Addiction and Divorce Statistics to Know During National Recovery Month

Addiction to drugs and alcohol affects millions of people each year. During National Recovery Month, we’re taking a moment to understand the impact that addiction can have on a relationship by looking at some surprising addiction and divorce statistics.

The link between addiction and divorce

Although fidelity and financial issues are often seen as the most common causes of divorce, addiction also creates a major impact on relationships. According to the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, addiction is a family disease. It takes a toll on each member of a family, and when a family divorces it can be even more difficult to repair these broken relationships. 

Addiction creates many problems that lead to divorce including:

  • Loss of trust: A lack of trust in a relationship creates communication problems. Divorce is more likely when couples can’t communicate openly.

How divorce and addiction impact children

Both addiction and divorce can have a significant impact on children.

  • Children of divorced parents are more likely to be divorced.
  • They are also more likely to use drugs or alcohol than children in two-parent households.
  • Children of addicted parents are also more likely to experience divorce.

Surprising statistics about addiction and divorce

Addiction is the third most cited reason for divorce. Addiction is a progressive disease that gradually weakens a marriage or relationship over time. Here are some surprising statistics about addiction and divorce:

Signs your relationship is being damaged by substance abuse

Many times, substance abuse causes secondary issues such as anxiety, depression or PTSD. These conditions can take their toll on a relationship and increase the likelihood of divorce even more. Here are some signs that your relationship is being negatively impacted by addiction.

  • The only way you can effectively communicate with each other is when one or both of you are under the influence.
  • Consuming drugs or alcohol is one of the primary activities you do together.
  • Either of you begins to be dishonest about your drug or alcohol use.
  • Using drugs or alcohol becomes more important than providing for the family or spending time together. 

What to do if addiction impacts your relationship

Sometimes a relationship can survive through addiction. When it does, it’s possible to come out on the other side and continue with a loving, thriving relationship. Most often, though, a relationship can’t survive, or at least function well, during addiction. It’s okay to recognize this and make the decision to step away from the relationship in order to seek help. 

If you decide to divorce, addiction can complicate the legal proceedings and impact important parenting decisions including custody. It’s important for parents to place the safety of their children first, and courts will do this also.

Co-parenting after addiction is achievable. Even after a divorce, it’s possible to work together with your co-parent to raise happy, healthy children and sometimes even build a more trusting relationship with your former spouse than you ever thought possible.

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