What Are Support Groups
These are groups of people who come together to discuss, share, and listen to experiences and concerns around a particular problem that they have in common. For instance, it can be cancer, depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, and many similar conditions. In fact, they are available for almost every medical condition and troubling life circumstance that people face. There are even programs for families of addicts.
While a self-help group might seem the same thing as a support group, there is a fundamental difference. A support group is moderated or organized by experts, either an agency or a professional in the field. A self-help group is comprised and managed by members with similar circumstances.
Why People Join Addiction Support Groups
A 2013 survey has found that the majority of the people initially participate in addiction support groups, Al-Anon in particular, because of the following reasons below.
- They like anonymity it offers.
- They want a circle of friends they can relate to.
- They hope to have fewer problems with the addicted loved one/
- They know people know benefited from it
- They are stressed, anxious, unable to relax
- They want Al-Anon to trigger to get professional treatment
Being Married To A Person Suffering From Addiction
Addiction affects every aspect of family life, but living with someone with a substance use disorder is perhaps most difficult for a spouse. Being married to a person who is using harmful substances often means assuming the role of a provider while dealing with difficult emotions like anger, anxiety, stress, hopelessness, and isolation.
Addiction can create a lack of trust, chaos, emotional confusion, instability, and unpredictability in intimate relationships. Even in families where the person suffering from addiction is getting help, people often do not realize that the partner also needs care.
In families where one adult is dependent on drugs or alcohol and the other is not, a phenomenon called co-dependency can occur. A co-dependent persons behavior may be characterized by:
- Controlling behavior based on the belief that others cannot take care of themselves.
- Low self-esteem and denial of their feelings.
- Excessive compliance and compromise of their integrity and values to avoid anger or rejection.
- Oversensitive reactions.
- Hypervigilance to avoid conflict or trouble.
- Remaining loyal to others despite the other person not deserving it.
Studies show that co-dependency is significantly higher among women who are married to addicted versus non-addicted men.
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Smart Recovery For Friends And Family
SMART Recovery stands for Self Management and Recovery Training. Are you looking for resources to help you support someone struggling with addiction? Is someone elses addiction negatively affecting you? Perhaps youre seeking an alternative to tough love? We provide effective, easy-to-learn tools to help both you and your loved one. Our methods are based on the tools of SMART Recovery and CRAFT Therapy . Our meetings available both in-person and online provide concerned significant others the tools they need to effectively support their loved one, without supporting the addictive behaviour. These tools also help Family & Friends better cope with their loved ones situation and regain their peace of mind.
SMART has both in person online meetings as well as a host of pod casts, videos and worksheet on their web site. SMART is an international organization that has been around for 26 years and started in the USA and is now in many countries across the world. They have an online store that you can order a manual as well as get support with it. Visit their website here.
What To Expect At Our Parent Support Group Meetings
- Weekly 12 step based support groups for families / parents of drug addicts or substance abusers.
- Opportunity to connect with other parents who can relate and offer suggestions and hope.
- You will learn strategies to respond to your loved one as they go through the ups and downs of their recovery journey.
- You will acquire tools to manage the difficult emotions associated with the early recovery process.
- You will learn how to set up boundaries with your child and stick to them without compromising your own morals and beliefs.
- Counselors will be in attendance at the meeting, providing guidance and support through the process.
Providing help for families of addicts is an integral part of all Insight Program locations. Please contact the location nearest you to inquire about dates, times, details, or treatment options.
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Local Family & Friends Meetings
In an effort to meet the interest and demand for locally-available SMART Recovery Family & Friends meetings, there is a growing number of areas where local SMART Recovery Family & Friends meetings are now offered.
|nanaimoffgmail.com Please note: This meeting is on summer hiatus and will return in September!|
You can get more information on SMART Recovery meetings in the local meetings directory.
Are you interested in starting a Family & Friends meeting in your area or for your practice? Get more information
Self Help And Support Groups
Many find it helpful to join a self-help or support group for friends, families, and loved ones of individuals struggling with an addiction or in recovery. These mutual assistance groups are typically free and based on shared personal experiences rather than professional, fee-based services, like counselors or therapists.
Some notable mutual assistance groups are:
Alcohol and/or Narcotics
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Learn As Much As Possible About Addiction
Education can help families escape the blame game. Rather than believing that the persons addiction stems from weakness, willfulness or stubbornness, it might be helpful to understand how it actually stems from changes within the brain. Understanding that addiction is not a choice might help you let go of anger and resentment you may be feeling about your loved ones addiction.
There are many online resources that can help families learn about addiction. Most bookstores also offer a wide selection of books about the chemistry of addiction and the science behind addiction treatment.
Additionally, every day, research teams are conducting in-depth studies about drugs. Theyre learning more about how substances interact with the cells inside the brain, and theyre using that knowledge to develop new treatments that might one day either treat or prevent addictions.
Thats the sort of knowledge that can help boost a familys sense of hope. With each advancement, you can feel more confident that the addiction can be treated and conquered.
Families Of The Addicted
Multi-Concept Recovery understands the needs of the family unit when it comes to the disease of addiction. Family members are affected as much as those who are actually addicted, and they need a recovery program for dealing with your addiction. Join us every month for a place to process, heal, and learn how to truly support your recovering loved one.
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Caring For Yourself Through A Loved Ones Addiction
Having your life turned upside down because of a friends or family members addiction can be frustrating and exhausting. Whether they realize it or not, when a person has become addicted to a substance, it eventually begins to affect every single person around them in one way or another. It is important to remember to make time to care for yourself when dealing with a situation like this. Here are some tips to keep in mind to help care for yourself:
Types Of Support Groups For Families Of Drug Or Alcohol Addicts
Several support groups offer services across the U.S. specifically geared toward families of individuals battling drug addiction or alcoholism, including:6,7
Al-Anon Family Groups: Al-Anon is a worldwide fellowship program for families and friends of alcoholics. The program does not focus on trying to get a loved one to stop compulsive drinking, but instead addresses common problems faced by the loved ones of alcoholics.
Nar-Anon Family Groups: Nar-Anon is a 12-step program for anyone who is affected by another persons addiction. Loved ones are able to address the struggles they face through a structured, step-by-step process surrounded by others fighting similar battles to provide additional support and encouragement.
Families Anonymous: Families Anonymous is another 12-step program for families and friends of people with drug addiction and related problems. Anyone who is concerned about the destructive behavior of a loved one is welcome to attend.
Learn to Cope: Learn to Cope is a peer support network for families affected by drug addiction. They offer local face-to-face meetings at several locations throughout Massachusetts, New Jersey, Florida, and Idaho, in addition to myriad online support resources and forums.
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The Importance Of Sharing Your Story
While most families understand they feel frustrated or hurt by the actions of a loved ones substance use, many families dont realize that they need to go through a healing process of their own. Families of addicts can start the healing process by sharing their experiences.
The benefits of sharing your experiences of addiction can start the healing process by
- Puts things into perspective
- Find support in others through shared experiences
- Work through emotions with guidance and support
Some families internalize stress, anger, resentment, or even blame. Others deal with sadness or even guilt about the addicts substance use. And yet others may appear aloof as though they have checked out of the situation completely.
Support Groups For Women & Men
Some may wonder if there are exclusive support groups for women, or maybe men, that might make them feel safer when being vulnerable during sessions. The good thing is that there are such centers available.
Focusing on women, they cover a wide array of different conditions. Still, many of these tend to focus on those dealing with substance abuse problems, domestic or sexual violence, or mental health conditions such as depression or PTSD. However, there are also groups available for those trying to lose weight or dealing with losing a loved one. Examples of these are the Women for Sobriety or the Womens Peer Support Group.
For men, there are also exclusive groups. Many men may prefer these kinds of groups as they can share their problems without the fear of being judged. It also allows for their treatment to be more focused on the biological and social peculiarities of being a man. Good examples include the Mens Resource Center of West Michigan and ManKind Project USA.
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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.
Welcome To The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation Caring Family Groups In Minnesota
A support group for parents and family members of loved ones that are struggling with alcohol and or drug addiction mixed/open to the public.
It may seem counterintuitive or even selfish, but finding a way forward for your family starts with getting help for yourselfregardless of whether your loved one seeks addiction treatment. For more than 70 years, our nonprofit organization has devoted each new day to helping individuals and families reclaim their lives from the pain and chaos of addiction. We know from experience that life gets better.
We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming meeting.
Hazelden Betty Ford in Plymouth
First Monday of every month, from 7-8:30 p.m.11505 36th Ave. N.
Hazelden Betty Ford in St. Paul
Third Tuesday of every month, from 7-8:30 p.m.680 Stewart Ave.
Questions? Please call 1-877-394-6014.
To get the latest information on upcoming alumni events and chapter meetings, sign up to receive our monthly alumni eNewsletter, your single source for all alumni news, views and happenings at HazeldenBettyFord.org/JoinNewsEvents.
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Addiction Affects Everyone Not Just The Person Struggling With Substance Misuse Here Are 10 Tips That Can Help Family Members Cope With A Loved Ones Addiction
In 2019, about 5.3% percent of Americans aged 12 and older had an alcohol use disorder, the clinical term for an alcohol addiction. Furthermore, as of 2020, 13.5% of people aged 12 and older reported using an illegal drug within the past month.
These statistics represent millions of people struggling with substance misuse and addiction, and nearly all of these people have family members and friends rooting for their eventual recovery. Families play a large role in the recovery process, so it is important for spouses, siblings, parents, children, friends and others to understand how to help.
If youre a family member of someone struggling with addiction, you may have many questions and concerns, such as:
- How to deal with addiction
- How to support your loved one
- Finding support groups for families of individuals who live with addictions
Professionally Led Support Groups For Family Members Of Addicts
Client families are guided by Stacy Murphy DNP RN. She is the humble grateful mother of a daughter with 10 years clean. She is also the child of alcoholic parents. She was addicted to her daughters addiction and subsequently studied how addiction impacts families for 3 years resulting in a doctorate establishing how caregivers experience enormous stress & strain as a result of their loved ones addiction. Dr. Murphy DNP RN and her team including We Level Up provide family support for mental health patients. Because substance abuse is often linked to and is part of a mental health disorder. Dual diagnosis therapy from support groups for family members of addicts to family support for mental health patients is important on the path to recovery.
Georgia Melita helps lead support groups for family of addicts, is a recovered alcoholic with years of experience in alcohol and substance abuse treatment. As a young person in recovery, she uses her experiences, education, and passion for sobriety to guide others who battle the disease of addiction. Georgia believes that addiction is a family disease and as such the family must also receive support and education.
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What To Do If Your Loved One Wont Seek Treatment
If the individual decides not to seek treatment, be prepared to follow through with your ultimatums. This may be difficult for many of the people participating in the intervention, but it is a necessary part of the process.
Often loved ones are subjected to violence, threats, and emotional and physical abuse at the hands of the individual who is struggling with addiction. While we cannot change their behavior, we can protect ourselves and leave if they refuse to get help.
Do not be discouraged if you do not see immediate results following your intervention. Even if the process initially fails, you can still make many changes in your own life that will affect them. Most importantly, regardless of whether or not they choose to enter treatment right away, avoid enabling them to continue their negative behaviors and always encourage positive choices that they can make in their life.
Support Groups For Parents
The greatest lie every substance user tells themselves is, Im only hurting myself. Every parent and family member of an addict, alcoholic, or substance user knows: addiction and substance use affects the whole family.
The Insight Program offers parent support groups as an integral part of its drug and alcohol rehab and counseling services. Being a parent of a young person struggling with addiction or a substance use disorder is extremely scary, saddening, and even infuriating. Our support groups function to provide you with answers, hope, and relationships with other parents who get it.
Our support groups meet once per week, and feature interaction with other parents who are on the same journey as you. Often they are a few steps ahead of you in the process and can provide hope and solutions. These parent support groups are included as part of a young persons drug and alcohol treatment. They may also be open to parents whose children are not currently in treatment or recovery please contact the Insight Program location nearest you to ask for details regarding that citys weekly parent support group meeting.
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