To the Families
What often gets overlooked when we talk about addiction is help for the family members of the addict or alcoholic. Addiction is often referred to as the “Family Disease”, and for good reason. Oftentimes, help for their families can be just as necessary as it is for the addicts themselves. Everyone in the addict’s life can be brought to their knees by the effects of addiction. This is why it is important to understand and seek support for the family, not just the addict.
For those of us with addicts in the family, unless we have had previous experience with addiction and, in turn, recovery, we have our own preconceived notions on how it should be dealt with. We know that the person needs “rehab”. We know that we want to either help them in any way we can, or not deal with them at all. But the bottom line is, we don’t know a lot. Because of the way a family inherently functions as a unit, individual relationships within the family can be twisted and turned, radiating out to friends, school, and the community. These relationships can become unhealthy and toxic as the addict or alcoholic continues to succumb to their illness.
Many 12-step programs like Al-Anon, Nar-Anon and CODA (Co-dependents Anonymous) offer valuable help for the families of drug addicts. These groups know all to well how addiction affects the family. These programs offer an incredible amount support in the form of encouragement and education for those who seek their help. A lot of us want to resort back to our old behaviors of codependence or lashing out in anger when the going gets tough, but running your thinking through others in a community such as these and asking for help can help abate the situation and possibly even prevent another one.
Evidence shows that addicts and alcoholics in recovery are much more successful when their families are aided in reestablishing healthier relationships with them by participating in 12-step programs. It is for this reason that Clear Recovery Center urges members of the family to become involved in Al-Anon or a similar support program.
Call us at Clear Recovery Center if you have any questions or concerns regarding your loved one or about help for family members of addicts. We would love to help.
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Addiction Treatment Family Resources
Al-Anon Family Groups
Al-Anon/Alateen, Al-Anon Family Groups, or Al-Anon, are different terms for the same “worldwide fellowship that offers a program of recovery for the families and friends of alcoholics, whether or not the alcoholic recognizes the existence of a drinking problem or seeks help.”
Nar-Anon Family Groups
Nar-Anon Family Groups are for those who know the feeling of desperation due to the addiction problem of someone close to them. Members share their experiences, strength, and hope at weekly meetings, which are usually held at locations such as treatment and community centers, hospitals, churches, or local twelve-step clubs.
Co-Dependents Anonymous is a program of recovery from codependence, where each of us may share our experience, strength, and hope in our efforts to find freedom where there has been bondage and peace where there has been turmoil in our relationships with others and ourselves.