“Can we live together while in treatment?” YES.

This is the first question we get from addicts in a relationship. Coed housing is offered for clients currently in a relationship, both married or unmarried. There is a shortage of rehabs that provide couples counseling, for addicts. One popular school of thought among addiction professionals is “you cant get sober in a relationship”. There are other opinions in the field that couples can be successful if both addicts have a recovery program of their own. Drug treatment centers that decide to accept couples into their program, must have specialized programs. The clinician who runs a couples therapy program must have extensive training in marriage counseling, and sexual modalities and issues.

Couples Addiction Treatment Levels

There are 4 levels of substance abuse treatment offered at most facilities. First is residential treatment, usually offered in a hospital type setting lasting 30 days. The second level is PHP or Day Night which is basically inpatient treatment offered in a less strict environment with more independence. The third level is intensive outpatient program, which is usually 3 to 5 days per week 3 hours per day. Clients start looking for employment and go to 12 step meetings daily and buy their own food and necessities. The fourth level is outpatient treatment which is group 2 days per week and individual therapy once a week.

partners holding hands together

Inpatient Drug Rehab For Couples

In phase 1, which is the most intensive part of the substance abuse treatment program. You will learn about the disease of addiction and receive group therapy 5 days a week and couples rehab counseling at least twice a week. Your primary therapist will develop an individualized treatment plan for you and goals to meet while in recovery.

In phase 2,  you will meet as partners with the clinical staff to develop a substance abuse treatment plan for relationship recovery. You will have sessions as a couple together, as well as individual and group therapy. We offer planned events such as bowling, paint ball , ice skating, and boating. These are a good chance to start connecting with your significant other while you are both clean and sober. Getting to know your partner without the interference of drugs and alcohol will not be all roses and jewels. It will be a lot of work involved keeping a relationship that was clouded by substance abuse.

Protocols and methods used for inpatient couples rehab and counseling include:

  • BCT (Behavioral Couples Therapy). This protocol is developed to assist couples with addiction issues using techniques to help modify behavior. Both partners are asked to create a “recovery contract” requiring each to promise not to use opiates, or drink alcohol one day at a time. Your significant other promises to support you in recovery, While enrolled in BCT, the couple will have sessions with their certified therapist weekly. There are group sessions with other couples with a counselor to facilitate them.
  • ABCT (Alcohol Behavioral Couples Therapy). Specific protocols for alcohol addiction are put in place to help couples modify behavior. It is similar to BCT, but uses different methodology to promote abstinence and provide for a healthy relationship and marriage without drinking. This protocol is done in both residential and outpatient therapy. ABCT helps promote better communication between partners and teached problem solving skills to use in recovery
  • RCA(Recovering Couples Anonymous). Most rehab centers bring patients to outside 12 step meetings including AA and NA. Some meetings are brought into the facility by the institutions group. RCA is a 12 step group for couples recovering from all forms of substance abuse. It is recommended to find a sponsor and continue attending after completion of residential treatment. Attending RCA meetings should be in the recovery contract the couple created while in treatment. Each partner should also have their own 12 step meetings to attend without your significant other, to build a solid foundation for individual recovery.

Dual Diagnosis Couples Rehab

Sometimes one partner is dealing with mental illness including depression and anxiety. This adds more challenges for both partners trying to get clean and sober while in a relationship. Medication usually helps in controlling most mental illness problems. Substance abuse treatment professionals usually guide clients with dual diagnosis issues toward medical doctors. You don’t have to stop taking your benzodiazepine anxiety medication. The non addictive anti depressant medication usually take 4 to 6 weeks to start working correctly. For clients who are diagnosed with anxiety disorders, couples drug rehab centers allow you to stay on your meds. This period of time is critical since most addicts with anxiety disorders relapse without their normal prescription. During this period at couples rehab,  you will be prescribed small doses of benzodiazepines until the new drug is effective

Inpatient couples drug rehab offers a new EMDR treatment for clients with trauma and stress disorders. EMDR therapy can be done individually or with both partners together in a session. Clients with post traumatic stress disorder have been successfully treated with this procedure. If trauma is not dealt with, it can destroy a relationship. EMDR is conducted individually with a certified professional.

walking on the beach

Outpatient Couples Rehab Program

Intensive outpatient program involves a step down process of treatment. You will live together in a coed sober living environment. A couple may room together if there are open beds. Your first week will involve orientation and introduction to the recovery community. You may have a curfew for a week or two.

There are a few sober living facilities that accept couples and let them live in the same room. I have checked 2 of them in person so i can recommend to any couples leaving rehab needing a halfway house together.

Generally speaking, the couple should not have the same sponsor in AA. This could make your significant other envious of your relationship with a sponsor. I would recommend both partners choose different friends and relationships in the program, and do not attend the same meetings that your significant other is attending. Seek out a therapist who specializes in the challenges a couple will face in recovery. Your family may not be happy with the situation. Be supportive of your partner if his family is angry about both of you remaining a couple in recovery.

Being partners in recovery is not easy. Resentments against your significant other can build up and cause one partner to relapse. Use couples rehab to talk about these resentments with a counselor. Remaining a couple while in treatment can add extra issues to resolve in a treatment program. Each partner should have their own therapist to discuss issues regarding your significant other or your family history.

Group therapy is a large part of your treatment in most programs. A couple should not be in group therapy together. You need to feel free to discuss topics problems in your relationship without fear of hurting your partner. Sometimes group can become confrontational at times, especially when a couple is being judged by other clients. Treatment centers that specialize in marriage counseling, and relationship issues in recovery, can be very supportive. If you met your significant other during your addiction, don’t be surprised if feelings change during treatment.

counseling partners together

LGBT Gay and Lesbian Couples Drug Rehab Program

This program is specifically designed for lesbian and gay couples with addiction issues. There are specific group therapy topics that apply to these relationships. Couples rehab for LGBT teaches gay and lesbian partners that have special challenges to overcome making it harder to stay clean. The professional staff have years of experience dealing with these issues. Many gay and lesbian relationships can be saved with the correct treatment program. Housing in a standard addiction treatment center presents problems for obvious reasons.

 

couples therapy at treatment center

 

Long Term Addiction Treatment For Married Couples

Situations occur where 30 or 60 days is not long enough for addicts to successfully enter society again. Sometimes a longer period of time is necessary. 6 to 9 months gives you a better foundation in recovery

One of our success stories is Julia and Max, a married couple who had been using together for 14 years. They decided to get clean together. Most rehabs that they called do not accept couples, and finally they called our treatment center where they found practically everything they were looking for. In the first 2 phases living arrangements for couples is decided on a case by case basis for housing. In phase 3 their therapist recommended them for couples housing where they lived together and attended rehab daily. Max’s drug of choice was heroin and opiates and Julia’s drug of choice was Xanax. Both Max and Julia made their own separate supports and friends in the program. They still attend aftercare at our addiction treatment facility once a week and both are clean and sober today. Max had a small relapse a few months ago, but came right back to AA. The odds are not great for couples in recovery but it is possible.

Medication Assisted Couples Rehab

The latest government studies have shown Suboxone maintenance to be effective in preventing relapse in heroin addicts by 50%. Couples who use drugs together are at greater risk for chronic relapse. Medication assisted treatment is growing in popularity among the recovery community. Despite the prevailing opinions of AA and NA, the field must come to accept this fact. The government is pushing Buprenorphine maintenance programs, which are especially helpful to couples in early recovery. Getting clean and sober is hard enough if you are single. Being in a relationship the first year adds many triggers for addict. We need more couples rehab programs that allow subutex at small doses. Health insurance carriers are starting to require patients who are chronic relapsers to go on sub maintenance. “I have tried getting clean multiple times together with my significant other. We relapse within 3 days after leaving detox.This time we went to a program that offers suboxone maintenance and we have not used heroin in 90 days. My parents are so happy that finally i am able to start fresh.” C. T.

A new medication has been approved for use in substance abuse treatment programs. Vivitrol, an extended release form of Naltrexone is a once a month injection that prevents relapse to opioid dependance. Medication assisted addiction treatment along with counseling can help drug addicts stay in rehab long term. Vivitrol blocks the effects of opiates on the brain and prevents cravings after detoxification. Studies have shown patients taking Naltrexone remain in substance abuse treatment longer. The relapse rate is significantly lower for heroin addicts who take Vivitrol injections. The addiction treatment centers offering medication assisted therapy have a much higher retention rate, and addicts are living productive lives. Most health insurance plans do not cover this drug, which prevents most patients from obtaining it. The common goal is to help addicts remain in drug rehab long term. The outlook for a drug addicted couple remaining in rehab long term is not good. If both partners agree to be on naltrexone or vivitrol while attending addiction treatment, their success rate increases dramatically.

Couples Sober Living

After completing residential treatment, couples who wish to stay together will step down to transitional housing. Most sober living programs require some type of outpatient therapy. For married couples this could include family therapy or conflict resolution education classes. Attendance at 12 step meetings is mandatory at least 4 days per week. Both partners should seek employment either full time or part time. Working on the 12 steps with a sponsor is very important while in early recovery. Doing this while in a supportive sober living environment is helpful.  read more

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

1.Can I sleep with my girlfriend while we are in detox?

No, but you can hang out together on the couch until lights out at 3 am. Then you both sleep in your own room.

2.Can my husband and I bring our anxiety medication to treatment?

Yes, but medication must be approved by the doctor and will be locked up in the safe.

3.Will I have the same therapist as my wife?

Each partner in a relationship should have their own primary therapist to discuss personal issues and fears with. You will attend separate group sessions so you can feel safe talking about you husband or wife without being uncomfortable.

4.My boyfriend is allergic to suboxone, can he take subutex for detox from heroin?

Yes we offer alternative medications including buprenorphine and tramadol for any patient who cant take naloxone.

5.How long is the taper for opiates?

Usually 7 to 10 days depending on how much heroin was being used every day.

6.Why do you allow relationships in rehab, when most treatment centers do not?

We believe in meeting the clients where they are today. If there are children involved, a marriage deserves a chance to be saved.

If you just met your boyfriend or girlfriend in rehab and are basically using buddies who have sex, we know if you manage to stay clean for a few weeks, both of you will realize you are not in love. then you can start working on your own recovery.

7. Do we get medicated as soon as we arrive at the detox center.

Yes, we do not make you wait for 2 days being sick with withdrawal symptoms.