How To Help Your Partner Going Through Withdrawal

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Helping your partner through withdrawal from substance abuse can be very difficult, but support from loved ones is pivotal in helping people achieve sobriety. There are several effective ways you can support your partner as they take their first step in battling addiction.

How To Help Your Partner Going Through Withdrawal

There are several ways you can support your partner as they go through the grueling initial days and weeks of the addiction withdrawal process.

Witnessing a partner experience withdrawal can be difficult, but being a steadfast source of support can be crucial to their long-term success.

What Is Addiction Withdrawal?

Drug and alcohol addiction withdrawal is the physical and psychological reaction that occurs when a person stops ingesting a substance they have become dependent on.

The longer someone has engaged in drug or alcohol abuse, the more dependent and tolerant their body will become to the substance, and the worse the withdrawal symptoms may be.

Common withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • nausea and vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • irritability
  • hallucinations
  • depression
  • seizures
  • fever
  • suicidal behavior
  • anxiety

Withdrawal can take a few days or several weeks depending on the substance used, the severity of addiction, the overall health of the person, and other factors.

Withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening, particularly in people who engage in chronic alcohol use or opioid drug abuse. It’s important to seek professional help when your partner stops drinking or using drugs.

What Your Partner Can Expect During The Detox Process

If your loved one is experiencing withdrawal symptoms, they will likely need to enter a medically monitored detox program.

Whether your partner enrolls in a residential or outpatient treatment center for detoxification, their experience will likely involve evaluation, stabilization, and post-detox transition.

Evaluation Stage

Upon entering a detox facility, your partner will be thoroughly assessed by a healthcare provider to measure the amount of drugs or alcohol in their bloodstream and determine any physical or mental health ailments that may hinder detox.

After the assessment, the medical staff will take your partner to a safe and comfortable area where they can be monitored during withdrawal.

Stabilization Stage

The main objective of medical detox is to keep the client physically and mentally stable as their brain adjusts to the lack of substances in the body.

During this stage, your partner will be made as comfortable as possible as they experience pain, intense cravings, and other uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

Transition Stage

As the initial phase of withdrawal subsides, health professionals will prepare your partner for additional addiction recovery services that may include counseling, dual diagnosis treatment, and behavioral therapy.

A transition into an inpatient rehab program may be necessary for people with moderate to severe addiction, whereas continued outpatient treatment may be appropriate for people who cannot commit to a residential program.

Ways To Support Your Partner Through Withdrawal

Regardless of the severity of your partner’s substance use disorder, your support can make a big difference in their ability to succeed in sobriety.

Below are some of the ways you can be supportive of your partner during the challenging phase of withdrawal.

Learn About Their Addiction

Take the time to research the substance your partner is dependent on and the withdrawal symptoms they’re experiencing.

This can prepare you for what’s to come and can help you offer more targeted support.

Take Care Of Their Daily Responsibilities 

Assist your partner in accomplishing any responsibilities they may have such as household chores, taking care of pets or children, or meal preparation.

This can help alleviate some of the stress and apprehension your partner may be feeling about seeking treatment.

Participate In Their Treatment Plan

Once the detox phase is completed, addiction treatment providers will sometimes allow family members and other loved ones to participate in a person’s recovery journey.

This may entail joining your partner in family therapy or support groups for people with alcohol use disorder such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).

Communicate Openly

Open and honest communication is key throughout the recovery process, and this is particularly true during the stressful period of withdrawal.

Letting your partner express their feelings and fears without judgment will build trust and help them develop healthy coping skills.

Remove Triggers To Relapse

If you know that certain people, memories, or situations may trigger your partner into substance use, do your best to eliminate these triggers during treatment.

The less that a person is triggered during a rehab program, the higher the likelihood that they will remain in treatment.

Set Healthy Boundaries

Withdrawal can make people act irrationally. It’s important to establish boundaries with your partner to ensure your and their well-being.

Tell them about your expectations and needs, and listen respectfully when they tell you theirs.

Encourage Healthy Activities

Encourage your partner to pursue activities that enhance their physical and mental health. This may include regular exercise, mindfulness meditation, creative interests, reading, and more.

Taking the above steps will help your partner through the painful process of drug and alcohol withdrawal.

Find An Addiction Treatment Facility Today

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Canton, Massachusetts

Bedrock Recovery Center


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Plymouth, Massachusetts

Ohio Recovery Center


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Spring Hill Recovery Center


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