My Wife Is Always High: How Can I Help Her?

If your wife always seems to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it can be difficult to know how best to help her. While only a trained professional can officially diagnose an addiction, it’s likely that your wife is struggling with an addiction to substances if she’s always high. This can be a frightening realization, but keep in mind that addiction is a treatable condition, and there are resources available to help you and your wife get through this difficult time.


Know the Signs

Some cases of addiction can be subtle, so it’s important to recognize when your wife’s substance use has become a problem. Fortunately, as her spouse, you’re in a unique position to recognize the signs.

Signs that your wife may be suffering from addiction include:

  • Sudden weight changes (usually weight loss)
  • Skin changes, such as sores and drastically accelerated aging
  • Visible needle marks
  • Persistent drowsiness
  • Decreased hygiene care
  • Lack of interest in activities she used to enjoy
  • Altered sleeping patterns
  • Unexplained mood swings
  • Neglecting duties at home or work
  • Changes in social circle

Other signs of addiction may be present, so be sure to remain observant and consider whether your wife’s current behavior is out of character. No two cases of addiction are the same, and it’s best to trust your judgment.

Steps to help someone with an addiction

Dealing with a loved one’s substance abuse can be incredibly challenging and emotionally taxing. Here are some steps you can take to help your wife if she is always high:

1. Educate Yourself

  • Learn About Addiction: Understanding the nature of addiction can help you better support your wife. Addiction is a complex condition that affects the brain and behavior.
  • Types of Substances: Know what substances she is using and their effects, risks, and potential treatments.

2. Communicate Openly and Compassionately

  • Choose the Right Time: Find a calm moment to talk to her about your concerns, avoiding times when she is under the influence.
  • Be Compassionate: Approach the conversation with empathy and without judgment. Express your concern for her well-being rather than focusing on blame.
  • Listen: Allow her to share her feelings and experiences. Listening can provide insights into her struggles and motivations.

3. Encourage Professional Help

  • Medical and Psychological Support: Encourage her to see a healthcare provider or addiction specialist who can provide a comprehensive assessment and treatment plan.
  • Therapy: Suggest individual therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which can help address the underlying issues contributing to her substance use.
  • Rehabilitation Programs: Explore options for inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation programs that offer structured treatment and support.

4. Offer Practical Support

  • Attend Appointments: Offer to accompany her to medical or therapy appointments for moral support.
  • Help with Logistics: Assist with arranging transportation, childcare, or other logistical needs that may be barriers to seeking treatment.

5. Establish Boundaries

  • Set Limits: Clearly define what behaviors are unacceptable and what the consequences will be if those boundaries are crossed. This might include not using substances in the home or around children.
  • Consistency: Stick to the boundaries you set to maintain a stable environment.

6. Seek Support for Yourself

  • Support Groups: Join support groups for families and loved ones of people with substance use disorders, such as Al-Anon or Nar-Anon.
  • Therapy: Consider seeing a therapist yourself to help cope with the emotional stress and learn effective ways to support your wife.

7. Create a Supportive Environment

  • Healthy Lifestyle: Encourage a healthy lifestyle by promoting activities that do not involve substance use, such as exercise, hobbies, and social activities.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Acknowledge and celebrate small victories and positive changes in her behavior and efforts toward recovery.

8. Plan for Emergencies

  • Emergency Contacts: Know who to contact in case of an overdose or a medical emergency.
  • Naloxone: If she is using opioids, keep naloxone (Narcan) on hand and know how to use it in case of an overdose.

9. Be Patient

  • Recovery is a Process: Understand that recovery from addiction is a long and often challenging process with potential relapses.
  • Stay Committed: Show ongoing support and commitment to her recovery journey, even during setbacks.

Helping your wife with her substance use involves a combination of compassionate communication, professional support, and personal boundaries. It’s essential to take care of your own well-being as you support her through her recovery journey.

Communicate Your Concerns

After recognizing the signs of addiction, you can start to think about how to approach your wife. The thought may be intimidating, but having an honest conversation with your wife about her drug or alcohol use shows that you care and want to help.

When talking with your wife, give her the opportunity to open up without feeling judged or ashamed. Avoid aggression and blame as this can make her defensive and less likely to accept help. Instead, try to focus on how her addiction is affecting her life, and emphasize how her recovery can yield positive results.

You should also be transparent about your feelings in order to foster trust and understanding. Expressing your fears and worries can help your wife realize the impact of her addiction on those around her, and it can motivate her to seek help.

Seek Professional Help

If your wife is open to getting help, you can explore treatment options. Treatment programs can provide medical detox, medication-assisted treatment, and therapy to help your wife develop healthier coping skills. The exact treatment plan will depend on the severity of her addiction, but the bottom line is that there are professionals available to help your wife recover.

Some people with addiction issues may be reluctant to seek professional help. While Florida is one of many states that allow involuntary addiction treatment for those in danger of harming themselves, treatment is almost always more effective when it’s voluntary. For this reason, finding ways to motivate your wife to accept treatment is key.

Be patient, understanding, and persistent in your efforts. Take the initiative in searching for treatment centers and engaging in conversations about potential options. Concerns about cost and time away from work or family can be addressed by researching insurance benefits, talking to employers about taking a leave of absence, and exploring ways to manage childcare.

Ultimately, your wife is the only one who can make the decision to seek help, but there are strategies you can use to support her on this journey — and you don’t have to do it alone. At Allure Detox, we offer comprehensive addiction treatment programs in Florida to help individuals reclaim their lives, and we want to help your family get on the path to recovery. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment programs and how we can help your wife recover from addiction.


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Published on: 2023-01-31
Updated on: 2024-06-19