Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centers for Couples Near Me
Although the field of addiction treatment has traditionally seen substance abuse as an individual issue, it has been recognized that the social context plays a significant role both in substance use disorders and their treatment. Intimate partnerships are especially important in this respect. The nature of the relationship and the lifestyle of a couple indeed play a role in substance abuse and can have an equal significance in motivation for treatment, treatment choices, and maintaining abstinence.1
For this reason, treatment centers offer rehab for couples, i.e. programs that make it possible for partners struggling with alcohol or drug addiction to be admitted to treatment together and go through the process that can help them work on their relationship issues and build strong mutual support for abstinence.2
Rather than being couples rehab centers that only admit couples, these are typically regular treatment facilities that offer couples rehab programs not only by enrolling both partners into treatment but by including treatment components that make it possible for people to work on overcoming addiction in the context of their relationship.
How Does Substance Use Disorder Impact Relationships?
Substance abuse and the quality of the relationship between partners often directly influence one another: Substance abuse may lead to conflicts in the relationship, which in some cases can turn from arguments into violence. On the other hand, to reduce the stress resulting from this tension, it is not uncommon that one or both partners turn to alcohol or drugs. This can sometimes turn into a vicious circle which over time intensifies both issues and which may be difficult to break without partners’ treatment and rehab.3
According to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, there are several signs that substance use is taking its toll on relationships and family life:3
- Drinking or drug use is one of the few things that partners enjoy doing together.
- People report that they drink or use drugs to reduce tension in the relationship.
- Couples argue about money problems, staying out late, not doing their share of work in the household.
- A partner often makes excuses for the one using alcohol and drugs (for example that they are sick and will not show up at work).
- There are episodes of domestic violence.
- The couple or their family become isolated from the community because they do not want others to find out about their problems.
The category of people who are especially vulnerable refers to the ones who are codependent. These individuals are typically more focused on their partners’ well-being and may even enable negative behaviors. For this reason, they would do anything that the partner asks them to do and stay in the relationship even if they know that it is harmful.4
They would take over the responsibilities of the partner and protect them from the consequences of using drugs or alcohol. Even though their intentions toward their partner are good, co-dependent persons do nothing to stop but rather foster substance abuse, which is the reason why they are also referred to as enablers.4
How Do Substance Abuse & Relationships Relate?
As the nature of relationships can trigger and foster substance abuse, this relation also works in the opposite direction. Partners can motivate each other to enroll in treatment and maintain abstinence.1 People who engaged in behavioral couples therapy (BCT) as a part of rehab for couples on drugs demonstrated greater treatment success than patients who received only individual counseling.5,6
On the other hand, in case the relationship is such that it would obstruct the treatment process (for example, if there is violence or abuse), individual rather than couples rehab treatment might be a better option.
Behavioral Couples Therapy (BCT)
BCT is a treatment approach based on the assumption that patients with substance use disorders who have healthier relationships with better communication are at a lower risk of relapse. The two key goals of BCT intervention are:2
- To increase positive emotions, attitudes, and commitment to the relationship.
- To teach communication skills to resolve problems, conflicts, and motivation for change.
Couples who enroll in BCT-integrated couples rehab programs are usually married or have been living together for at least a year. They attend treatment sessions together over a 3 to 6 month period. The number of sessions is usually 12 to 20. During this period, couples receive therapists’ instructions, practice newly acquired skills under supervision, and receive homework assignments which they review together in therapy sessions.2 A sobriety contract and calendar are tools used for tracking performance.7
BCT can start immediately after detoxification or a short-term intensive rehab program, or in situations when treatment seekers are interested in this form of outpatient counseling.2
The conditions that need to be met are:2
- That neither of the partners is suffering from a major mental health issue that would impair their participation in BCT-integrated couples rehab programs.
- That both partners are committed to their relationship.
- That there is no history or fear of severe domestic violence. In cases where there is abuse and violence patients are advised to separate for treatment, possibly gender-sensitive treatments that tackle the issues of trauma.8
How To Find Drug Rehab Centers For Couples Near Me?
Treatment centers offer several options for couples who seek treatment. Generally, they all use the standard therapies of substance abuse treatment but include the relationship counseling component or the family therapy component.
There are several forms of inpatient and outpatient programs, depending on the level of care that is needed. Patients who undergo inpatient or residential treatment do not leave the facility during treatment, whereas outpatient treatment means that patients live at home but visit the facility for treatment appointments. It is possible that both partners enroll in either an inpatient or outpatient program, but it is also possible that one partner undergoes residential treatment while the other only attends the treatment facility for joint sessions as a part of their own outpatient program.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Alcohol or drug rehab for couples lasts as long as treatment for other substance abuse treatment patients. The general recommendation is that treatment should be at least 3 months long as shorter treatment is of limited effectiveness.9 This period does not necessarily have to involve only intensive outpatient treatment, but also certain treatment activities which are carried out in outpatient settings.
- Immediate admission to rehab for couples is possible but needs to be checked with specific treatment centers. It will depend on the treatment needs, preferences, and availability of treatment programs at a given moment.
- As it is the case with the cost of other rehab programs, partners’ rehab options vary in their price depending on the treatment center, length of stay, and intensity of care. Private care programs are more expensive than the state-run ones, but they also provide a higher level of attention and care. In addition, there are people who would like to enroll in luxury treatment and rehab centers or rehab facilities available for executives, so these are also offered by some treatment centers.
- Treatment programs can be financed either by insurance or private funding. However, in situations when neither of these is possible, it is still possible to find free drug rehab for couples as there are state-funded rehab programs where treatment costs little or nothing. In addition, there are foundations that provide individual grants for substance use treatment.
- Treatment providers such as American Addiction Centers (AAC) have toll-free helplines that treatment seekers can call and inquire about treatment options for couples rehab. In addition to drug rehab for married couples, AAC also provides options such as drug rehab for families. Treatment navigators will obtain information about the condition and treatment needs and propose a plan of action that can put you on the road to long-term couples’ sober living. It is also possible to immediately check insurance coverage, either by calling the helpline or typing in the insurance number into an online form.
1. Simmons J. (2006). The interplay between interpersonal dynamics, treatment barriers, and larger social forces: an exploratory study of drug-using couples in Hartford, CT. Substance abuse treatment, prevention, and policy, 1, 12.
2. O’Farrell, T. J. & Fals-Stewart, W. (2000). Behavioral couples therapy for alcoholism and drug abuse. Journal of substance abuse treatment, 18(1), 51–54.
3. American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. Substance Abuse and Intimate Relationships.
4. WA State Employee Assistance Program. (2016). Codependency and Addiction.
5. Fals-Stewart, W., O’Farrell, T. J. & Birchler, G. R. (2001). Behavioral couples therapy for male methadone maintenance patients: Effects on drug-using behavior and relationship adjustment.Behavior Therapy, 32(2), 391–411.
6. Fals-Stewart, W., O’Farrell, T. J., & Birchler, G. R. (2004). Behavioral couples therapy for substance abuse: rationale, methods, and findings. Science & practice perspectives, 2(2), 30–41.
7. Psychiatric times. (1999). Behavioral Couples Therapy for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.
8. Greenfield S. F. & Grella C. E. (2009). Alcohol & Drug Abuse: What Is “Women-Focused” Treatment for Substance Use Disorders? Psychiatry online.
9. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Principles of Effective Treatment.