How To Get Help For My Girlfriend’s Alcohol or Drug Addiction
Medically reviewed byIsaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC
February 20, 2019
Whether your girlfriend is willing to go to treatment or is denying a problem, you know the right thing to do is to seek help. But how can you get help for your girlfriend’s alcohol or drug addiction?
Watching your girlfriend struggle from a drug or alcohol addiction is tough. You want to see your girlfriend be happy and healthy and you want her to receive the help she needs. Maybe she doesn’t recognize that there is a problem and you tried to talk to her about your concerns. If she has refused treatment or doesn’t recognize the problem, maybe this has led to arguments or a serious strain in the relationship. Or maybe your girlfriend has kept her addiction to drugs or alcohol a secret and you were the first to find out. Regardless, there are ways to help her get the treatment that she needs.
Conversation And Intervention
The first step in helping your girlfriend with her drug or alcohol addiction is to talk about it with her. If you have noticed her addiction to drugs or alcohol, it is time to talk or hold an intervention. Addiction to drugs or alcohol can reduce your girlfriend’s social interactions with others and can change her behaviors and even her thoughts. Struggling individuals, such as your girlfriend, may tend to push others away (their partner, siblings, parents, and friends).
Choose a time and a location where you will discuss your concerns with your partner. If you feel that your girlfriend will respond better to your concerns at a private and quiet dinner at home, then make arrangements to do so. If you feel that your partner would rather have a conversation with you and close family members, arrange a time and safe location where she will feel most comfortable.
Whether you begin the conversation with her in private or with a small group, be sure you make it clear that your concerns are because you care for her health and safety. You want her to seek help because you want to see her happy and healthy.
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Finding A Treatment Center
The next step in helping your girlfriend is to find a treatment center for her drug or alcohol addiction. The individual must first realize that they are struggling and they need help. Your encouragement and positive support for her to receive treatment is paramount. Drug and alcohol rehabs will offer many tools to overcome addiction, but as her partner, your support, is absolutely important.
There are many treatment options available today and this may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Inpatient rehabs will require your girlfriend to stay from 30-90 days or more, depending on the addiction. Inpatient rehabs remove the individual from their everyday lives so that they can focus on their recovery, some are even women-only facilities. Many inpatient rehabs allow for partners or family members to come visit their loved one during specified times such as nights or weekends. Those who attended an inpatient facility double their success rates for recovery.
After deciding on a rehab facility, be sure to stay informed with her treatment progress. You should also plan to visit her several times during her stay. Your support and presence during her treatment are going to help a long way. Individuals that look forward to visitors during treatment can become more accountable because they want to show their partner how far they have come. Individuals also look forward to connecting with their partners on the phone while in treatment. It brings a sense of familiarity and comfort when you stay in touch with your partner while they are receiving treatment.
Another way to help your girlfriend is to look at your own behaviors. Are your thoughts or actions enabling your girlfriend’s addiction to drugs or alcohol? For example, if you and your girlfriend like to attend bars, parties, or events where alcohol or drugs are present, you should find other activities to engage in that do not involve alcohol or drugs.
Support her choice of a sober lifestyle by choosing activities that will not tempt her or cause her to relapse. If you are living together, you may want to consider removing alcohol and drugs from your apartment or home to eliminate temptation.
Another example of an enabling behavior is if you are giving money to your girlfriend for her habits. Perhaps she has asked you for money for her drug or alcohol addiction time after time and you willingly do so. This also must stop. By choosing to stop enabling her, you can help her choose recovery and help her maintain sobriety.
Your continued support as her partner will help her through the many ups and downs of recovery. Those in recovery will need on-going support from their partner and loved ones for years to come. Outpatient programs are great ways to help individuals stay on track after they have completed their inpatient stay. However, your continued support of her journey is crucial to her success. You will be the person that she will look to for strength, encouragement, motivation, love, understanding, and hope.
You may also want to talk with treatment centers about possible dual-diagnosis treatment. A dual-diagnosis is where an individual suffers from both a mental illness (such as depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, or even an eating disorder among others), and also their drug or alcohol addiction. Addictions to drugs or alcohol are also a mental illness because they affect the way the brain functions. Around 8.9 million substance abusers also have another type of mental illness. Be sure to look for treatment centers that address both addiction and other types of mental illness, if you suspect this is her situation.
Contact Us Now For Help
You care about your girlfriend and want the best for her. Do not wait a minute longer. We’re here to help you find the rehab that is right for her. We can answer any questions you might have and can help guide you through the process. Reach out to us today.