Katie Price has recently announced her split from long-term partner Carl Woods, and it is safe to say the separation has not gone smoothly. Her ex-partner has a recording of the pair rowing over her alleged drug abuse, and during the clip, Katie can be heard admitting to Woods she didn’t turn up to an event “because I was on coke”.
Mike Delaney, the clinical director at addiction rehab clinic Delamere, comments below on how being in a relationship with someone suffering from addiction can impact an individual:
“When addiction is central to any relationship, it is destructive. It erodes trust and honesty and causes families to become fearful, anxious and manipulative in order to have their needs met.”
“This dysfunction may initially emanate from the person with the addiction issue, but the same dishonest behaviours commonly become adopted by the rest of the family, in order to have a quieter life and not to rock the boat. Eventually, the whole family system becomes de-stabilised and the layers of anger, resentment, hurt and shame are managed through denial, dishonesty and game-playing.”
Living alongside someone who is struggling with addiction – alcohol, drugs or gambling, for instance – can be difficult, distressing and often heart-wrenching. You want to help but may not know how, or where to find the kind of support needed.
Taking this into account, the Delamere experts have also shared some advice for those dealing with partners facing addiction:
- Pick a time when they are not heavily intoxicated and when you also feel emotionally calm and in control to discuss your concerns. The conversation is less likely to get out of hand or end badly this way.
- Pre-plan what you need to say. This way, you are less likely to react emotionally or become sidetracked by their response. Having details of a suitable treatment programme will also be very useful.
- Give clear and definite examples of times when your loved one’s dependency has affected you and others, as well as how it impacts you on a daily basis.
- Make it clear that you are clued up around addiction, and that you are aware it is medically recognised as a psychiatric illness and disease of the brain -that hardly anyone can recover without help and that it will only ever get worse over time.
- Encourage them to tell family and close friends about their struggles with drugs or alcohol.
- Give them hope and reassure them that their condition is treatable with the right help and support.
- Encourage them to accept treatment by promising to support them in getting the right help, but that you can no longer help them in active addiction. Your loved one may be more inclined, to be honest with someone who understands their problem but is not affected by it.