Couples Rehab in San Diego

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Couples Rehab

San Diego Couples Rehab

In many cases, individuals with a substance abuse problem find themselves in a relationship where their partner also has a drug or alcohol addiction. Couples who both struggle with substance use disorders (SUD) are more common than you can imagine. People who have a SUD may have an alcohol use disorder, illicit use disorder, or both. Although there is a wish to get help together, not all partners are willing to agree to seek treatment.

When drug and alcohol use is the only enjoyable part of the relationship, substance use can lead to domestic violence. Statistics show that acts of violence, assault, and homicide are more likely to occur when one or both parties are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Furthermore, the individual’s partner may need to be drunk or high to show signs of affection. This is when couples rehab becomes a good option, with treatment programs that fit your and your partner’s needs. At Healthy Life Recovery, our San Diego rehab center offers addiction treatment programs designed to help couples achieve recovery together.

couples rehab

Signs That Couples Rehab Is A Good Idea

Shared addiction can lead to harmful effects on the relationship and everyday responsibilities. At some point, addiction treatment for couples becomes the only feasible option for the survival of the relationship and their own lives.

Some tale-tell signs that alcohol and drug rehab for couples is a good idea include:

  • The need to be under the influence to show affection
  • Neglecting common responsibilities
  • Spending less quality time together
  • Dropping leisure activities previously done as a couple due to embarrassing situations from drug or alcohol abuse

When these problems develop alongside the negative effects of substance misuse, this can lead to an increase in addiction. Eventually, things will feel too overwhelming, and one or both partners will choose to seek professional help.

Couples Rehab

Codependency and Addiction 


A behavioral condition called codependency is a common issue that occurs when couples are in recovery from addiction. The most disruptive factor to a new life of sobriety is enabling behavior. When a person in the relationship is codependent, they enable their partner’s addiction and mental health, which can worsen the addiction. 

Codependency negatively affects a newly sober relationship and the individual successes of the couple’s recovery. When a couple is seeking treatment together, it can be unhealthy for one partner to become too focused on their loved one. This is because they will start to lose focus on themselves and their individual needs. Behavioral couples therapy can help each individual recognize and correct these codependent behaviors.

Addiction Treatment Programs For Couples Rehab

It can be beneficial for couples to go through recovery together when their relationship is strong. Receiving treatment together can reinforce the power and romance of the relationship, and help both partners stay sober. They can attend and participate in programs together, depending on the dynamic of the partnership and the individuals’ needs. 

Many treatment centers such as Healthy Life, offer couples who have a strong relationship to attend the same addiction treatment program. Motivation plays a key factor for couples rehab, and they must be equally committed to recovery.

As stated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the motivation to change is a vital element in treatment. This is because the person is more likely to complete treatment and maintain the dedication to long-term recovery.

Treatment elements include the following:

Couples rehab
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Detox and Withdrawal

The first step when undergoing couples drug and alcohol rehab typically starts with a detox. Detoxification is the process in which the body eliminates toxins, such as the substances that are being abused. Withdrawal symptoms often follow and can vary depending on the severity of the substance. These symptoms may appear as early at 6 hours following the last drink or dose. Trained professionals monitor the detox process and withdrawal symptoms, which typically takes 7-10 days.

Sober Living for Couples

Couples may have the option to choose between an outpatient program or a residential program. Each rehab center has its own policies regarding housing for residential treatment. Sober living for couples offers a substance-free environment and removes any temptations for relapsing. Outpatient rehab is best suited for people who have mild or emerging SUD. The level of intensity of the outpatient program will depend on the severity of the addiction.

Couples Therapy

Addressing a drug or alcohol addiction that is affecting both partners relies on a variety of components. Psychotherapy is offered as individual or group therapy sessions, which help couples acknowledge the dysfunction that created these addictive behaviors. Group sessions allow other couples to share their own challenges and gain more support from other participants. If one partner has a co-existing mental health issue as well, it will be treated simultaneously with dual diagnosis.

A core psychotherapy treatment for couple’s addiction rehab is called behavioral couples therapy (BCT). This type of treatment focuses primarily on improving family member functioning in couples who seek rehab treatment together. They create a “recovery contract,” which states their intentions to remain sober and supportive of each other’s recovery process. This therapy is based on the theory that couples in rehab who have better communication are at lower risk of relapsing.

Medicated-Assisted Treatment

Medicated-assisted treatment (MAT) may be prescribed to a member of the couple, to help maintain sobriety. These drugs are recommended by medical professionals such as a behavioral health therapist or psychiatrists. MAT can improve stability by reducing the effect of the substance, which leads to lower cravings.

These drugs used to help treatment may include:

  • Naltrexone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Vivitrol
  • Acamprosate

Relapse Prevention Planning

Before completing a couple’s rehab, the partners will develop relapse prevention strategies based on their individual triggers and cravings. Couples are encouraged to be completely honest with certain situations and instigators that can cause a relapse. The more detail that goes into the prevention planning, the more useful the exercise will be in recovery. Although these triggers were dealt with during the rehab process, coping tools are essential for long-term recovery.

Couples in Recovery

Partnerships can offer each other a great support system while managing recovery together. Once they have completed a rehab program, their support is essential for their future challenges in the recovery process. Each partner can keep the other on track, help avoid triggers, and remind one another of the skills they learned in rehab. It is highly probable if one partner were to relapse, that the other would as well. 

Couples in recovery can maneuver through their challenges through continuous treatment and support groups. At Healthy Life Recovery, we offer treatment such as outpatient rehab, sober living, and addiction therapy so you can continuously remain sober. Here in San Diego, couples rehab can make it achievable to live a healthy, sober life again. Give us a call today if you and your loved one are battling a substance use disorder.

Think you may have an issue with alcohol?

Dr. Sanajai Thankachen

Medically Reviewed By:

Dr. Sanjai Thankachen

Dr. Sanjai Thankachen graduated from Adichunchanagiri Institute of Medicine in 2000. He completed his residency in psychiatry in 2008 at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in New York. Dr. Thankachen is currently working with Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists in an outpatient practice, as well as working at multiple in-patient psychiatric and medical units bringing his patients the most advanced healthcare treatment in psychiatry. Dr. Thankachen sees patients with an array of disorders, including depression, bipolar illness, schizophrenia, anxiety, and dementia-related problems.

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Dr. Sanajai Thankachen

Edited for Clinical Accuracy By:

Sean Leonard, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Sean Leonard is a board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner. He received his master’s degree in adult geriatric primary care nurse practitioner from Walden University and a second postmaster specialty in psychiatry mental health nurse practitioner from Rocky Mountain University. Sean has experience working in various diverse settings, including an outpatient clinic, inpatient detox and rehab, psychiatric emergency, and dual diagnosis programs. His specialty areas include substance abuse, depression, anxiety, mood disorders, PTSD, ADHD, and OCD.

More About Sean Leonard

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