Treating Addiction Before And After A Divorce

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You meet a special someone; you go through the typical stages of your relationship, from the early, nervous stages to the more committed ones. 

Finally, you take the relationship to the next level, moving with each other before making a more serious commitment by becoming engaged and married. Maybe you decide to start a family, maybe not. 

But then, over time, the little things become bigger, you begin to fight more often, there’s a lack of intimacy, and worse, a lack of interest altogether in the other person. 

A divorce is decided upon. 

That description may seem short and to the point, but it’s much harder on people than you realize. People have a hard time with change, especially significant changes in their lives. Some people deal with it as trauma. Others struggle with finding healthy ways to adapt and accept the new reality. 

Sometimes people adopt healthy coping mechanisms, but other times, since divorces can be stressful and traumatic, those coping strategies may be less helpful. People often turn to self-destructive behaviors such as alcohol or substance abuse as a way to break out of the funk that the divorce has put them in. 

Infidelity and financial stress are the two most common reasons for a divorce, though substance abuse is closely behind. 

The average age of Americans filing for divorce is 30 years, and adults between the ages of 25-34 are more prone to substance abuse than any other age group. What’s more, people that suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence have a much higher rate of divorce than other groups. 

Addiction also impacts many other areas of a sufferer’s life than their marriage.

  • Financial troubles occur more frequently
  • Dependency becomes a bigger priority in the lives of the sufferer
  • Emotional abuse and distress have become more commonplace
  • Loss of trust and lack of communication strains their relationships further
  • Children of parents with dependency issues are more prone to use drugs or alcohol
  • Kids from a divorced household are more likely to experience divorce themselves 

It’s common for people going through divorce to experience a wide array of emotions, from sadness to grief and even anger. The divorce process can be difficult, complex, and overwhelming, so it’s crucial for people going through a divorce to lean on their support groups and find healthy coping mechanisms. 

Sometimes, however, relationships that are damaged from addiction and dependency can survive through addiction, but it requires work toward treatment and rehabilitation. 

In cases of divorce based on addiction issues, finding suitable treatment options and therapies that will help with the addiction but also provide a foundation of healthier living by examining the underlying issues associated with addiction will help the relationship and the sufferer together. 

Types Of Therapy Available

Finding addiction treatment can take different forms depending on the person’s addiction. Some may be able to get help through traditional talk therapy and behavioral therapy, while others may need to get medical assistance.

The key to therapy is recovery and long-term help against relapse. 

Behavioral Therapy

The most common form of treatment and recovery is behavioral in practice and design. 

For example, in behavioral therapy, you’ll do talk therapy either in one-on-one, in family, or in group settings to work on the triggers of addiction and establish coping mechanisms and skills to avoid the desire to consume. 

There are a variety of different behavioral therapies to choose from; 

  • Exercise rehab services – focusing on physical activity as a way to deal with the stresses and triggers that cause negative behaviors
  • Christian rehab services – focus on creating a path of deeper understanding and the ability to look into scripture for support in difficult times
  • Hypnotherapy – a focus on changing the perception of the triggers that cause addiction
  • Art, Music, and Creative therapy – an emphasis on providing a mental catharsis and outlet for the stresses that lead to negative behaviors

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

In more severe cases of addiction, medications may be needed and are diagnosed by board-certified addiction specialists. In those cases, an MAT course is recommended, and non-addictive medications are prescribed to help with withdrawal and cravings associated with the addiction. 

MATs stand for medication-assisted treatment and don’t deal with the underlying root cause of addiction but treat the physical and psychological dependencies. 


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