Support Groups for the Families of Those Suffering From Addiction and Alcoholism
A Better Today Recovery Services understands the importance of educating, empowering and supporting those who have a loved one addicted to drugs or alcohol. Addiction is a family disease because the actions of an individual who is addicted to drugs or alcohol affect everyone around them—especially loved ones. Some call this the ripple effect.
Some families experience sleepless nights, money going missing, arguments and, in some extreme cases, violence. If you’re wondering where you can go to get the support, encouragement and fellowship you need, you’re in the right place.
We have created a list of free family support groups especially for you. There are many different options to choose from and we suggest trying a few out to see where you fit best. We know that dealing with addiction in the family is never easy. Getting involved in one or more of these fellowships for loved ones can make a positive impact in your life.
You can gain new insights on addiction and learn from the experiences of others who have walked the same road you’re walking on. Take our advice: don’t go it alone. You deserve help and support during this trying time.
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Support fellowships can be utilized to educate the family about active addiction, aftercare needs and emotional support.
We are Here to Get You Started in the Right Direction When it Comes To Support Fellowships
A Better Today Recovery Service’s goal is to offer loved ones a place to go if they need more information. This guide is not a completely comprehensive list but a small snapshot of the resources that are out there for a loved one.
Disclaimer: A Better Today Recovery Services is in no way affiliated with any of the suggested resources for loved ones, nor do we receive funding from the organization for endorsing their fellowship.
Our goal is to educate those in need about aftercare programs that help maintain sobriety and help those struggling with addiction to find a meeting.
Here is a guide that can help you get started if you need help understanding anything and everything recovery related. Please attend one of these organizations for literature or visit their website for more information.
Al-Anon and Alateen
Al-Anon and Alateen are support groups for those who have been affected by a loved one’s alcoholism. Al-Anon and Alateen only differ in that Al-Anon is for adults whereas Alateen is for young people and teenagers. Both programs bring positive results regardless of if the alcoholic individual admits that he or she has a drinking problem.
The meetings help at all stages of addiction, even when your loved one is either receiving treatment or is in recovery. Both types of meetings can be found all over the country and they continue to give much-needed support to heartbroken families who deal with alcoholics.
Many individuals unintentionally enable situations when one is addicted to drugs or Alcohol. When an addicted individual relies on a family member to get drugs or Alcohol, an unhealthy pattern begins. Supplying an addicted individual with money, a place to stay and transportation is what is called enabling.
Many times, individuals are afraid that their addicted loved ones are going to leave them, so they continue to enable them and their behavior. If this applies to you, Co-Dependents Anonymous can be of great help. Co-Dependents Anonymous is based on the 12-step system and is a place where you can learn to have a healthier relationship with your loved one and establish boundaries.
Nar-Anon is a 12-step program for the families and friends of those addicted to drugs. It is a spiritual program that can help you understand addiction as a disease, practice acceptance of your loved one’s addiction and cope with the ripple effect that your loved one’s addiction is having on you and your family.
Nar-Anon can give you the support that you need and deserve. Nar-Anon offers nationwide meetings and is a place to connect, understand, listen, share and support others in similar situations. There are also Nar-Anon support meetings for teenagers.
Adult Children of Alcoholics
Adult Children of Alcoholics (ADA) has proven itself time and time again to be an amazing resource for those who have, or had, alcoholic parents. ACA is a 12-step spiritual program that offers meetings nationwide, with internet and phone meetings available for those that are unable to travel.
ACA believes that alcoholism causes dysfunction in the family unit that can affect children all the way into adulthood. If your mother or father has problems with alcohol and drugs, these meetings are perfect for you. It a place to listen, share, support others and be supported in return.
Dual-Recovery Anonymous is a wonderful support system for dual-diagnoses addicts as well as their family and friends. Like many essential programs, DRA is built upon the foundation of the 12-steps and 12 Traditions. DRA understands that dual-diagnosis individuals need support for their addiction as well as other co-occurring mental health disorders.
For the family and loved ones of a dual-diagnosis individual, DRA offers a support network of encouragement and education to better understand their loved one’s recovery. It also helps them to share their recover and heal from the damage that is caused by loving someone who has both a substance abuse and mental health disorder.
Learn to Cope
Learn to Cope was founded in 2004 and is a peer support network that offers moral and emotional support, encouragement, education, and resources for family members and loved ones of addicted individuals. This group can be an incredibly beneficial resource for those who have been through a lot of heartache while dealing with an addicted loved one.
Learn to Cope meetings often have professional guest speakers that understand addiction and the ripple effect it has on loved ones. Although Learn to Cope is based mainly in Michigan, it does feature a great online community as a way to stay connected and get support.
Parents of Addicted Loved Ones Group
Parents of Addicted Loved Ones is specifically designed for the parents of a son or daughter caught in addiction. It was formed by Mike Speakman, a licensed substance abuse counselor that has been working with addicts in recovery since 1988. Arizona is the home base of PAL, but more meetings have spread to three other states since its beginning in 2006.
It provides much needed moral and emotional support for parents trying to save their sons or daughters caught up in addiction. You can attend meetings locally and there are also online resources for parents that live in other areas.
Family and Friends–SMART Recovery
Family and Friends is a secular science-based alternative to 12-step meetings, such as Al-Anon and Nar-Anon. Its aim is to help those affected by substance abuse and other addictions; all are invited to attend. These meetings are held locally and are available all over the United States. It also has online meetings and podcasts available on their website and a list of suggested reading materials.
Instead of using the 12-step program, SMART Recovery uses techniques from the CRAFT Program (Community Reinforcement Approach and Family Training). It is a new method and approach to helping the families of addicted loved ones and is a place of support, encouragement, and education.
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Explore ABTRS’s Reputable Sources About Support Groups to Ensure Your Loved One has a Strong Aftercare Plan
When you are researching rehabs, treatment cost, and aftercare plans for substance abuse you want reliable information that will truly help you convince your loved one to go to rehab. You want to help them the best way you can and finding reputable information is important in the decision to get them the help they need for their addiction. Finding trustworthy information can be challenging. There is so much out there, and no one wants to base their life-changing decisions on fake news.
ABTRS provides knowledge about the recovery process from unbiased resources. Below is a list of sources we utilize that will provide impartial information that is not funded by organizations that could benefit from certain outcomes, and proven or tested to be effective for substance abuse treatment and aftercare. We will continue to try to provide you with reputable sources that are up-to-date and relevant.
Donovan, D. M., Ingalsbe, M. H., Benbow, J., & Daley, D. C. (2013). 12-step interventions and mutual support programs for substance use disorders: an overview. Social work in public health, 28(3-4), 313-32.
Tracy, K., & Wallace, S. P. (2016). Benefits of peer support groups in the treatment of addiction. Substance abuse and rehabilitation, 7, 143-154. doi:10.2147/SAR.S81535
SAMHSA. (2019). Recovery and Recovery Support. [online] Available at: https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/recovery [Accessed 19 Feb. 2019].
Disclaimer: ABTRS.com is in no way affiliated with any of the support groups listed above nor do we receive funding from the organization for endorsing their fellowship. Our goal is to educate those in need about aftercare programs that help maintain sobriety and help those struggling with addiction find a meeting. Please attend a meeting for literature or visit their website for more information.