How To Recognize Signs Of Drug Use In Your Spouse

It can be difficult to determine whether your spouse is struggling with addiction, or who to turn to for help. What are signs of drug use in your spouse? How can you get them help for drug addiction? Keep reading to learn more.

Signs of prescription and illicit drug use

If you aren’t familiar with the signs, it can be difficult to tell if someone is in the early stages of addiction or going through rough circumstances.

Early signs of drug use in your spouse may include:

  • Experimentation with drugs
  • Preoccupation with a particular drug
  • Seeking activities or situations based on the presence of drug(s)
  • Binging of a drug with little remorse afterwards.

It’s possible that someone may not progress beyond the early stages of addiction. People may experiment or use certain substances as a form of stress management.

If someone does move past the experimentation phases of addiction, more serious behavior and personality changes may appear, such as:

  • Neglecting relationships and/or lashing out at loved ones
  • Increased secrecy around activities or substance use
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies that have always been important
  • Failure or difficulty to meet important obligations, like work or school
  • Ignoring, downplaying, or denying the negative consequences of behavior or substance use
  • Increased risk-taking, especially involving substance use
  • Distinct changes in sleeping patterns, often resulting in chronic fatigue

These changes may be gradual, with behaviors appearing sporadically at first and then increasing in frequency and/or severity as addiction progresses. People struggling with addiction are often in denial and end up surrounding themselves with those who encourage their habits. When confronted, they may offer excuses, try to justify behavior, or become angry.

Health changes

Paying attention to mental and physical health changes can reveal further signs of drug abuse in your spouse. Drug use inevitably takes a toll on the body, resulting in health decline.

Signs to look for include:

  • Suddenly having bad nails, skin, hair, or teeth (especially in cases involving methamphetamines or cocaine)
  • Increased tolerance to substances
  • Bloodshot or glazed eyes
  • Frequent illness and/or unexplained injuries
  • Abrupt changes in weight
  • Memory loss or struggling with recall
  • Slurring words or rambling speech
  • Mental or emotional health changes such as:
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Aggression
  • Apathy
  • Irritability
  • Suicidal thoughts

When considering whether your spouse is struggling with addiction, you should be sure to eliminate potential medical reasons for the decline in their health. Encouraging your spouse to get their overall health evaluated can ensure that there isn’t an underlying health issue responsible for your concerns. If other possibilities are eliminated, this can help identify an addiction.

Understanding addiction vs. dependency

In order to determine what treatment options your spouse may need, it’s important to understand the difference between addiction and dependency.
Addiction is a brain condition characterized by compulsive behavior.

All addictions share two traits:

  • Maladaptive – Chronic substance use continues to create obstacles, instead of working as a coping mechanism.
  • Persistent – Substance use is regularly and consistently repeated despite the problems it creates. It is not uncommon for someone to want to stop using a substance but be unable to do so without help.

Dependency means your body is physically affected by a substance in two ways:

  • Tolerance – Tolerance occurs when the body becomes chemically accustomed to the presence of a drug. This means that in order to maintain the same effects, a person will need to gradually increase the amount they use over time.
  • Withdrawal – Withdrawal is the physical reaction of the body to a sudden decrease or absence of a substance in the body. As the body tries to adjust chemically to the absence of a drug, a person can experience extremely uncomfortable or even fatal symptoms.

It’s important to note that not everyone who has an addiction will experience dependency, and not everyone dependent on a drug is addicted. For example, people with chronic pain conditions can develop a dependency on prescribed drugs even if they follow their prescription plans perfectly. This means that they don’t feel a compulsion to use their painkillers but will experience withdrawal if they suddenly stop taking them.

What are the treatment options available for my spouse?

If your spouse’s addiction includes drug dependency, they will need to go through the detox process. Depending on the circumstances, a doctor may design a substance withdrawal plan in which your spouse gradually weans off the drug. Quitting certain types of drugs “cold turkey” can be dangerous and can significantly reduce the likelihood of a successful recovery. Your spouse may also be prescribed medication during detox to help minimize discomfort.

There are four (4) different types of rehabilitation available.

Inpatient (aka residential rehabilitation)

Inpatient rehabilitation refers to the traditional clinic programs that most people think of when discussing drug rehabilitation. Treatment courses may be as little as 30 days but can be much longer depending on the substance and severity of the addiction. Certain programs may include detox. While in care, patients receive intensive counseling to learn how to cope with triggers.

Outpatient rehabilitation

Outpatient programs are less restrictive, usually requiring 10-12 hours of participation a week at a local treatment center. Patients receive similar counseling regarding healthy coping mechanisms and how to avoid relapse. These programs can also be part of a long-term treatment program.

Sober living homes

Sober living homes offer a stepping-stone between inpatient rehab and fully returning to daily life. They are significantly less restrictive than inpatient programs, but still offer structure, a safe environment, and the opportunity to create sober fellowships to help reinforce healthy habits.

In-home treatment

With in-home addiction treatment, experts come to you. Evaluations, detox, and aftercare recovery counseling occur in your home under the supervision of medical experts. Custom treatment plans may help people for whom seeking traditional methods of treatment is a challenge or has previously proven ineffective.

Your Spouse Can Get Addiction Healthcare At Home With Elite Home Detox

If you believe you are seeing signs of drug use in your spouse, reach out to Elite Home Detox. We are a licensed, mobile healthcare practice with a focus on addiction healthcare. We can evaluate your spouse’s health and work with them to develop a custom treatment plan. We offer a wide array of services to assist with all stages of addiction, including:

  • Intervention
  • Psychiatric Evaluation
  • Concierge Medical Services
  • Case Management
  • In-Home Detox
  • Sober Companionship
  • Medication Assisted Treatment
  • Family Therapy
  • NAD IV Therapy

Our Aftercare Recovery Memberships include an array of recovery support services for one monthly fee. Professional and discreet services that put the individual needs of our patients first. Contact Elite Home Detox today.

Experience Care with Elite Home Detox