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How To Get Help For My Boyfriend’s Alcohol Or Drug Addiction

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

February 26, 2019

You don’t want to see your boyfriend struggle or suffer any longer, but what can you do? While you can’t make anyone attend rehab, there are some things you can do to encourage your boyfriend to get the help he needs.

If your boyfriend has an addiction to alcohol or drugs, he’s not alone: according to a Columbia University study, 40 million Americans aged 12 or older meet the qualifications for addiction to nicotine, alcohol, and other drugs. Sadly, millions of Americans do not seek the treatment they need.

Talk With Him

If you haven’t discussed your concerns with him, now is the time. Perhaps he doesn’t see a problem or simply lacks the ability to quit. You don’t want your discussion to turn into an argument, so allow a trusted friend, family member, or a counselor to sit in on your conversation.

Tell your boyfriend your concerns and that you care about his safety and well-being. Tell him that his addiction is putting a strain on your relationship and that you want him to be happy and healthy and to seek the help he needs. Be sure to talk to him in a safe and private setting without distractions.

Reflect On Your Own Behaviors

Now is the time to examine your own behaviors. This may be the most difficult part for many people because it requires total honesty. Ask yourself: are your thoughts or actions enabling your boyfriend’s behaviors? If you currently engage in the following behaviors, you may, unfortunately, be aiding his addiction. Do you:

  • Cover for your boyfriend if he was out drinking or using drugs the night before and you tell others (his boss, family members, etc.) a lie about why he won’t be at work or at a family event?
  • Argue over his alcohol or drug addiction, but ultimately give in and allow him to continue his behaviors?
  • Fund his habit by giving him extra cash for alcohol or drugs?
  • Engage in activities that involve alcohol or drugs?
  • Isolate yourself from family or friends to hide your boyfriend’s addiction?
  • Make excuses for your boyfriend’s behaviors and try to rationalize his actions?

These problematic behaviors can be hard to stop. After all, you love your boyfriend and want to help. Unfortunately, these actions only hinder his progress. Behaving in this way ignores the problem and helps it continue.

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Research Rehabs

After you have discussed your concerns with your boyfriend and have assessed your enabling habits, it’s time to research rehabs. Here are some great tips to help you with your research:

  • Inpatient facilities generally last from 30-90 days and double the success rates of those in recovery.
  • Inpatient rehabs will remove your boyfriend from the distractions of life to fully focus on his recovery.
  • Outpatient programs are great aftercare options after your boyfriend has completed an inpatient rehab stay. Outpatient programs meet a few hours a day, a few days a week to keep your boyfriend successfully on track.
  • Look for rehab facilities that are accredited and that have accredited staff.

Your Support Is Paramount

Through your boyfriend’s recovery journey, your continued support is paramount. If your boyfriend decides to attend an inpatient facility, plan to visit him several times throughout his stay. Many inpatient facilities allow guests (their partner or family members), to visit.

Many times, patients look forward to visitors and will want to show them how far they have come. If you are not able to visit the rehab physically, be sure to talk on the phone. Many inpatient facilities allow patients to talk to their loved ones for a short time. They look forward to it because it brings a sense of familiarity and comfort while in recovery.

After your boyfriend completes rehab, your support is needed for years to come. As his partner, it is absolutely necessary to continue your support. Support his choice to maintain a sober lifestyle. He’ll be looking to you for support, encouragement, understanding, strength, and hope.

Know When To Stop

Perhaps you have tried several attempts at convincing your boyfriend to attend rehab, but you have been unsuccessful. If your boyfriend ever becomes physically or verbally abusive to you or threatens violence, immediately leave. While you ultimately want to help your boyfriend, your safety is also important. If your boyfriend is threatening to hurt himself, you, or others, seek immediate professional help.

Contact Us Today

Addiction can tear apart relationships, careers, and lives. Don’t let it ruin your life or your boyfriend’s life. Seek help today. Our compassionate staff understands what you are going through and can answer any questions you have and will help you every step of the way.

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