The saying that substance abuse is a problem that poisons everything in the life of an addict is now a cliché. But, the truth can’t be underscored sufficiently. Alcohol, a drug, or compulsive behavior is a problem that corrodes everything that addicts hold dear. This includes sexual and romantic relationships.
Relationships form one of the faces of drug addiction or alcoholism. Relationships have a cause-and-effect role to play in addiction. Therefore, understanding such dynamics can help in controlling the substance abuse problem and saving a relationship.
Economical and Psychological Effects
By the time partners agree to find a rehab facility near me online, addiction has started having economical and psychological effects on their relationship. Rehab is a facility that provides treatment for drug addiction or alcoholism. It has counselors, therapists, and medical professionals that help addicts to recover from their addictions.
The question of the extent to which substance abuse can affect a family is no longer new. Researchers have established that addiction has varying effects on relationship structures. For instance, research has shown that children with parents that suffer alcohol abuse disorders suffer more poisonings and injuries than kids whose guardians do not have the same problems.
What’s more, children might be forced into unfamiliar or uncomfortable roles to cover or compensate for substance abuse by their parents. Members of an extended family can be put through humiliating and shameful experiences when their connection with an addict or their behavior becomes known.
The effects of substance abuse can be psychological or economical. For example, money that could be saved or spend on joint interests can be diverted to fueling the addictive habit. Psychologically, a sober partner can always be on the receiving end of reduced sexual functioning and interest, mood swings, emotional neglect, and reduced intimacy or engagement.
A sober partner can even be coerced to become complicit in the addiction life of the addict. They can even be manipulated to cover for them or even provide drugs. And, they can do this to show love or after being promised that the addict will seek treatment or help afterward.
Substance abuse is an insidious problem. It sneaks and creeps into the life of a user. Having a drink after a bad day may not prompt a sober partner in a relationship to search for ‘drug rehab near me’ online. A single marijuana joint puff when having fun with friends can be an excuse for lighting up and getting high. But, this is how most addictions develop.
A person can start as a social drinker before becoming an alcoholic. And a drinking or drug abuse problem changes how a person perceives their world and thinks. Eventually, a person redirects their energy, focus, and attention to satisfy their addiction.
When this happens, a relationship’s dynamics are affected. For instance, a person becomes less of a sexual or romantic companion. They can also use their partner as a tool for furthering addiction or a vessel for obtaining their next high.
Behavior can reinforce addiction. That’s because everything an addict does, whether aware of it or not can be focused on keeping their addiction going. And, how they interact with their partner or spouse can be a part of this machinery. The reaction of a partner can determine several factors too. For instance, does the partner offers an ultimatum like ending the relationship? This can be an impetus for the partner to quit. But, if the partner becomes complicit, addiction can worsen.
Substance Abuse and Human Sexuality
Research has shown that illicit drugs affect sexual desire, erection, and ejaculation latency negatively in men. The use of some recreational drugs, like marijuana, cocaine, and alcohol can lead to erectile problems. This can lead to the use of enhancement drugs thinking that this can compensate for the reduced sexual function.
Human sexuality is complex. When addiction comes into the scene, consequences can be long-term. Long-term use of heroin, alcohol, and cocaine can affect some men’s ability to achieve a healthy erection.
Cocaine is a stimulant. As such, it increases the sex drive of a user temporarily. Thus, a user has a higher risk of engaging in risky or promiscuous sexual behavior. What’s more, it can delay or impair orgasm. This can cause a massive decline in sexual interest and the ability to perform sexually in men and women.
The psychological impact of erectile dysfunction can be devastating on relationship partners. It can be the reason a partner searches for ‘drug rehab centers near me’ online. Unfortunately, most people with sexual impotence that affects them psychologically have higher anxiety and depression rates. They also have diminished belief in sexual confidence and functional status.
Addiction and Relationship Abuse
The risk of physical and emotional abuse increases as trust and intimacy levels decline in a relationship. This is as a result of low sexual capacity and more instances of mood swings and depression by the addicted partners in relationships. Men that are dependent on opioids are more aggressive sexually, psychologically, and physically towards their relationship partners.
A harmful behavior should not be purely physical to be medically and legally considered abusive. Any behavior where a partner tries to exert force or dominance over the unwilling partner is abusive. This can play out when an addict forces their partner to provide money, engage in any type of abuse, or threaten violence against children or the partner unless they meet their demands.
Fighting Addiction in a Relationship
Preventing an addiction might be impossible for some people in relationships. However, an observant partner can notice signs of risky substance use or abuse. These should be the reason to search for ‘drug rehabs near me’ online. Here are common signs of addiction to look out for in a relationship:
- Withdrawing from familial and social activities
- Unexpected mood swings
- Unexpected decrease or increase in sexual habits
- Financial losses with no explanation
- Manic activity bursts offset by deep fatigue periods
- Broaching the drug experimenting subject
If a partner notices such symptoms, they should search for the phrase ‘drug counseling near me’ online and seek help immediately.
It’s no secret that addiction can ruin any relationship. However, it’s important to approach the addiction topic carefully because some addicts start by denying the existence of a problem. Nevertheless, asking a partner in a relationship about their addiction without being judgmental or confrontational can prompt them to open up. This discussion can also form a foundation on which professional counseling and treatment can be used to fix a relationship that would otherwise be destroyed by addiction.