Addiction doesn’t just affect the person who is suffering from substance abuse and addiction. It also affects those who are around the addict, such as spouses, parents, children, other direct family members, and even close friends and other loved ones.
While some might feel the direct impact of the actions and behaviors of the addict, others might feel the effects due to the fact that they are watching someone that they care about deeply spiral out of control or lose control of their life and know that they can’t do anything about it.
Without a doubt, this can be very difficult. But there are outlets available to those who are affected by an addict where they can work through their issues and learn positive ways to deal with not only their issues but the issues related to the addict as well.
Learning more about support groups for families of addicts can help you make the best decision when it comes to getting assistance for your struggling family member or friend. It can also assist you in getting the support you need as someone who is dealing with the effects of someone else’s addiction.
By far the group that is most directly impacted by someone suffering from addiction is the immediate family of the addict. This includes the spouse, children, and in some cases even the siblings and parents. For those family members who are in need of help, there are several options available to them.
Much in the same way that support groups exist for those who suffer from an addiction such as AA or NA, those same types of groups exist for the family members and loved ones of an addict. By far, the most popular one is Al-Anon. Al-Anon is a worldwide fellowship program specifically tailored to those who know an addict.
Al-Anon does not focus on ways in which the family or friends of the addict can get them help. Instead, it focuses on the common problems that these family members and loved ones face on a daily basis and teaches them how to deal with these problems in a healthy way.
Nar-Anon is very similar to Al-Anon with the biggest difference being that it is a more structured, 12-step program. People in Nar-Anon are able to address struggles that they may be facing as a result of their loved one’s addiction in a structured environment that encompasses a step-by-step process for dealing with their issues.
SMART Recovery is an alternative to programs such as Al-Anon or Nar-Anon. Unlike these other types of support groups, SMART is a science-based and secular support group. This support group offers a variety of online support group meetings designed for the family and friends of an addict. While SMART is mostly online-based there are face-to-face meetings available in select cities across the country.
Unfortunately, some friends and family members also have to cope with a passing when a loved one dies as a result of their addiction. GRASP is a support group that offers compassion, support, and resources for those family members that have lost a loved one due to addiction. This support group provides both online and in-person resources.
While the spouse or partner of an addict can participate in any of the support groups we discussed above, there are also support groups that are available exclusively for the spouse or partner of an addict.
The most popular of these support groups is called Recovering Couples Anonymous. Recovering Couples Anonymous is a support group that shares a lot of the same values and principles as AA or NA, however, it is not affiliated with either.
Recovering Couples Anonymous provides support for both the partner or spouse and the addict and helps address any issues that have arisen as a result of the substance abuse or addiction. In order to participate in this type of support group, both parties have to be committed to staying together and repairing their relationship.
While most of the time and attention gets spent on the addict as well as the spouse and even the children of the addict, the impact that can be felt by other members of the family, such as siblings, tends to be forgotten.
Being the sibling of an addict isn’t necessarily easier to deal with, especially those siblings who grew up very close with the person who is suffering. Siblings also tend to be the biggest enablers of the addict, most of the time not even realizing that theta re doing it. While siblings are able to attend any of the family support groups listed earlier, there are not many support groups that are catered specifically towards the sibling of an addict. That being said, there are a few sibling-specific support groups out there.
The SHARC Sibling Support Program is a support program based out of Australia that provides support specifically to the siblings of an addict. This support group focuses on the unique needs and situations that a sibling of an addict might find themselves in and helps address them through online support, shared stories, fact sheets, toolkits, and videos.
When people think of addiction, they tend to think of grown adults who are suffering. As a result, the majority of attention and resources are focused on the adult addict and his or her spouse and children if they have any. However, child and teen addiction is also a real-life problem in this country as well. While a teen or young adult might not have a partner or children yet, they do have parents who are likely suffering as they watch their child battle addiction.
In addition to the family resources mentioned earlier, Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PAL) is a support group designed specifically for the parents of an addict. PAL helps those parents who are struggling to cope with their child’s substance abuse or addiction issues by providing a variety of both online and in-person resources and educational tools to deal with things such as the pain that comes along with having a child who is suffering from addiction.
The people who are most affected by someone suffering from addiction is the spouse of the addict and the children of the addict. The spouse is old enough to understand what is going on and might be a little better equipped to handle what is going on. But the same can’t always be said about the children. This is especially true if the children are very young.
Children of an addict tend to grow up in a very stressful and hectic environment. They might even suffer from abuse as a result of it, either mental or physical. They also might experience feelings of neglect, dismissal, or even abandonment. This can be a lot for anyone to handle. But it can be especially difficult for young children who might not understand what is going on and think that their parent just doesn’t like them.
Support groups for children of an addict are crucial for helping children not only learn what is going on but also to help them realize that what is happening is not their fault.
The National Association for Children of Alcoholics is a support system specifically designed for younger children of addicts. The organization focuses specifically on the child of an addict and provides educational services so that they can better understand what is going on both with their parent as well as understand their own feelings as it relates to their parent’s addiction.
Having a strong support system available when you are dealing with a family member who is suffering from addiction is crucial to your overall health and well-being both mentally and physically. Luckily there are a wide variety of support groups out there designed to help those who have a family member or loved one that is suffering from substance abuse or addiction.
In addition to getting the help that you need, it is also important to encourage the person who is suffering from addiction to get the help that they need too. At Coastal Detox, we understand that addiction doesn’t just affect the addict, but those who are around the addict as well. That’s why we offer our services not just to the addict, but to those family members and loved ones as well. If someone you know is suffering from addiction or you’re searching for more info about support groups for families of addicts, contact us today.