The Importance Of Family Support For Opioid Addiction
Opioid addiction is a chronic disease with biological, psychological, and environmental factors that affects millions of Americans and their families. Oftentimes, those closest to individuals suffering substance abuse struggle the most, and for numerous reasons. Family and friends uncomfortably watch their loved ones transform in harmful ways, lost to the grip of dangerous substances. Because of this, family members could benefit from support groups.
Family members, coworkers, and friends witness the mind and body of their loved ones change. They endure difficult home situations where moods change. Trust and communication become compromised. Parents may unfortunately lose their children to the streets as they fuel their Opioid habit and endanger their relationships, careers, education, mind, body, and health. As she fuels an Opioid habit, she also endangers her body, health and family relationships. Misunderstandings and arguments become normal methods of communication. Eventually, a happy home becomes a place of confusion, hopelessness, and despair.
Family members often begin to display symptoms of co-dependency as a coping method for the unpredictable behavior of their addicted loved one. Often, family members do not realize when they are enabling their loved ones when their intentions are to help them.
The Various Causes For Addiction
Early disclosure to a home exposed by drug use can make a child feel ignored and at risk of danger. Subsequently, they can turn out to be more impulsive as it affects them emotionally. Kids might foster blame and self-doubt for a parents substance misuse. They might boost sensations of shamefulness for aggravations around the home or foster useless connections in their adulthood.
Adolescents can become overburdened by drugs, and stressed connections at home might make them flee from home. Substance use problems can negatively affect relatives and the individual battling addiction. They may also have developmental disorders such as depression and anxiety because of the stress they face for their loved ones. Fortunately, there is help. Therapists and medical professionals can respond to questions relatives might have.
Finding help for families of addicts may sound tricky, but many channels can help you. Thanks to the internet and the world wide web, addiction support for families is right there at your disposal.
Family Counseling During Addiction Treatment
Most inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment programs make a point to include family members, friends, and other loved ones in a variety of options for support, whether this means counseling and therapy sessions where family members are present or larger group family counseling sessions within a group.
At FHE we present several options for family and friends to get involved with their loved ones recovery, both for their own emotional process and to provide the necessary support to their loved one through an arduous process of healing.
Addiction affects the entire family unit. There is no shame in seeking a support group because of its impact. Often the best thing you can do to support your family member is to take care of yourself and be available when they reach out for help.
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What Are Two Support Groups For Families Coping With Alcoholism
While they may not be as prevalent as support groups for spouses and general family, there are some support groups that hold meeting designed specifically for siblings. Siblings of an addicted person can be a neglected group in the treatment of a family dealing with a loved ones addictionin particular, when dealing with an addicted adolescent, the siblings often feel ignored when the parents are so focused on the child with the addiction issues.2 Siblings may find common ground and encouragement with others in the same situation through support groups.
Al-Anon and Alateen both offer support group services to help young peopleincluding those adolescent and teen siblings impacted by someone elses drinking. In fact, Alateen is part of Al-Anon, but is specifically designed to help younger people who are coping with substance abuse in someone close to them, whether that individual is a parent, sibling, other relative, or friend.
What Are Examples Of Support Groups For Families Of Addicts
Because addiction affects so many family members, support groups for family members of drug addicts are very active in most communities. Examples of support groups available across the United States include the following:
- Nar-Anon Family Groups: This group is a 12 step program for family members of people with a drug addiction. It is a place that allows them to seek validation and support from other people who also have family members battling addiction, whether its a parent, sibling, aunt, uncle, cousin, child, or another family member. Nar-Anon family groups are completely free to participants and are completely anonymous, just like Narcotics Anonymous.
- Al-Anon Family Groups: Al-Anon Family Groups are very similar to Nar-Anon groups in that they are a safe space to find support for people with family members that are addicts. It is a 12 step program, anonymous, and free of charge to attend like Nar-Anon. The main difference is that Al-Anon Family Groups are geared toward individuals who have family members abusing alcohol specifically.
- Families Anonymous: This group is aimed toward people with family members struggling with addiction. It is also a 12 step program like Nar-Anon and Al-Anon. It was originally created in 1971 for parents of children that are concerned about their childrens drug use. Now, it is more generalized and geared toward anyone that has a family member struggling with addiction.
Additional Resources & Support For Families Of Addicts
Families living with addiction dont have to walk the path to recovery alone. There are a number of excellent treatment facilities that provide support for both the person and their family, including The Recovery Village. Our treatment teams have built a set of programs geared toward families of patients, including family weekends that offer educational courses on addiction for family members.
Support from family members and friends can be an integral part of a successful recovery. Friends and family members who stay informed and take care of their mental and physical health are better equipped to deal with addiction, support their loved ones and put their family on the path to lifelong recovery. Contact us today if you have questions about family resources, the recovery process or personalized treatment options for addiction that could work well for your loved one.
Support Groups For Spouses Of Alcoholics
Marriages can be seriously affected by a persons alcohol addiction. The addicted persons focus on his or her addiction makes it difficult to concentrate on a relationship with another person many spouses try to handle their partners addiction to alcohol by attempting to control it in various ways. And in some cases, the couples may use or abuse alcohol together.
Many partners of an alcoholic feel shame, anxiety, anger, and isolation. They may neglect themselves physically and emotionally to cope with their partners addiction. In addition, the non-using partner often has to take on the role of both parents if the alcoholic cannot fulfill his or her parental role.2
Couples frequently benefit from some form of intervention to cope with the stress of addiction, and support groups can be a tremendous resource for the spouse of an addicted person.
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Support For Families: What Is A Family Recovery Support Program
As with the treatment of any illness, whether it be physical, social, mental or emotional, family can play a central role in how the course of treatment plays out. Some of this is why the field of family work was created and has been studied for years and years.
Within the world of addiction sciences, like we said before, family CAN play a big role but most treatment programs focus only on the individual. We know that addiction treatment and the recovery process can beand often isdeeply personal, but it can also make a world of difference to include the family in this sort of thing.
Family members and close friends often witness the mindsand sometimes bodiesof their loved ones change during the struggle with addiction, regardless of the substance used. They endure difficult home situations alongside the person who is facing the addiction. Trust and communication can become compromised in part from fighting, arguments, or internal struggles or from the lack of communication skills that promote healthy communication.
Often during these tense circumstances, misunderstandings and arguments turn into the normal methods of communication for families or friends that are on edge and feeling the pressure. Eventually, what may have once been known as a happy home becomes a must darker place of confusion, hopelessness, and despair.
So, now that we know and understand a group setting for family therapy, lets look at what makes it so crucial for treatment.
Benefits Of Support Groups For Families Affected By Addiction And Substance Abuse
Treatment is needed not only for the addiction of the person who is using, but also for the whole family. Al-Anons support groups are also beneficial for the parents of children, both young and grown, who are addicted to alcohol. Parents are often faced with other stresses and challenges, including serious issues that go beyond their childs alcohol abuse, such as any associated violence, illegal activities, comorbid psychiatric disorders, and risky sexual behaviors.
Al-Anon can help provide support for these parents as members share their stories of learning to let go and stop enabling their children. Parents recount stories of following their children, bailing them out of legal situations, and trying to forbid them from associating with negative peers. Parents report feeling that Al-Anon gave them a place to discuss their problems with their children without feeling judged.
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Family Programs And How To Support Addicted Family
The recovery process can be difficult and extremely delicate, but it is worth it if we see someone we love struggling with addiction. Many support groups exist in every region of the United States and around the world to help family members going through the same thing you are. These groups can provide not only education and information to help guide you through the process, but can also offer amazing support networks with others who understand what you are going through.
Different Kinds Of Support Groups
Because there are a multitude of issues that can come up when a person has a relationship with an addict, there are a variety of support groups available for help. There are support groups specifically for spouses because their relationship leads to unique dynamics that need to be addressed. Spouses of addicts need to be around others that have experienced similar problems with their partners so that they can receive the advice and support that they need.
There are other support groups available for specific family members such as parents of addicts. It can be especially painful and disappointing to have a son or daughter who has developed an addiction. Parents may be dealing with feelings of failure and may be unknowingly enabling their child by helping them.
Addiction can be especially hard on children who witness the addictive behavior of a parent on a regular basis. Children with an addicted parent often live in chaos or fail to receive the care and parenting they need to become a functioning adult. Support groups for children of addicts can be a safe place for people to confide in others who have also grown up with an addicted parent.
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Enthusiastic Sobriety Relies On Providing Support To The Entire Family
Parents of drug abusers experience a wide range of emotions drug abuse or drug addiction in the family is a very scary thing to have to deal with. Fear, guilt, anger, depression, confusion, and hopelessness can cripple any parent wrestling with addiction in the home. Other parents who have been through the addiction and treatment process can provide empathetic support. For many parents, this is the first step towards getting help or addressing any mental health issues that have arisen as a result of having a drug abuser in the home. The tools of enthusiastic sobriety apply as well to parents as to teens and young adults. These techniques provide parents with the opportunity to develop strategies for family recovery. Even if you have tried something like Al Anon or Nar Anon in the past, you may find that our unique perspective related to young people with drug problems is more useful to you.
How To Support Someone With An Addiction
Dont try to help someone with an addiction on your own. Substance use disorder, the medical term for addiction, is a chronic disease. You wouldnt try to treat other chronic diseases, such as diabetes, without help.
You would want to learn as much as you can about the illness and urge your loved one to seek professional treatment. After the person visits the doctor, youd encourage him or her to make healthy lifestyle changes. Those are the same steps you should take to help someone with an addiction.
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Support Groups For Families And Friends Of Addicts
People that are struggling to become sober have lots of support from their treatment center and regular group meetings so that they can handle the experience. What about the family and friends of addicts that are also grappling with this difficult time? Support groups for those that have loved ones with addictions can be a very helpful and healing resource.
Twelve step and other types of treatment programs understand that it is not just the addict that is negatively impacted by substance abuse. When someone has an addiction it can hurt them and everyone around them. The way that a person behaves while they have an addiction can be very painful and confusing for their loved ones.
Support groups for an addicts close friends and family can be a place for people to talk about what they are dealing with now and what has been problematic in the past. There are many frustrating aspects of knowing someone with an addiction and being able to talk about it can help ease some of the stress and make it more manageable. These kinds of support groups are designed to give people an outlet for dealing with their feelings about a persons addiction and the recovery process.
Parents Of Addicted Loved Ones
Parents of Addicted Loved Ones is a Christian-run non-profit based on one founding phrase: People helping people through the woods. PAL meetings are usually held weekly and provide support for parents who have children addicted to drugs or alcohol. PAL groups are run by peers and consist of both an educational and a sharing component.
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Why Family And Friends Need Support
There are many reasons why people who know an addict need help from a support group to get them through the other persons recovery. Addiction is a long-term problem and the things that an addict goes through can affect everyone around them. Close loved ones have many difficult and conflicted feelings about the addict and they need to talk about them with people that understand.
The dynamic between family members when there is an addiction in one or more individuals can be very complicated. Some family members may be angry and resentful, trying to exert control over the persons addiction by hiding bottles taking away their car keys. Others may unwittingly become enablers by helping take care of the addict, hiding their behavior or lying to other people about their substance abuse.
People within a family and even close friends often take on different roles when dealing with an addict. They may not even be aware of how they are coping with this persons addiction and how they are enabling or causing more conflict with them. Support groups give people a chance to get feedback on their relationship and learn better ways of dealing with these problems.
Parents Of An Addicted Child
When parents have a teen or adult child with a substance use disorder, it can be a very unfamiliar situation. These people are used to being able to exert some level of control over their child, but addiction can change everything. No matter how balanced a relationship is before addiction comes into play, the addition of drugs or alcohol can turn it on its head.
This is the reality of having a child who is an addict, and many parents feel helpless. An article published by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids outlines the harsh realities faced when ones adult child is an addict.
The author talks about the initial shock of learning that his child was an addict, and a tumultuous first few years that involved a constant feeling of worry and fear for what the future held. The articles titular 7 Truths encompass the acceptance that parents have to develop that they cannot fight addiction without help that their son, the addict, will not be recognizable as long as he continues to abuse drugs and alcohol.
The fact is, parents arent able to force their addicted children to get help, but they can reach out for support. Here are a few different options for support groups that they can attend with or without their addicted child to learn strategies to help them in their battle with addiction:
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Finding Help And Support Is Essential In Understanding A Family Members Substance Use Disorder
Addiction is sometimes referred to as a family disease. This is because one family members addiction can ultimately affect the entire family. Family members attending support groups can find it to be highly beneficial in helping a family heal, whether it is healing from the dysfunction that addiction causes or just learning how to better handle conflict or confrontation as a family.
This type of treatment also increases the chances that their loved one will seek help and maintain long-term, lifelong recovery.
Of course this isnt the only thing that makes support groups during family programs important.