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How to Help Your Partner Go Through Withdrawal and Detox

 How to Help Your Partner Go Through Withdrawal and Detox

Nearly 21 million people in the United States have a substance use disorder and, for most of these people, there are loved ones who have also been affected by the problem. If you’ve watched your partner fall down into the hole of a substance use disorder, you’re thrilled to learn that they want to quit. 

Unfortunately, saying they want to quit is the easy part, as the detoxification and withdrawal process can be arduous. Still, you want to know what role you can play in supporting your partner.

To help, the team at Northshore Health has pulled together a few tips to keep in mind as you help your partner to navigate withdrawal and detox.

Don’t go it alone

The most important way you can help your partner is to seek professional help for detoxing. Quitting alcohol or opioids cold turkey, for example, can be life-threatening, at worst, and very uncomfortable, at best.

From body aches and tremors to hallucinations and seizures, the list of withdrawal symptoms from drugs and alcohol are frightening, and you’d do well to have an experienced team helping you through this process.

At our practice, we offer medication-assisted treatments that ease these symptoms and help smooth the way forward to a drug- or alcohol-free life.

Your role in the detox process

Once you’ve connected with our team and we’ve set up a detox program for your partner, there are a few things you can do to help with the journey, including:

Clean out the house

Take a look around the house and clean out anything that might “trigger” your partner. If your loved one is trying to detox from alcohol, for example, remove all alcohol from your home — even that old bottle of sherry that’s been sitting in your cupboard for years.

As well, if your partner is addicted to opioids, be sure that there are no prescription painkillers lying around.

Distract them

When your partner is detoxing, their brain is fighting the process and sending constant urge signaling. If you can find ways to distract your partner, the efforts will help. Whether it’s binging a TV show or going for walks, keeping your partner’s mind otherwise occupied is key.

Give them space and be patient

There may be times when your partner is irritable and just wants to be left alone, and you should give them their space during these moments. Any rejection of your attempts to help isn’t a reflection of you, but of their own struggle.

While providing them some space is good, if they want to isolate for weeks on end, we suggest that you talk to us about the problem.

Get your own support

We urge you to take care of yourself during this time and find a support group. Whether it’s a 12-step Al-Anon group or an online support group, there are millions of people who have been through this same process with a partner and their support can be very helpful.

Ultimately, by finding the right medical support for your partner and the right emotional support for yourself, the two of you can weather the withdrawal and detox process more easily.

If you have more questions about how to support your partner or you’d like to learn more about our detox services, please contact our office in Bothell, Washington, to set up a consultation.

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