Addiction is a family disease. Support groups for families of addicts prove to be crucial as part of an overall recovery plan. When one person succumbs to the world of addiction, they never suffer alone. Loved ones experience pain and frustration watching someone they care about so much while they are unable to overcome their substance use disorder. For this reason, support groups help teach loved ones what their family member is going through. As a result, they can come together armed with information about how to help them navigate a newly sober life.
What Are Support Groups for Families of Addicts?
Most people are familiar with support groups for people struggling with drug or alcohol abuse. What some may not know is that many support groups for families of addicts exist. These groups offer a new level of ways to heal from an addiction that brings the family into the circle of getting well. Support groups are typically free and open to anyone who fits the criteria. For example, a support group for people with substance use disorders should only be attended by those trying to overcome addiction.
Alternatively, family support groups are for those who have a loved one dealing with a drug or alcohol addiction. These support groups can be led by a therapist or by someone who has a great deal of experience dealing with having a loved one who is sick with addiction. The leader of the group guides each meeting, offering their support and expertise. Groups spend time listening to members talk about their challenges, fears, and experiences. Everyone in the group can offer their insight, support, and advice.
Support groups sometimes have a guest speaker who contributes ideas or a story designed to help the families feel understood and make progress. Overall, people can tell their stories, express their fears, and both give and receive advice. The definition of family doesn’t have to include just relatives. Good friends often feel as close as family members. For this reason, close friends often take part in support groups for families.
Benefits of Support Groups for Families of Addicts
Several benefits can come from attending support groups for families of addicts. First, many people feel embarrassed about having a loved one who deals with alcoholism or drug addiction. They keep their stories and their feelings to themselves, which can be quite isolating and frightening. Support groups allow them to unburden themselves in a safe environment where everyone understands how they feel. This type of bonding experience lets them know they are not alone.
A lot of solid advice and eye-opening ideas can come from members of a support group. When a family member feels at a loss for what to do, others often have ideas. They may know of a resource that provides treatment or have suggestions for ways to get through the process of worrying about someone they love. The group works as a team, which helps strengthen each individual.
Where to Find Support Groups for Families of Addicts
Many support groups for families of addicts operate in major cities and smaller towns across the country. While many require attending in-person meetings, several offer online options. Meetings times and dates vary, but most people can find one convenient to their schedules. Here are several resources for support for loved ones.
- Al-Anon is the grandfather of support groups. It is based on the 12-step Alcoholics Anonymous tenets but directed at family members of those addicted to alcohol.
- Also a 12-step-based group, Nar-Anon provides support for families impacted by a member’s drug addiction.
- For those who prefer a secular approach, as opposed to one that focuses on a “higher power”, SMART Recovery can provide help. Self-Management and Recovery Training also offers an online forum and chat room.
- Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PAL) helps moms and dads whose child deals with addiction to drugs or alcohol.
- Alateen is part of the AA family of support groups but specializes in offering help for adolescents with a loved one who has an addiction.
People can also check within their community and ask physicians, therapists, and treatment facilities for more recommendations.
Can Family Members Help Someone Who Has Completed Rehab?
Once someone completes a detox or other residential program, they still have work to do. Many people choose to move into a sober living home while they participate in outpatient treatment programs. During this time, family members may want to attend support groups in order to understand how they can support their loved ones. During a loved one’s transition from residential care to returning home, families can have an easier time coming together when support groups come into play.
Find Professional Addiction Treatment Today
Are you part of a family who wants to help someone they love that struggles with addiction? Creekside Recovery Residences understands that a substance use disorder doesn’t just affect one person. We provide beautiful, modern sober living homes for people who feel ready to embrace recovery in Tampa, St. Petersburg, and in Atlanta.
Skilled therapists use their experience to bring loved ones into part of the recovery process. As a result, families learn to communicate better, which can improve the ability of the family member to heal.
If you would like more information about support groups for families of addicts, visit our admissions page now. We can help your loved one while bringing the family back together.