Support Groups for Families of Addicts
It can be heartbreaking for a family to see a member suffering form drug or alcohol addiction. Many cannot understand how their loved one has turned to drugs or alcohol, and often feel guilty. It can be tremendously confusing, and extremely stressful for families to watch their loves one’s life being controlled by drugs or alcohol.
If you cannot understand why someone becomes addicted to drugs, you are not alone. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, many people do not understand why anyone would become addicted to drugs. Many people think that addicts lack moral principals or willpower and that if they wanted to stop, they would do it at anytime. But, the reality is that addiction is a complex disease.
Not only is the drug or alcohol user’s life affected by addiction but also, so is the family’s. A family of an addicted can suffer in silence not knowing what to do or how to help their loved one. They may not know who talk to. Joining a support group for families of addicts has proven to be very helpful in helping family members understand addiction, and how they can help their love one recover.
How Can a Family benefit from a Support Group?
Living with a loved one that is suffering from drug or alcohol addiction can be very stressful, and often can have an impact on each family member in different ways. This can create a distance between members because every one is hurting, and have no idea how to help or what to say to get their loved one to stop their drug or alcohol abuse.
All sorts of feelings may be running through each member. Emotions can range from anger, sadness, hopelessness, guilt, and anxiety. The best advice can often come from others that are not related. Other families that have gone, or are going through the same experiences of dealing with an addicted loved one can often find support among each other.
Within a support group for families of addicts, members can help each other understand the disease better, and there is no need to cover up their loved one’s addiction. Families share the same heartbreaking emotions, and learn to cope with their addicted loved one. Regardless what the addiction is, the suffering can be the same for each, and the confusion can be just the same.
In a family support group there is no judgement to pass, no blame to give. It is a way to open up and share the struggles of living with an addicted loved one. Support group members can share effective ways they have developed to interact with their loved one. Families help each other to understand their feelings of fear or anger. Most important, a support group for families of addicts can teach that while addiction is a terrible disease, there is definitely hope.
What Types of Support Groups are there for Families of Addicts?
There are many types of support groups for families that live with an addict. No matter the age or gender of the family members, each can be affected by their loved one’s addiction. It can tear a family apart, especially when communication causes tension. Reaching out to a support group can help family members work together to understand how to best help their loved one recover from substance abuse, and get back to living a healthy life.
Some types of support groups that are available from families of addicts are:
- For families of alcoholics
- For families of drug addicts
- For parents of children using drugs
- For families of addicts using both drugs and alcohol
Children can suffer the most when a member of their family is addicted to drugs or alcohol, and even more so if both parents are suffering from addiction. It can place them in dangerous situations, or as a means to escape a place that has no answers, they might start doing things that can get them in trouble.
Children also need help coping with their family’s addiction. In a support group, children will be around others their own age, and will be able to open up and express their feelings. They can learn ways to cope with the challenges they are facing, and begin to understand the disease that their parent is suffering from. Most important they will understand that they are not to blame.