The global pandemic has transformed society over a few short weeks. And while the resulting stay-at-home orders were necessary for the sake of public health, they did not come without consequences. The economic shutdown has increased the risks of the most vulnerable. Consider, for example, the prospect of being quarantined with an alcoholic spouse.
Given the issues facing alcoholics, it’s a potentially dangerous scenario, made even more so by the reaction of society to the pandemic. According to at least one study, alcohol sales increased 55 percent in March year-over-year. It’s fair to assume that a lot of that increased consumption fell heavily on the shoulders of people with alcohol use disorder and their families. The result is increased pressure on the family from being quarantined with an alcoholic spouse.
Quarantined with an Alcoholic Spouse
The onset of the COVID-19 virus has resulted in stay-at-home orders in virtually every state. These orders were grounded in the basics of public health – reducing interactions means fewer chances for the virus to spread. But stay-at-home orders also have some downside in that they may require you to be quarantined with an alcoholic spouse.
We know from experience and research that spouses of alcoholics bear the burdens of their loved one’s disease. These burdens can be emotional, physical, and social. Making matters more challenging, by being forced to stay-at-home, spouses have fewer opportunities to execute coping strategies. There’s simply no place to go.
Not only that, but the stress of the pandemic can increase the alcoholic’s penchant for drinking – creating a nasty cycle that impacts the entire family.
If you are quarantined with an alcoholic spouse, Right Step can help. We provide effective counseling and treatment for all forms of substance abuse.
Learning about Alcoholism
Drinking is a part of American culture. An estimated 85 percent of adults report having some form of an alcoholic drink at some time in their lives, according to annual surveys of substance abuse by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Many report binge drinking. But alcoholism isn’t a function of quantity. It’s based more on how drinking impacts your life.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates 14 million people in the United States suffer from an alcohol-use disorder. You may be wondering if what you’re seeing in your spouse suggests alcoholism. Some indicators:
- Withdrawal symptoms such as nausea
- Risky behavior such as drunk driving
- Structuring life’s activities around alcohol
- Difficulties in work, relationships or school
- Promising to stop drinking but failing to do so
If you’re seeing these signs during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s worth considering if you’re quarantined with an alcoholic spouse.
Being quarantined with an alcoholic spouse could also present an opportunity where you can discuss the benefits of treatment. Here’s an overview of what your spouse may want to know.
The treatment journey starts with a thorough medical and psychological evaluation, as counselors and specialists need to understand your history and your family’s history around alcohol. The evaluation may include blood work or other types of medical workup.
The next stage is normally detox, where you stop drinking. Doctors supervise the detox stage in case you experience severe withdrawal symptoms.
After detox, you will spend a period in counseling, receiving individualized, and group therapy. The goal of therapy is to help you build confidence and coping skills. Alcoholism is a disease that can recur, so the final phase of treatment — which is ongoing — is aftercare. In aftercare, you’ll receive various forms of support to reduce the risk of relapse.
Caring During the Pandemic
In your time quarantined with an alcoholic spouse, you may decide together it’s time to seek help. If so, call the team at Right Step Houston. Our team of medical professionals relies on evidence-based medicine to deliver a full range of addiction services, ranging from medical drug detox centers, alcohol addiction treatment centers, and comprehensive aftercare programs. Don’t let quarantine make a bad situation worse. Contact us today at 1.844.768.0169 for a consultation.