Adult Children Of Alcoholics
ADULT CHILDREN OF ALCOHOLICS is a Twelve Step organization where adults find recovery and healing after being raised with abuse and neglect. Although the name specifies children of alcoholics, this group welcomes all people raised in dysfunctional families who exhibit symptoms of past abuse and neglect.
You dont have to allow the past and anothers sickness to define your life, your feelings and behavior. Through working the Twelve Steps and connecting with others who are healing from childhood abuse, you can grow, leave your past behind and become the person you are meant to be.
ACA embraces the difficult task of trauma work. Those people who grew up in dysfunctional families, where one or both parents were too sick to provide the nurturing and protection necessary for a child to feel safe, loved, and valuable as a human being, are usually burdened with feelings of shame, worthlessness and abandonment.
Childhood trauma doesnt just go away with time and distance. Through working the Twelve Steps and connecting with others who are overcoming their past trauma, you can heal and find freedom from the prison of childhood abuse.
ADA meetings are located all over the U.S. and internationally. Like other Twelve Step groups, support is voluntary, usually through small individual contributions at meetings and you do not have to pay anything to attend.
Look Into Professional Treatment And Drug Rehab Services For Them
Once your family member is committed to recovery, its time to explore their treatment choices. While alcohol and drug addiction treatment can vary according to the specific drug, a successful program often includes different elements, such as:
Detoxification. Usually, the first step is to purge your body of drugs and manage withdrawal symptoms.
Behavioral therapy. The individual, group, and/or family therapy can help you identify the root causes of your drug use, repair your relationships, and learn healthier coping skills.
Medication-assisted treatment may be used to manage withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapse, or treat any co-occurring mental health condition such as depression or anxiety.
Long-term follow-up can help to prevent relapse and maintain sobriety. This may include attending regular in-person support groups or online meetings to help keep your recovery on track.
Look for a trusted treatment facility that provides evidence-based programs aligned with your loved ones specific circumstances. For example, do you believe your loved one might have other co-occurring mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression? Seek a program that has the capability to address mental health disorders as well as alcohol and drug addiction, such as a dual diagnosis treatment program.
Connect With Understanding Peers
Its not always easy to live with or support someone who has an addiction. As research points out, addiction in a close relative can serve as a stressful life situation that persists for years, and that long-term dysfunction can make it hard for families to communicate clearly. There can be a block of mistrust between every member of a family touched by the addiction.
Connecting with peers can help, particularly if families use a well-established, trusted program like Al-Anon or Alateen. The goal of these programs is to provide help for families of those living with addiction. They also provide a safe, nonjudgmental space where family members can learn, discuss and cope with an addiction unfolding in their midst.
People go to meetings like this for all sorts of reasons, but one survey found that many participants were drawn to meetings in hopes of finding help with:
- Finding a better quality of life
- Having fewer problems with the addicted person
- Lowering levels of stress
- Improving psychological health
These are lofty goals, but meetings really can help. By going to a meeting and listening to other family members, feelings of isolation and doubt may begin to fade. Families may also get the skills they need to better handle the interpersonal problems theyre facing. These meetings can help families learn how to deal with a loved ones addiction.
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Convincing Loved Ones To Seek Treatment
Finding a rehab center is half the battle. Convincing someone to seek treatment for addiction may take patience and dedication. Every persons reasons for avoiding rehab are different. However, families can encourage their loved ones to seek help.
For example, children can convince parents to go to rehab by explaining how drug use has affected their lives. Other loved ones can point out financial problems or legal issues caused by substance abuse.
How Addiction Affects Loved Ones
Prolonged substance abuse will not only deteriorate the health of the addict, impair their mental function and damage their spirit, but it will also impact the physical health, psychological well-being, and financial stability of the entire family.
A child living in a home with addicted parents can be changed forever. Data shows that one in five children in America is living with an addicted parent today. Children learn by hearing, seeing, and through their environment. Children watch their parents and are curious about what they see, and their actions often mimic the behaviors they have witnessed. Children living with an addicted parent are at a higher risk of developmental delays, and in many instances, their physical and emotional health becomes neglected.
Additionally, behavioral and psychological problems are experienced at a much higher rate for children and teens of addicted parents. Among other concerns, a child who lives with and watches an addictive parent is at a higher risk of becoming an addict. A child of an alcoholic parent is four times more likely to suffer from alcohol abuse disorder, typically beginning when theyre teenagers and continuing into adulthood.
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Do Your Research & Learn The Signs
To help an addicted loved one, it is necessary to know the signs and symptoms of addiction. What addiction looks like is different for everybody, and therefore, it is essential to do your research to understand when your loved one is acting differently. Some common signs and symptoms you may want to look for include:
- Developing problems with memory
- Appearing intoxicated more and more often
- Sleeping more or at irregular hours
- Appearing unwell and tired
- Emerging difficulties at work or at school such as dropping out or losing a job
- Significant alterations in mood such as becoming angry, sad or lashing out when questioned about their substance use
- Avoiding social or family events specifically to use drugs or drink
- Stealing money or valuables to pay for drugs or alcohol
- Lying about substance use or how much they are using
- Attending social events only if drugs or alcohol are available or becoming intoxicated before the event
- Neglected appearance and poor hygiene
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they are not using
How To Find Support Groups Near Me
Finding support groups near your home is as easy as checking the websites for meetings in your area.
- to find a Nar-Anon meeting near you.
- to find an Al-Anon meeting near you.
- to find a Families Anonymous meeting near you.
If you cant find an in-person meeting near you, virtual meetings are also available.
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Natural Consequences Instead Of Punishment
Not rewarding bad behaviour is equally as important as rewarding good behaviour. This is generally what people mean when they talk about not enabling the addiction. People learn by suffering the consequences of their actions. It is better for you and your loved one if you are not exhausted from trying to minimize the consequences of his or her addiction. Natural consequences are what happen when you dont intervene. They can be small or big . Natural consequences provide motivation for change.
It is easy to explain the concept of natural consequences. Applying the principle in any particular set of circumstances can be extremely difficult, particularly when there is an issue of safety. If you are living with your loved one it may feel like every day is a test because there are often issues of safety. In these circumstances you have to decide if you can live with the natural consequences that your loved one may suffer. No one will be able to make these decisions for you. However, this is a topic that is very common in support groups and knowing that you are not alone and hearing what others have done in similar situations can help you make decisions in your best interest and the best interest of your loved one.
Support Groups For Children Of Parents With Abuse And Addiction Problems
Of all family members, children may be most impacted by substance abuse and addiction. Children of drug addicts often grow up in a chaotic world full of stress, traumatic experiences, and confusion.1 Drug addiction can take over a persons life and prevent them from being a good parent to their children. Children of addicts may be neglected, abused, ignored, dismissed, or fully abandoned.
Addiction can also take a toll on adult children when parents start abusing drugs after their children have already left the house and started lives of their own. These children may end up dealing with their parents addiction in a variety of ways. They may have excessive concern and worry over the parents condition and health. Some may end up covering the costs of living for parents who have financial struggles due to their addiction.
No matter the individual circumstances, addiction can take a toll on children of all ages. There are a variety of support programs and resources available not only to young children, but also to adult children of addicted parents, including the following:
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How Long Does Treatment Last
Treatment is a different experience for each patient, as everyone has a unique set of needs. Therefore, the length of your loved ones treatment will be dependent on a number of things, including:
- The severity of his or her substance use disorder
- How much he or she has been abusing
- How frequently his or her use has been occurring
- How many times he or she has tried to get sober
- His or her mental health at the time of admission
- What availability he or she has to dedicate to treatment
In general, treatment for substance use disorders can range anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. In some instances, treatment lasts for more than a year. A major deciding factor in the length of time a person spends in treatment is how much they progress during their treatment. Those who make bigger strides in their recovery are more likely to spend less time in treatment, while those who have a slower progression will likely operate at a slower pace, keeping them in treatment for longer.
Keep in mind that when your loved one begins treatment, he or she might be given a temporary timeline for how long he or she might be in treatment. It is not uncommon for treatment centers to require patients to stay for at least 30 days before determining if they should stay longer or leave after those 30 days are up.
Understanding The Relational Impact Of Substance Use Disorder
When someone we love is struggling with substance use disorder our tendency is to focus all of our attention on him or her and helping that person get well. This is, of course, of great importance, but it is also necessary to look beyond the individual. First, the involvement and support of family members plays a significant role in the recovery of addiction patients. Research suggests that family involvement in the intervention and recovery process enhances our patients potential for recovery. But recovery is not just for the individual suffering from addiction. Substance use disorder often spreads its roots throughout our patients community, such as close friends and family. Close relationships with someone who is struggling with addiction can affect people in several ways. Here are some of the ways support groups for families of drug addicts can help offer help during this difficult time.
If you have a family member struggling with a substance use disorder, then it is important to begin seeking treatment at our addiction recovery centers immediately. Recovery Centers of America provides comprehensive, evidence-based treatments for patientsthat includes programs for families as well. We know that offering support groups for families of drug addicts is a crucial part of helping patients and their families recover and enable them to live healthy and successful lives. To learn more about our treatment programs contact us at 1-800-RECOVERY.
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Help Get Family Support To Deal With A Drug Addicted Or Alcoholic Spouse
Addiction can take a toll on any marriage. It can create a variety of problems for couples including financial hardship, arguments, trust issues, legal problems, and codependent behaviors. Loving a spouse with a substance use problem creates a unique set of challenges that only a person who has experienced it firsthand can truly understand. Support groups can provide spouses of addicted loved ones with the support of a group of peers who can relate to their struggle.
All of the support groups listed above provide supportive services to spouses and other family members of addicted people.
There are also supportive programs available exclusively for spouses, including:
- Recovering Couples Anonymous: Recovering Couples Anonymous is a support program that uses the principles of AA but is not affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous. They provide support groups for any couple who is suffering from addictions or other dysfunctions that are impacting their relationships. The only requirement to join Recovering Couples is that the couple is committed to remain together, to work on improving their relationship, and to deepen their intimacy with one another. They are currently offering meetings in 15 U.S. states.
- Al-Anon for Spouses and Partners: In some locations, Al-Anon offers special support programs for spouses and romantic partners of individuals with alcoholism. Check their website to find out what programs may be available near you.
Things To Consider When Choosing A Support Group
Finding a support group may seem overwhelming. First, being vulnerable and confronting difficult emotions in front of others can be challenging. Its important to consider the value of support groups while exploring the many options to choose from. Consider the following when choosing a support group:
- How often does the group meet per week?
- What is the structure of this support group?
- Are there programs for other relatives?
- Does the group include spiritual of health-based coping mechanisms?
- How long does each meeting last?
- What are the financing options for each meeting ?
While group meetings take place, it may be helpful to consider the following group dynamics:
- How do you feel in terms of expression?
- Do other members make it uncomfortable?
- Are my concerns addressed?
- Are members able to connect with privacy?
- Is the information provided in each meeting effective?
It will always feel uncomfortable in the beginning when someone steps outside of their comfort zone and tries something newespecially a support group. It can be helpful to attend a groups meetings 3 times before deciding to join. During this process, it is important to be open minded and to look for similarities with others, not differences. When reaching out, one should try to be non-judgmental and to compare oneself with others. It is about relating to emotions not experiences.
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Parents Of Addicted Loved Ones
PARENTS OF ADDICTED LOVED ONESis an organization where people come together to support each other, share their stories, and find solutions. PAL is not a Twelve Step group, but many supplement their Twelve Step meetings with PAL group support.
Though the group name, Parents of Addicted Loved Ones, implies that to belong to this group you must have an addicted child, PAL offers support to all who find themselves taking a parental role in their relationship with an addicted loved one. This can include
- Biological parents
- Anybody in a relationship where your role is parenting the addict
One of the exercises PAL groups use is to picture your addicted loved ones age. Many parents of addicts found they visualized their offspring as an adolescent, even if the addict was an adult. The truth is that when somebody becomes addicted they stop growing emotionally. When you use a substance to shut down your feelings you dont have a chance to grow up through dealing with everyday life and the normal emotions and feelings life commonly causes.
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Learn How To Communicate Better
Families are not powerless. We can control our side of the conversation. Good communication is a cornerstone of good relationships. Good communication involves active listening. This basic guide is a good refresher on better communication skills for everyone at all times. It becomes particularly important when relationships become strained as they do when a loved one is in active addiction.
Often persons in active addiction can feel hopeless, depressed, and have a poor self-image. This is where families can make things better or worse. You can support them by making sure that your words do not confirm their negative feelings. Keeping your communications positive will not only help your loved one but it will help you too. Everyone at times says things that they regret later. Keeping things positive will help you avoid subsequent feelings of regret. Positive communication sends the message that you are both on the same team fighting the addiction instead of in opposite ends of the ring fighting each other.
At times this may be difficult to do because your loved ones communications with you may be negative or offensive but there are only two alternatives in this situation. Sink down to that level of negativity or rise above it.
Some points to keep in mind and practice: