Rehab For Couples Addicted To Drugs and Alcohol


Addiction is a powerful disease, it changes best- friends into strangers and has the power to strain even the strongest love. Two addicts from Pittsburgh, Ben and Tara experienced this first hand when their relationship started falling apart due to their addiction to heroin. They started dating in high-school. Ben, was the captain of his Highschool hockey team while Tara practiced ballet. Throughout high-school, the two were good friends who went to parties, drank alcohol, smoked weed and sometimes indulged in harder drugs together. While Ben was in his junior year he was prescribed pain pills for injuries incurred while playing hockey. He continued playing hockey and partying except now slowly was becoming addicted to pain medication. Tara, who was a few years older had already begun dabbling with heroin. Heroin is widely available and cheap in Pittsburgh like in many other cities and towns across the United States. Eventually Ben and Tara’s friendship grew into something more intimate and they started dating. Tara’s parents found out about her heroin use and gave her the option to either move out or go to rehab. She moved out and in with Ben. Their usage continued to progress. They both went to rehab separately a couple times and returned to Pittsburgh together and would pick up where they left off.  Ben had a scholarship which he lost about two months into his first semester in college. Tara was also kicked out of college. Sleeping on the floor at friends’ houses or in their car, using rainwater to shoot up heroin, their spiral continued. Tara was sent once again to a rehab, this time far away from her boyfriend. In New Jersey,  Tara went through her third treatment attempt. Ben stayed in Pittsburgh in an attempt to protect Tara from his drug use, so she could get sober. Eventually, he too came to Florida to find Tara who had gone missing. When he found her they both started looking for a rehab that would accept couples. They Found a couples rehab which they immediately called. At this point, Ben was 22 and Tara was 25. This was their final rehab stint and it was done together as a couple.

    While participating in this couples rehab they received personal therapy as well as couples therapy, something they both admit to needing desperately. They learned how to step back and allow each other to grow positively in their separate recovery programs. Ben said the most important thing he learned was their patterns of relapse and the tools to prevent relapse. During the treatment they started holding each other accountable. Though their parents didn’t want them dating anymore their couples therapist along with their sober supports understood that it was more effective to give them the tools they would need to stay off heroin as partners instead of just denying their relationship entirely. After detox and treatment, Ben and Tara moved into a halfway house. Tara built up her female support group and Ben strengthened his male friendships. They both got sponsors while they were in substance abuse treatment for couples. Now, eighteen months later, they both have their same sponsors.

   Ben and Tara now live in an apartment with three other people they met in their treatment process who are still sober. They are engaged, back in school and working. They come and visit the couples detox and couples rehab once or twice a month to bring meetings to the current clients. They both agree it wasn’t easy getting sober in a relationship but are grateful they were able to do it together.  Both Ben and Tara’s parents come and visit them also and are now very grateful to have their children sober and happy. They’ve learned to live life together in a sober relationship while working separate programs of recovery.  Ben laughs and tells the other clients how instead of Tara and himself fighting over the last bag of dope they have friendly competitions on who’s gone to the most meetings or the higher test grade in school. Tara is working to be able to help other addicts by becoming a licensed clinical social worker and Ben is focusing on a business degree. Couples rehab changed their lives and we hope to witness each one of their milestones.