Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Is Al Anon For Families Of Drug Addicts

Drugfam Support For Loved Ones

Al-Anon offers help in southeastern Wisconsin

DrugFAM founder Elizabeth Burton-Phillips lost a son to heroin addiction in 2004. In her struggle to find healing, Burton-Phillips also struggled to find the kind of support she needed for her family as they dealt with her sons addiction and eventual death. The grieving mother went on to create DrugFAM in 2006 with the mission of ensuring that no one affected by drug use not family members, friends, or caregivers is left feeling isolated and fearful of seeking help from local or national support organisations.

The primary objective of DrugFAM is to support and educate the family members of drug and alcohol abusers. It is to let them know that they are understood and cared for by passionate people who are generally interested in the welfare of those they serve. As one of the most respected national charities for the families of drug and alcohol abusers, DrugFAM assists those in need through:

  • weekly support groups
  • bereavement support
  • telephone and e-mail support.

Prepare Meals And Eat Them As A Family

In todays modern, chaotic world, its all too easy to eat separately. One partner grabs a burger on the way home, the other snacks on salad at work and the kids heat up ready-made foods they can find in the freezer.

A family meal allows everyone to reconnect at the end of a day that may have been stressful, lonely or upsetting. Each meal helps build upon the work done in family therapy, and the ritual of eating together can promote a sense of common ground and togetherness.

The activity doesnt have to stop at the table, either. Spending time making the meal together or cleaning up afterwards can increase the benefits. Even one meal together per week can have a significant impact.

What Happens In Al

Al-anon meetings are very similar to AA meetings.

Al-Anon meetings are structured similarly to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. They usually start on time and last around an hour. The chairperson opens the meeting with the serenity prayer and the 12 steps. They also welcome new members and newly returned members. The serenity prayer is one of the very few religious aspects of Al-Anon and may be interpreted in a few ways. Some people use it as more of a mantra than an actual prayer.

Then there is a discussion and sharing. People share their stories and their problems in a respectful manner. Some meetings are simply sharing meetings while others discuss the 12 steps or other aspects of Alcoholism.

At the end of the meeting, they say the Lords Prayer and close the meeting with announcements. After the meeting, many people stay around to talk and socialize but the meetings normally end on time.

Read Also: How Do Other Countries Deal With Drug Addiction

What About You When Dealing With Addiction Has Taken Over Your Life

When we love somebody who is addicted to alcohol and/or drugs we lose ourselves in their ongoing crisis. We forget that we are important too. Life is centered on helping the alcoholic or addict, or just dealing with the constant chaos their addiction creates. Our lives are thrown off-balance and we become emotionally sick. Like recovery from addiction itself, recovery for family members starts with admitting that we have a problem and seeking help.

There are many support groups for families and friends of alcoholics and drug addicts. Addiction is a worldwide crisis and there are many, many people who share your difficulties in loving someone with an addiction. Like you, they became lost in the crisis of dealing with their loved ones addiction. They found support and healing by connecting with other people who have addicted loved ones.

Frequently, when you take your focus off of your sick loved one and put it back where it belongson yourself and your own life, the addict will follow your example and seek recovery. However, this should not be your primary motivation for seeking help. Though it may not seem like it after a long, heartbreaking struggle trying to save your loved one who has the disease of addiction, you are a valuable person and your well-being is just as important.

Talk Openly About The Shift

Addiction Effects the Family as a Whole

After attending Al-Anon meetings, families may have a deep understanding of the habits and behaviors theyd like to shift. The best way to make those adjustments is to discuss the plan with the addicted person in an open and honest manner. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids provides these conversation tips:

  • Choose a time to talk when the person will be sober.
  • Emphasize the fact that the changes come from love, not a desire for revenge or punishment.
  • Use open-ended questions about addiction to help the person come to understand that substance abuse might be the root of the issues the family is facing.
  • Set limits clearly, and be prepared to stick to them.
  • Stay positive, and resist the urge to fight or give in to attacks.

This conversation can be brief, but the family should be sure to point out the specific behaviors that theyre planning to change, along with the reasons theyre changing those behaviors.

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Our Support Here At Rehab Clinics Group

If youre currently struggling with addiction, here at Rehab Clinics Group, we can help. Weve helped many individuals through substance abuse, addiction and mental health issues, recover from minimal to chronic disorders.

Through our range of residential rehab programmes, addiction treatments, and recovery motivating environments, we provide opportunity to slowly heal. We can work on both physical and psychological side effects, linked to addiction, helping you change your habits and outlook on substance abuse. With this in mind, if youre committed to recovering, we can help you achieve this through personally tailored rehab programmes.

Likewise, if your struggling to open up to your family members, while increasing their understanding of addiction, we can support you through therapy sessions, tailored for family groups. Al-anon meetings may also be recommended, depending on your circumstances, offering a further level of help for your personal support network.

If what are al-anon meetings is running through your mind, along with how they can truly benefit both addicts and family members, reach out today. We can discuss recovery potentials, along with alternative addiction treatments to help you rehabilitate.

For the best possible relationship with both family members and hazardous substances, al-anon meetings can help.

Alcohol Addiction

How To Support Someone With An Addiction

Recovery is a process of change and there are four dimensions that support the recovery of an addicted loved one. The first dimension is health. Families of addicts can support their addicted loved one through helping them overcome or manage their disease or the symptoms of that disease. This can be done by helping the loved one make healthy decisions that support their emotional and physical well-being. Next, support needs to happen in the home. Family members should ensure that the addicted loved one has a safe and stable living environment. This will help the addicted individual reduce their stress by having a safe place to live. Family members need to provide support for a loved one by helping them find their purpose. This can be done through conducting meaningful daily activities and allowing the individual suffering from the addiction to having independence, income, and resources to help them participate in society. Finally, family members need to provide support for a loved one though helping them find community. Community is created through helping the addicted loved one form healthy relationships and social networks that provide them with support, friendship, love, and most importantly hope for a better future.

Read Also: How Do You Become Addicted To Alcohol

What To Expect At An Al

Every Al-Anon group has its own unique way of conducting meetings however, many have similar outlines. Generally, meetings will begin with a short opening and introductions. Newcomers are also welcomed during this time and are given some helpful tips, such as not expecting too much too soon and information about confidentiality. The remainder of the meeting is spent on any group announcements, and sharing stories of experience, strength and hope. After the meeting closing, members often share hugs which you may choose to accept or decline.

For those who are interested in joining an Al-Anon group but are unsure what to expect, heres a brief explanation:

Memberships Association With Outcomes

What is Al Anon | 12-Step Family Meetings | My Al-Anon Experience


Of newcomers and members, 80.3% had good or excellent health . Nevertheless, 58.9% of both groups had recently experienced a medical condition and/or a psychological condition . Newcomers and members did not differ on medical and psychological conditions or on frequency of recent physical and/or sexual abuse, which had been experienced by 12.2%. Most newcomers and members recently had often felt anxious, depressed, guilty, and hopeless . Nevertheless, most often felt happy and had a positive attitude toward themselves . In contrast, only 37.1% of attendees often experienced having control over what happened to them.

Substance use.

Newcomers were more likely than members to have had an alcoholic drink in the past month . Relatively few respondents had engaged in heavy episodic drinking or used nonprescription drugs , but most had used prescription drugs . Respondents reported having psychological problems , family arguments , money problems , physical health problems , or problems with their job or school because of their own alcohol or other drug use . Newcomers and members did not differ on these personal substance use-related problems.

Use of help.


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The Benefits Of Support Groups For Families Affected By Addiction And Mental Illness

Addiction is a family disease that affects everyone close to the person who has a substance use disorder. Groups designed for family members can help support positive outcomes for everyone touched by addiction and other behavioral health issues. It is important to remember that if you think you need support, you are not alone, and there are others who have been through similar experiences who can help you.

Addiction 101what Is Al

Al-Anon is a 12-Step program and mutual support system for men, women and children who have a loved one who is struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction.

Al-Anon directly derives its structure from the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous, and utilizes peer support and encouragement to help the loved ones of addicts and alcoholics learn to refocus their attention and overcome difficult emotional situations. Many of the people who come to Al-Anon find common ground with one another in the sense that they have experienced immense despair and hopelessness at the hands of substance abuse and dependence. They are not affected by their own substance abuse disorder, but by the addiction of a close relative or friend.

Addiction is a family disease, meaning that it is not only the afflicted who suffers, but everyone that he or she interacts with on a daily basis. In most cases this means the immediate family members of the alcoholic or addict the bystanders that want nothing more than to help are the ones that undergo the brunt of the emotional and psychological trauma that addiction causes. If you have a loved one who has been suffering from addiction and you feel as if you have nowhere left to turn, attending an Al-Anon meeting is a great idea. This is a widely accessible and completely free resource, open to anyone who cares about someone that is struggling with addiction.

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Stay In Touch With Personal Joy

Managing expectations is a little easier when individuals are responsible for their own bliss. That means every member of a recovering family needs to take time to do something thats relaxing and fulfilling. This could include:

  • Playing an instrument
  • Cooking
  • Crafting

These activities and others like them can make the participant feel happy, preserve a sense of efficacy and worth and help boost mental health.

For example, an author for Psychology Today reports that knitters get a boost of calming chemicals in their brain cells when they sit down with needles and yarn. The hobby is repetitive, but these actions can be soothing. Its a form of meditation that allows people to slow down their active brain cells. At the end of a knitting session, people have a product to show for the time theyve spent. When life is full of activities that seem hard to complete and progress is difficult to see, a hobby that produces something tangible can be a great comfort.

How To Find An Al

A Guide for Talking To Family about a Substance Abuse ...

Al-Anon and Nar-Anon meetings take place globally, so chances are you can find a gathering near you. The easiest way to find an Al-Anon or Nar-Anon meeting is to visit the An-Anon or Nar-On meetings websites at al-anon.org/al-anon-meetings/find-an-al-anon-meeting/ and nar-anon.org/find-a-meeting. There you can read about the different types of sessions available and can find something suitable for you.

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Go To Family Therapy Sessions

Spouses, siblings and parents of addicts often absorb many of the consequences of their loved ones substance use. Many people have a hard time talking openly about the behavior thats harming them, so they say nothing. Family members can also become distant if theyre tired of fighting with their loved one. They may blame themselves when the addiction persists or blame the addicted person for their unhappiness.

These silences and blame games can hold a family back from getting help. Family members may not have the tools on their own to assist someone in active recovery and they may not have the energy to help themselves.

Family therapy programs are designed to break down distrust and guilt by giving everyone a chance to feel heard. It can help family members understand themselves and each other, and work through conflict in a healthy way.Families that were once defined by anger and addiction can grow into tight-knit units that are able to support one another through honest communication and healthy boundaries.

Family therapy sessions can take time, and it can be tempting to skip a session particularly for families with a number of conflicting appointments and agendas. However, this work is vital to the mental health of everyone involved, so meetings should be attended whenever possible.

The Future Of Your Family

We cannot be too strong in urging you to seek out the support of one of the three organisations we have listed here or, if not possible, some other like-minded support group. Please understand that the friend or loved one using drugs and alcohol may never change. He or she may continue what he or shes doing until it finally puts them in the grave. You cannot change that. However, you can decide that his or her substance abuse is not going to ruin your life for the rest of your family relationships.

Support from groups like AdFam and Al-Anon is vital to the future of your family. Without it, there is no telling where you will end up two, five or 10 years from now. Without it, you may eventually get to the point where you cannot cope a point that leads you to begin exhibiting behaviour that is equally unhealthy and destructive.

Addiction Helper counsellors are standing by right now to assist you in finding an appropriate support group close to where you live. If you have reached a place where your loved one is beginning to contemplate seeking treatment, we can prepare you for an eventual decision by walking you through the treatment options currently available. We can even assist you in making arrangements when that time comes.

  • Relevant Links

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How To Join Al

If you would like to join an Al-Anon Family Group or Al-Anon Alateen, find a meeting in your local area. Your nearest Al-Anon meeting location can be found online.

You can visit al-anon.org to check local information services. Many of those listed provide meeting information on their websites, such as where to find their office and contact details.

Worldwide Al-Anon Contacts

In addition to the United States, Al-Anon and Alateen have an office in over 60 countries around the world. You can get in touch with one of these offices by searching their Al-Anon Worldwide Contacts Database.

Learn About The Disease

“Day-to-day life in an alcoholic home A husbands story” from Al-Anon Family Groups

A lot of people dont understand why or how a loved one became addicted to drugs or alcohol. They may believe it has to do with a lack of self-control or low moral principles. Thats just not how it works. Drug addiction is a multifaceted disease that takes more than a strong-willed individual to overcome. Drug addiction changes the chemical balance in a persons brain making it extremely difficult to overcome without help. With that being said, it is important to learn about the specific disease that is impacting the loved one. This will help a family member or friend be able to find a treatment option that will best support the loved one and help them to overcome the disease effectively.

Take The First Step Towards Recovery

Talk to a Intake Coordinator

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Adhere To A Formal Sleep/wake Schedule

Some of the more dangerous addictive behaviors often occur in the middle of the night. People with addictions can meet dealers, overdose, stumble home from parties or get into other situations that family members have to deal with. Its no surprise, then, that some families in the recovery process struggle with sleep. Parts of their brains are ready and waiting for the next night crisis to arise.

Regular sleep loss can make the recovery process more difficult. For example, people who slept only 4.5 hours per night for one week reported feeling higher levels of anger, stress, sadness and mental exhaustion. People need sleep to feel their best, and families can better assist with recovery when they are physically and mentally refreshed. Creating a regular sleep schedule with fixed bedtimes and wake times can help prime the brain for deep sleep.

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