Can a Relationship Help to Battle Addiction?

Could the key to help battle addiction be a healthy relationship?

The Doctors are joined by author and activist Christopher Kennedy Lawford, who wrote "When Your Partner Has an Addiction: How Compassion Can Transform Your Relationship (and Heal You Both in the Process)," to speak about how an interpersonal relationship can help people struggling with addiction.

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Christopher, who is a nephew of President John F. Kennedy, has fought his own battles with addiction, says that addiction can flourish in isolation and people who work on their struggles with a loved one often times have a better outcome than those who go at it alone. He goes on to explain that previous conventional wisdom advocated for partners to leave the relationship unless the person goes to treatment, but his book examines how staying together can benefit both parties in the long run.

Some things recommended in his book on how to navigate this type of situation include to never shame your partner, choose your words wisely when dealing the issue and use as much compassion as possible when working through the issues. He also notes that being aware of potential codependency among partners is also very important.

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 He says if there is any danger or abuse in the relationship stemming from the addiction to not stay in the relationship.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction please call the confidential and free National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP or visit their website. If your partner is struggling with addiction issues and you are looking to work through it, check out Christopher's book for some possible solutions and guidance.