Substance Abuse during Divorce
Substance abuse during divorce is unfortunately a common and unhealthy way of coping with the devastation and stress that divorce can cause. Often times, substance abuse or addiction will push marriages to end. Some substance abuse and addiction is triggered just by the divorce alone.
Divorce is identified as one of the most stressful life events that someone can go through. If one of the spouses doesn’t have many coping skills to begin with, divorce can push them into a downward spiral of abusing drugs and alcohol. In fact, studies show that divorced individuals are more likely to drink alcohol than married couples. Many times individuals will turn to alcohol, porn or excessive partying to cope with the distress of divorce. Addiction and substance abuse is not just limited to drugs and alcohol. Individuals can also turn to things like food, nicotine, and sex.
Substance abuse and addiction doesn’t help or benefit anyone and can have immense negative consequences on the divorce process. In truth, substance abuse and addiction will most often worsen the impact of divorce, such as a loss in custody over children. Addiction and substance abuse can lead to more fights and will inhibit healthy communication. This can lead to additional legal consequences.
If you are in the process of getting in a divorce, it is important get support from your loved ones and from professionals. Lawyers can help individuals decide what is best for themselves and their family and can assist in making really difficult decisions surrounding custody, finances or communication.
It can be very intimidating and stressful to work through a divorce with someone who is addicted or abusing substances to cope. Being aware of when a spouse is under the influence is important so that an individual can set healthy boundaries. For example, if a spouse has been drinking it is best not to speak with them until they are in a clearer head space and sober.
Divorce and addiction can go hand in hand. Either one can come before the other and lead to the latter. Although it may mask the devastation, addiction and substance worsens the divorce process in the long run.