FAMILIES OF ADDICTS AND THE IMPACT OF ADDICTION
While most of the focus of and attention is on those struggling with their substance abuse disorders, what about the families of those addicts? The families deal with a stressful journey as well as dealing with sleepless nights, jail calls, hospitals, theft, and the fear of having their last moment with their loved one. There are many different options for support groups for families of addicts, counseling, programs, and therapy. Addiction is a family disease, and it should be treated as such. The number of families that are being affected by loved ones who are addicts struggling with substance abuse is steadily increasing.
Since the late 90s, the death rate by drug overdoses has increased immensely. In the year 1999, the number of death by overdose was 16,849, and by the end of 2017, the death rate went up to 70,237 in the United States alone. Of the 20+ millions of adults who are struggling with substance abuse disorders in the United States, each of them has a family or loved ones who too are struggling with the disease of addiction. These people are more than a number or statistic. Families of addicts need just as much help as their loved ones do.
Support Groups For Families of Addicts
Since 1951, Al-Anon has been supporting families of addicts and alcoholics. Similar to Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon is a support group for families of addicts and alcoholics. Just as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are support groups for addicts and alcoholics, Al-Anon also provides a safe place for families of those addicts. Al-Anon also offers online meetings for if and when you are unable to attend regular meetings. For families with young adults, Al-Anon provides a program called Alateen; this is a support group for children of alcoholics and addicts. Unlike school counseling where many can feel singled out by their fellow students, Alateen is other teens helping and supporting other tens through their parent’s addictions in a safe, healthy, and inclusive environment.
Loved ones and families are deeply affected by their loved one’s addiction. Such support groups offered to families are free, there are no memberships, dues, or fees to be a part of these support groups for families of addicts.
In the Big Books of Alcoholics Anonymous, there is a chapter dedicated to the families of addicts and alcoholics. The chapter is called “To the Wives.” This chapter offers many suggestions; having someone from Al-Anon or Alateen explain to you how they applied those suggestions in their lives could be helpful to you and your family.
Counseling for Families of Addicts
If your loved one is willing to get help through substance abuse treatment and it is an option for them to attend a facility with a family program, this option would be most beneficial for them and your entire family. If your loved one is not willing at this time or doesn’t have any desire to attend treatment, this does not mean you are unable to seek help for yourself. Families of addicts don’t have to suffer while their loved one is struggling.
Codependency is a hard pattern to not fall into if your loved one is an addict. There are meetings and support groups available to families who are struggling with codependency; they are called Co-Da meetings.
Programs for the Families of Addicts
Each member of the family involved in their loved one’s life as an addict or alcoholics, deserve to heal. Members of the family can often feel as if they are riding in the back seat in the life of their loved one struggling with addiction. This is why at GH Recovery Solutions, we offer and recommend our Family Program.
How we go about our family program is in phases. The first phase starts with limited communication between family and addict. Communication restriction is for a short period and is determined by our clinical staff to what they see fit for your loved one. You will receive updates on your loved one during this time, and finally knowing they are safe takes a whole lot of worry out of your family’s daily life. Family involvement in treatment is essential to the families and your loved one’s recovery.
Once this period of restriction is completed, phase two can begin. Families start to become more involved in their loved one’s treatment process. Families are offered bi-weekly or as needed sessions with our licensed family therapist and your loved one In treatment. During these sessions, your family will begin to set healthy boundaries with one another and start having honest communication.
As stated earlier, with Al-Anon support groups, GH Recovery Solutions strongly suggests families of the addicts should attend such meetings before having face-to-face contact with their loved ones. If you are having trouble locating meetings in your area, you can find one here. This allows families the ability to start their recovery while their loved one is beginning theirs.
Everything falls into place for the GH Recovery SolutionsFamily Program Weekend. Our weekend program for the families covers many different subjects, and it all begins with the education of the disease of addiction. Once the families have an idea of what goes on in the brain of an addict, it makes it easier for them to move on from their blame and guilt. This weekend consists of communication skills, helping vs. enabling, and many more practical workshops for the families and themselves. Addiction is a family disease; everyone deserves to heal.
If you are interested in the programs we offer at GH Recovery Solutions, contact us at 888-345-2025 to start your family on the path to recovery.