Spouse Struggles With Drug Abuse

Where do I turn for help with my spouse's problem with substance abuse and drug addiction? It has had a devastating impact on our marriage and family, and I feel as if I've just about reached the end of my rope.

Perhaps it will encourage you to know that you’re not alone. Drug abuse is just one of a number of addictions that have become widespread in contemporary society. It affects men and women from every age group, every socio-economic class, and all walks of life. In nearly every case it is rooted in the basic human craving for attachment and relationship. When an addict feels like satisfying relationships are lacking, they attempt to fill the gap and medicate the aching emptiness with drugs, alcohol, or some other self-soothing substance. Once the pattern is set in motion, a desire to repeat and increase the pleasure of the initial experience escalates until it becomes a virtually irresistible compulsion. Because drugs and other addictive substances change the chemistry of the brain, addiction is something more than a vicious and self-perpetuating cycle – it’s actually a physiologically based problem that can be extremely difficult to resolve. It’s important to keep these things in mind when seeking to help a loved one who has fallen prey to drugs and other forms of chemical dependency.

The good news is that effective help is available. We suggest that you and your spouse begin by seeking professional counseling, and we strongly recommend that you do this together. Generally speaking, weekly one-on-one counseling is not sufficient to deal with an addiction of the intensity and severity you’ve described, but a substance abuse counselor could be tremendously helpful in setting up an effective intervention. This involves arranging a specific treatment option prior to the actual intervention. The objective would be to persuade your spouse to agree to a program of in-patient treatment. Once this treatment is complete the counselor could also participate in the follow-up plan.

You might consider contacting the
Lighthouse Network, a clearing house for substance abuse referrals. They can help you locate a facility in your area that will help your spouse take some positive steps in the direction of recovery. They can also provide information about insurance companies who are prepared to work with these facilities.

Call our Counseling department to get a list of Christian counselors in your area. And below are a number of other resources and referrals that should prove useful in your efforts to help your spouse find healing and release from the bondage of drug addiction.


If a title is currently unavailable through Focus on the Family, we encourage you to use another retailer.

The Last Addiction: Why Self-Help Is Not Enough

Putting Your Past Behind You: Finding Hope for Life’s Deepest Hurts

When Someone You Love Abuses Drugs or Alcohol

Love Must Be Tough: New Hope for Marriages in Crisis

Substance Abuse and Addiction (resource list)


Adult and Teen Challenge

Lighthouse Network

Celebrate Recovery

The Salvation Army

Walter Hoving Home

His Mansion Ministries

Elevation Family Ministries

Battling Drug and Alcohol Abuse

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