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The Importance of Aftercare – Supporting Your Husband After Treatment


As the wife of an addict, you’re probably longing for the days when your husband’s struggles with drug use are completely behind you. After all, there may have been a definite beginning for his addiction; a time when you started noticing the signs of drug use in your husband, and realized that his problem was spiraling out of control. It only stands to reason that addiction must also have a definite end. In reality, however, addiction is a chronic disease, not a short-term issue. Although it’s certainly a manageable illness, it isn’t one that has a cure. The good news is that with the right treatment and reliable ongoing support, your husband can both achieve sobriety and maintain it. The absolute best way to keep him on the course is by making sure that he’s got access to qualified aftercare for addiction recovery. Aftercare for addiction recovery can look very different from one person and program to the next. In general, it’s a combination of therapy, accountability partners, support groups, and other resources and services for ensuring that your loved one doesn’t relapse. Countless people seek services for alcohol and substance use disorder every year, and many of these individuals successfully complete their treatment programs. Unfortunately, relapse rates among recovering addicts are incredibly high. It’s expected that up to 60 percent of recovering addicts will relapse at some point in their lives. In fact, relapse rates are so high that relapse itself is considered to be a common part of the recovery process. Not only does aftercare limit the likelihood of relapse, but it also helps addicts quickly turn the tides when relapse occurs.  These services can prevent a single relapse event from sending a person on a rapid and long-lasting spiral, just as they help clients identify the early signs of impending relapse so that developing problems can be effectively addressed early on. If you’ve been wondering, “How to help my husband with drug addiction?”, you should note that your efforts to support your spouse and your efforts to ensure that he’s getting ongoing support from qualified professionals must be lifelong. Whenever addicts become too confident in their own willpower or start neglecting their long-term recovery needs, their risk of relapsing invariably increases.

The Benefits of Aftercare Support

Having access to sufficient aftercare support alleviates a lot of the pressure that people feel after they’ve completed rehab. Much like their spouses, many addicted men expect that their problems with substance use disorder will be fully overcome as soon as they’ve finished professional drug treatment. Whether taking part in residential treatment or enrolling in outpatient rehab, most are shocked to discover that the world remains full of triggers, temptations, and stressors that make remaining sober a near-constant challenge. Months and even years may go by in which those with substance or alcohol use disorder remain sober, only for people to find themselves dealing with intense cravings, overwhelming emotions, and other obstacles that make returning to their old habits seem worthwhile. Addiction has neurological repercussions. Neurological changes that occur as the result of both substance use disorder and substance use itself can make navigating everyday challenges an entirely different experience for an addict when compared to the normal experiences and responses of someone who lacks this chronic disease. Drug rehab aftercare acknowledges these differences and shows people how to confront challenges without reverting back to bad behaviors. People who enroll in aftercare and pursue other long-term support services have constant access to peers who understand just how difficult their journeys are. Having empathetic peers and accountability partners gives men in recovery someone to turn to when they’re at their lowest points and feel their weakest. Sometimes simply having a sympathetic ear can prevent a person from using.  Drug rehab aftercare programs also place a strong focus on mental health stabilization. Mental health services for men are among some of the best tools for preventing relapse. This is especially true for men experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or living with bipolar disorder, chronic anxiety, or chronic depression. Co-morbidities such as these are frequent catalysts for drug use. Unless these underlying conditions are properly managed, men may be tempted to use drugs as a means for alleviating their own emotional discomfort. In addition to providing mental health support, and access to accountability partners, and understanding peers, a drug rehab aftercare program can:

  • Help men find transitional housing such as sober living homes while they do further work on their recoveries
  • Assist men in finding career-building resources and legal support for establishing secure and sustainable lifestyles
  • Provide an affordable way to extend treatment when additional addiction services are needed
  • Give men an increased opportunity to process difficult emotions such as shame, guilt, regret, or overwhelming grief

Whether your husband is returning home immediately after inpatient treatment or needs additional time to learn more about the underlying causes of his addiction, a quality drug rehab aftercare program can help set the stage for lifelong success.

How to Help Your Husband After Addiction Treatment

Being married to an addict is certainly no walk in the park. Just as your husband’s addiction has taken a serious toll on his life, it’s probably had a detrimental effect on your life as well. One of the best ways to help a recovering spouse is by seeking therapy to deal with your own pain and losses. Spouses of addicts have a high likelihood of establishing and maintaining enabling behaviors. Therapy will help you identify these behaviors and put them to an end. With therapy, you can also start healing from the emotional wounds that living with an addict has caused. It is important to start making yourself a priority again and to start pursuing and enjoying your life to the fullest. Taking steps that make you happy and fulfilled will make you far less likely to confront your husband with words and actions that incite feelings of shame and remorse.  It’s also important to create a living environment that’s free of temptation. If you use prescription pain medications or any recreational drugs, you’ll need to stop keeping these in the home. If you need addiction treatment yourself, you should find a qualified program to deal with your own substance abuse issues. Having access to a peaceful, stable, and substance-free home makes it infinitely easier for recovering addicts to stay the course. At Recovery Bay Center, we offer all of the services that men need for reclaiming their lives from addiction. From medically assisted detox to ongoing mental health support, our services are streamlined to address all of the challenges that men face at each stage of the recovery process. If you’re tired of being married to an addict and want to get your husband reliable, effective treatment, we’re here to provide it. Get in touch with us today by calling 833-991-2955.