When one member of the family develops a drug addiction, the whole family suffers too. It hurts to see our loved ones hurting, and their behavior hurts us too. Experts agree that drug addiction is a family disease, rather than an individual problem. This is why support groups for family members of drug addicts can be such a great resource.
Addiction is a family disease that stresses the family to the breaking point, impacts the stability of the home, the family’s unity, mental health, physical health, finances, and overall family dynamics
The Importance of Family Support in the Recovery of a Drug Addict
A family is a powerful unit, with the ability to heal and mend, or violently break apart like a supernova. The dynamics within a family can contribute to addiction by creating addictive behavior patterns, tension, stress, and fostering codependent relationships. It is important to address these factors at the same time as the addiction.
Healing broken family dynamics is part of the process of your loved one’s recovery. As a group, you will need to work together on discovering and breaking down emotional barriers. The goal is to create a supportive, functional, and healthy environment for the addict to return to after completing treatment. This way, they can focus on maintaining recovery without all of their old family triggers affecting them.
Have you and your family had the conversation about addiction yet?
Coming to terms with your addiction is the first step on the road to recovery. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to tell your loved ones what’s been happening. Although it’s not something we look forward to, following these guidelines will help you accomplish the next step as smoothly as possible.
- Write down your thoughts ahead of time
- Get Honest: thinking about the ways in which your addiction has hurt your family and loved ones is crucial when having ‘the talk.’
- Recognize: the family may already know about your addiction, just by seeing changes in your appearance and behavior.
- Express Your Regret: saying ‘I’m sorry’ goes a long way; acknowledge your family’s own suffering.
- Make a Plan: preparing treatment entry ahead of time will show your family that you’re serious about recovery.
- Be Prepared for a Reaction: opening up to your family about addiction and your desire for treatment is likely to elicit some reaction. Be prepared for your family to show their anger, surprise, judgment, even happiness.
Support Groups for Family Members of Drug Addicts: What are they?
Have you heard of alcholic or drug addict support groups? Well, there are also support groups for the family members of drug addicts and alcoholics. Some of the most well-known groups include the following. You can search online for when and where these groups meet in your area.
- Al-Anon: for the friends and family members of alcoholics
- Adult Children of Alcoholics Anonymous: this group is specifically for people who grew up in a household affected by alcoholism.
- Nar-anon: for the friends and family members of drug addicts
- Codependents Anonymous: this group is open to any codependents of addicts, although most often these are spouses of alcoholics.
- Alateen: this group is for the teenaged children of alcoholics.
Support Groups for Family Members of Drug Addicts | How do they help?
Support: By joining a support group for the friends and family of addicts, you will meet other people facing the same types of challenges as you. Unlike in the real world where people may judge or criticize your family, in a support group, you will find kindness, acceptance, and encouragement.
Support groups are an invaluable resource for finding peers you can relate to. Sharing your experiences with drug addiction will help both you, your family, and the connections you make within the group.
Release: Many support groups follow a group therapy type of model. This means that during the bulk of the meeting, you will all sit together and have an opportunity to share your experiences. Each person gets a chance to let out their frustrations, fears, woes, and losses which are surprisingly cathartic. You will leave the group meeting feeling just a little bit lighter, and relieved of some of those negative pent-up emotions.
Education: Beyond receiving the emotional benefits of family support groups, you will also gain more knowledge about addiction and its fallout. Sometimes a speaker will briefly lecture about their expertise on addiction, but your greatest resource will be the other group members. They might share stories that teach you better ways to cope with the addict’s behavior or your own emotions.
Support Groups for Family Members of Drug Addicts | Breathe Life Healing Centers
Our family support services are one of Breathe’s most successful innovations in healing. We offer both a 5-Day Family Workshop and Family Class™ designed to support families through every step of the recovery process.
In our family programs, we work as a group to parse through the factors related to the addiction. We work with family members individually, the client, and the family as a group. During our programs, we focus on topics like:
- Relapse Prevention
- What is recovery?
- Monitoring self-care
- Roles in the family
- Goals + Expectations
- Home Safe
- Securing the Nest Family
- Faith and Focus
If you and your family are struggling with addiction, reach out to us at Breathe Life Healing Centers where we focus on the family as a whole.