child, friend or colleague may be addicted to drugs, alcohol, or something behavioural (like sex or gambling). You can call us for free advice that leaves you with no obligation to take it. Use our online consultation form and one of our rehab clinic experts will get back to you with help.
Where to get further help for an addiction
Help4Addiction are a specialised rehab selection service which can find the ideal rehab clinic for your wife, in just a few minutes. Call us today on 0203 955 7700 to find the right rehab clinic in England and Wales for your wife.
Frequently Asked Questions
My Wife might be addicted to alcohol, what do I do?
What to do if my wife is taking drugs?
Can my wife take the kids to rehab?
What will happen if my wife does not stop drinking?
What to do to help an addicted spouse or partner?
How long will my wife be in rehab?
Does rehab work?
Am I enabling my wife’s addiction?
How do I stop enabling my loved one’s addiction?
Can I go to rehab with my wife?