Help Yourself And Help Your Loved One With An Alternative To Al
Struggling with how to help someone with drug addiction, alcohol abuse, or other addictive behaviors? SMART Recovery would like to provide you with the resources you can use to help yourself, as well your loved one.
SMART Recovery Family & Friends is a science-based, secular alternative to Al-Anon and Johnson Intervention. Our method is based on the tools of SMART Recovery and CRAFT .
SMART Recovery Family & Friends helps those who are affected by the substance abuse, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, or other addictions of a loved one.
Addiction Can Lead To Family Breakdown
Family forms the foundation of most peoples lives. Yet this foundation can be severely damaged by a loved ones drug and/or alcohol addiction. Whether the addicted person is functioning, continuing to fulfill various work and family responsibilities, or whether a complete collapse in these areas has occurred, family members can see and feel a change in their loved ones behaviour, attitude and actions. No matter how vehement the denial, family members sense something is seriously amissbut because they are largely powerless to influence their loved one, they may feel confusion, anxiety and increasing desperation as the person they know is changed by their addiction. Spouses, parents, children and even extended family members are not only peripherally affected by addiction, they can also get directly involved and drawn in to the vortex of addiction. If this continues for an extended period, relationships within the family can sustain severe damage and the important elements of the relationship, including love and trust, can break down.
Why You Should Consider Couples Therapy
As the spouse of an addict, you both need to keep your mental health in check. Couples therapy can provide this. It can show you and your spouse how to be there for each other and unlearn toxic behaviors.
Your spouse might need private therapy sessions, as well. If their addiction is connected to trauma, a more-confidential setting can be a lot more comfortable. However, relationship issues often need an objective third-party. Your couples therapist can examine the situation as both of you have explained it and offer solutions. Support groups including your family members can also help with your spouse’s recovery process.
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How Can I Get Help For Spouses Of Alcoholics
Spouses have it especially difficult when there are children involved. Some spouses experience emotional and physical abuse. The alcoholic, often unaware of the significance of their actions, screams and becomes violent. When this occurs, the spouse, after personally suffering, has to try to explain what happened to the children and sometimes any other family members, friends, loved ones, or strangers who may have witnessed the behavior of their addicted spouse.
Unable to manage their addiction, the alcoholic also makes irresponsible decisions regarding money and other family choices, which creates more difficulty for the non-addicted spouse. Thankfully, there is help for spouses of alcoholics as well as their children. They can learn new coping skills and how to support the alcoholic without enabling them to continue in their behavior.
Who Benefits From Family Support Groups
Support groups for families of addicts can benefit all family members in a variety of ways. When suggesting support groups to families, keep the following family members in mind, as they may experience addiction differently and require different support groups to cope with addiction.
Spouses, Significant Others, and Committed Partners
According to Project Know, Recovery for the spouse shares characteristics with the recovery process for an addict, as both depend on acknowledging the problem, learning about the disease that helped create the dysfunction, and adopting new coping skills. Support groups can be instrumental in giving spouses a safe place. Here they can express their fears, find comfort, and discover new ways of interacting with family members.
Parents or Guardians
At our addictions recovery center, weve had many parents and guardians of alcoholics and addicts blame themselves for their childs addiction and seek to fix the situation. By joining a support group such as Al-Anon, according to Project Know, they meet other parents who are struggling with their childs addictions. They also hear the stories of parents who have developed more effective ways of interacting with their addicted children.
Children and Dependents
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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.
Codependents Anonymous Support Group
While not every spouse of a person with an addiction is codependent, many are. Codependents Anonymous is one such support group that can enable spouses to learn how to work on themselves and their coping skills, regardless of whether the addicted person seeks treatment. Codependent people tend to deny their own needs, investing all their time in the addicted person. By enabling an addict through covering up for them or making excuses or other such rescuing behaviors, the codependent spouse actually reinforces the using behavior. This group teaches spouses how not to do this, and provides them alternative responses.
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Helping Your Addicted Spouse At 12 Keys Rehab
You and your spouse can begin the journey to recovery together at 12 Keys Rehab. Located in Florida, 12 Keys Rehab offers a strong plan of recovery that includes body, mind, spirit and family to help addicts become free of drugs and alcohol.
At 12 Keys, your spouse will find plenty of support. Many of the staff have recovered from addiction themselves, so they know what your spouse is going through. The ratio of clients to staff is kept low so clients can always find someone to talk to or help them over a rough patch.
Your spouse will be treated like an individual at 12 Keys. We dont believe in a cookie-cutter approach to recovery. We know certain things are a must, such as complete abstinence from substance abuse, but we offer many therapies to help people chart their own personal course of recovery.
12 Keys offers group and individual counseling, 12-step meetings, holistic therapies and more to help people recover. Theres plenty of down time for rest and reflection, and if your spouse loves being near nature, our waterfront location is ideal.
We have a board-certified addiction psychiatrist on staff, Dr. Balta, to treat the medical issues related to addiction. Our staff includes therapists and others who can help your addicted spouse understand the disease of addiction and cope with cravings that can lead to relapse.
The Importance Of Support
It is difficult for someone to go through the process of rehabilitation when they are lacking a support system. Human beings are social creatures and, although we might not always like it, we need each other. Without conscious effort from loved ones, the recovery process can be lonely.
A strong support system can strengthen the chance of successful long-term recovery. When an addict loses motivation to continue with their treatment program, strong support from loved ones could be the difference between success and failure.
What Is Partners Of Sex Addicts Group
Partners sex addiction recovery and trauma groups are the path to healing for the traumatized partner of a sex addict. Experiencing sexual betrayal and deceit create traumatic experience, and experiential group therapy is the most effective treatment process, and when combined with an expert certified sex addiction therapist , a wife or partner of a sex addict has the best chance to heal, and learn to thrive and create healthy sexual boundaries.
The Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts Womens group is a confidential support group led by licensed professional counselors. This group seeks to support women who are affected by their husband or partners addiction. Through talking about the pain that the spouses/partners are experiencing the healing begins and the spouses/partners are better able to cope. All the members of this group will share their story of pain, sadness, confusion, anger, and will receive support for healing of the trauma.
Renascent Family Program Helps The Family Heal
When someone who is struggling with drug and alcohol addiction makes the decision to seek help, it can feel overwhelming to face the damage that has occurred in their lives. As the fog of substance abuse lifts, whats often apparent is that much rebuilding will be necessary from the ground up. While many core strengths and assets may remain, addiction may rob the individual of many things: external things like jobs, possessions, opportunities, years of life, even physical freedomand less tangible things, which nevertheless can be the most painful: damage to reputation, self-respect, dignity, self-confidence.
For an individual who has lost so much as a result of alcohol and drug dependency, it can be difficult to recognize that family members have also sustained losses as a result of coping with their loved ones addiction. Often, family members require education, counselling and even crisis support to deal with the impact that chemical dependence in the family has had on their lives.
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Recognizing The Signs Of Addiction
Recognizing drug or alcohol addiction problems in your spouse can be hard. You may not like the worst for your partner but the need to recognize the signs of these symptoms is paramount in saving your relationship. The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines this chronic disease as affecting the brain’s reward, motivation and memory functions in ways which make someone crave substances or other behavioral habits to fulfill their desires at any cost – even if it means neglecting other areas like work or family responsibilities. They’ll often ignore these things because what matters most is satisfying their addiction.
Are There Other Resources For Spouses Of Addicts
An Al-Anon support group is a great place for married people to come and discuss the everyday problems and challenges of having an addict in their family. They can listen to your struggles, help you see how its hard on everyone involved, including the children, and provide guidance as well. Many married addicts who can find it hard to attend support groups and will feel more comfortable attending with their spouses.
When an addict is disgusted with his or her use of drugs or alcohol, this feeling can make them want to go back to rehab, but when they relapse again, they will feel even worse about themselves and be driven even further into addiction. Always remember that addiction is a disease andno matter how much your married addict hates the things they are doingthey cannot stop using on their own.
Telling them what to do wont help in fact, itll only push them away from getting the help they need. If youre married to an addict, its important not to yell or humiliate them because you drive them back into substance abuse.
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Counseling For Spouses Of Addicts And Alcoholics
Addiction is one of the greatest challenges a can face. Often, these marriages end in divorce. But divorce is not inevitable. Counseling for spouses of addicts and alcoholics can help you cope with the emotional toll of your spouses addiction, repair your relationship, and learn how to best help your spouse.
Often, spouses of addicts and alcoholics become fixated on the belief that the only worthwhile aim is getting their spouse to achieve complete recovery and sobriety. While sobriety is and should always remain the ultimate goal, counseling can help spouses of addicts achieve a variety of beneficial outcomes, including:
- Your spouse does not enter into treatment but learns healthier patterns to better function and cope.
- You learn how to better respond to your spouses drug or alcohol abuse.
- Through couples counseling, you and your spouse strengthen your relationship and learn how to support each other.
- You learn the strategies and tools to launch a successful intervention with your spouse.
- Most importantly, you receive the support you need during a time you need it most.
About This Support Group
Drug and alcohol abuse impacts more than the individual suffering from addiction it affects their entire support system. Secondhand addiction can cause family and relationship issues, including physical, emotional, and mental pain for the partners of alcohol or drug-dependent individuals. Through this peer support group for spouses and partners of alcoholics and addicts, you will learn why its important for you to take time for yourself first, before you can provide any form of care to your loved one.
Led by licensed counselors and certified recovery coaches, this virtual recovery support group allows you to connect with other wives, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends, and significant others who have also had their lives changed by their loved ones substance abuse. Each meeting provides a safe space for you to share stories and get advice on a range of topics including codependency and creating healthy boundaries.
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Don’t Let The Stigma Worry You
Media may have dampened your image of couples therapy. You think of couples who are already on the brink of divorce sitting on a couch, infuriated. As the spouse of an addict, you might wonder why anyone would put themselves through that pain.
It doesn’t need to be a pain, though. This can be the start of getting your relationship back on track. Therapists aren’t magicians. They can’t make an addict stop using, or the spouse of an addict stop enabling. However, they help you both realize the thought processes and fallacies that are leading to those.
Perhaps most important is realizing that this isn’t you against your spouse. Instead, it’s you and your spouse against drug and alcohol use disorder. Coping with spouse addiction means seeing them as an ally. You’ll never understand everything they’re dealing with, even if you’ve experienced addiction. However, you can still support them and their recovery.
Spouses Of Sex Addicts Group
We welcome new members to our support group.
Ask about online participation options if you can’t attend in person.
Let us know if you’re interested. We can give you the timings and discuss costs and insurance. Your email will go straight to the professional running the support group. Please keep it fairly short . A confirmation copy will be emailed to you.
Make sure to double check your email address or phone number so that the support group professional can get back to you. Follow up with a phone call if you haven’t heard from them within 24 hours.
Psychology Today does not read or retain your email. However, a copy will be sent to you for your records. Please beaware that email is not a secure means of communication and spam filters may prevent your email from reaching thetherapist. The therapist should respond to you by email, although we recommend that you follow up with a phone call.If you prefer corresponding via phone, leave your contact number.
Sending an email using this page does not guarantee that the recipient will receive, read or respond to your email.
If this is an emergency do not use this form. Call 911 or your nearest hospital.
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How Can Treatment Help The Spouse Of An Addict
There are many treatment options available that can be effective in eliminating problems in relationships when you are married to an addict. There are treatments for individuals that will include the partner in some way.
Involving partners in the addiction rehab process at some point is likely to help the treatment succeed. It is important to address and treat any problems in the relationship. After all, these problems will not disappear when the drinking or drug use ends.
Some couples become discouraged when they continue to have fights and arguments after the substance abuse has stopped. Recovery involves treating internal problems of the addict and also resolving problems that occur as a side effect of the addiction.
If the issues in the relationship are not treated, they can set the tone for continued conflict. This would, in turn, possibly cause relapse to alcohol or drug use. This is why it is so important to get help resolving the problems between the two of you.
Eliminating drug or alcohol abuse is the starting point in recovery. Reconciling with loved ones plays an important role in making the sobriety last.
Unsure Where To Start Take Our Substance Abuse Self
Take our free, 5-minute substance abuse self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with substance abuse. This evaluation consists of 11 yes or no questions that are designed to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of a substance use disorder. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result. Please be aware that this evaluation is not a substitute for advice from a medical doctor.
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