Drug Addiction Tips for Spouses

If your significant other is battling drug addiction, you’ve already seen a side of him or her that you never envisioned. Perhaps, your loved one has deceived you repeatedly or you have felt your heart break time and again as your husband or wife continues to make choices that threaten your family.

Although you may feel responsible for protecting your spouse, it’s important to realize when you need help. Chances are you are visiting our website because you know or suspect that this time has come. At Fairwinds Treatment Center in Clearwater, we are here to support you and your spouse as you weather one of the greatest storms of your union.

Recognizing drug addiction in your spouse

As a spouse, you are in a unique position to observe your loved one’s behavior on a day-to-day basis. However, this can be a double-edged sword, since some destructive changes may set in so gradually that you don’t notice them. By familiarizing yourself with common symptoms of addiction, you may be better prepared to identify concerning trends. If you notice signs of the following, contact Fairwinds Treatment Center to discuss your options:

  • Apathy toward activities they were once invested in
  • Change in activity level (drowsy/more hyperactive)
  • Disrupted sleep patterns (lethargy/insomnia)
  • Dramatic weight loss or gain over time
  • Evasiveness
  • Mood swings
  • Noticeable irritability
  • Twitches/nervous behavior.

How to show support for your spouse

For spouses trying to figure out the best way to support their spouse while he or she goes through recovery, adhere to the following do’s and don’ts.


  • Ask for help. To beat addiction, you and your spouse will need help from loved ones and certified professionals.
  • Learn everything you can. The more you come to understand the nature of addiction, the better you will be able to empathize with your loved one and help ascertain their progress and needs.
  • Let your loved one know that you are there to listen. No one is expecting you to play the role of psychiatrist, but simply letting your loved one know you’re there for them can supplement the support they receive from an addiction center.


  • Assign blame. Accept that addiction is a complex disease that affects people from all walks of life.
  • Expect everything to go back to the way it was. Fighting this fact will diminish the significance of your loved one’s battle, and will only strain your relationship further.
  • Overlook your own needs. Supporting a loved one who is fighting addiction is incredibly draining. Even as you focus on supporting your spouse, don’t forget to tend to yourself too.


At Fairwinds Treatment Center in Clearwater, Florida, we provide a unique and effective treatment approach that combines psychological and emotional support with nutritional guidance. Our medical professionals know that every patient is fighting their own intensely personal battle. With that in mind, our Eating Disorder programs are tailored to the needs of each individual and their family. We operate a small, comfortable residential treatment center where you or your loved one can take the time necessary to truly heal.

Why Choose Fairwinds Treatment Center

Fairwinds Treatment Center was founded by nationally recognized psychiatrist Dr. M.K. (Khal) El-Yousef in 1989. Dr. El-Yousef is a pioneer in addiction medicine, and has devised programs that combine the benefits of therapeutic and clinical intervention for the most comprehensive approach to recovery. At Fairwinds Treatment Center, we recognize the complexity of each individual case, and our family-centric approach has been designed to produce sustainable results.

Dr. Pauline Powers is nationally and internationally recognized as a leading researcher, educator and trainer in the continually evolving field of eating disorder treatment, and has 40 years of experience fighting this fight. She currently sits on the Scientific Board of Directors of the National Eating Disorders Screening Program and the Editorial Board of the Eating Disorders Review and has also served as the founding President of the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED), President of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) and founding member of the Eating Disorders Research Society.

If you or your loved one is struggling with an eating disorder, there is no time to waste. Contact Fairwinds Treatment Center today by phone or via our online form to start the journey toward treatment and recovery.

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The History of Fairwinds Treatment Center

Fairwinds Treatment Center was founded by Dr. Khal El-Yousef in 1989, and we offer a treatment model that combines the benefits of therapy with a more clinical approach to eating disorders, addiction and the underlying psychological conditions that can spur these self-destructive behaviors. We believe that addressing all of the factors that contribute to an eating disorder is the only way to facilitate a full recovery. As such, we are one of the only dually licensed psychiatric and substance abuse treatment facilities in the nation to earn accreditation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), which empowers us to address any chemical dependencies or behavioral issues that may contribute to an eating disorder.



If you are ready to discuss treatment for yourself or a loved one, the Fairwinds admissions team is here to help.

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