There’s not much you can do to prepare yourself for the fear, anger and pain that accompanies learning your child has a drug or alcohol addiction. Substance abuse affects the whole family, and the best way to help your child get the help needed to recover is to thoroughly educate yourself on family support groups, treatment centers, and therapy.
The more you know about addiction, the better you can help your child come to terms with their addiction, find helpful resources, choose the right treatment program and become involved in your child’s treatment and aftercare in the most effective ways possible.
This 14-part series is designed to help provide you with the information you need to face this struggle and help your child and your family find the path to recovery.
Support Groups for Family Members
Support groups designed for the loved ones of an addicted individual can be of enormous help. Support groups provide a sympathetic ear and a place to vent, cry or seek information. They reduce feelings of isolation, and they offer endless coping strategies, helpful tips and essential resources.
Al-Anon is a support group for family members of people with alcoholism, and Nar-Anon helps families affected by narcotic addiction. Co-dependent family members can unwittingly support a loved one’s addiction and foster a high level of dysfunction in the household; Coda, a support group for co-dependent family members, can help you recognize and change co-dependent behaviors.
Ala-Teen is a support group for younger family members that helps them work through their negative and conflicting emotions concerning an addicted sibling, and it can help prevent them from abusing substances themselves later on down the road.
Help Finding a Suitable Treatment Center
When it’s time to start the search for a high-quality rehab program, consider Gracious Care Recovery. We offer many different Programs and Services, and can help your loved one.
Individual and Family Therapy
The National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence stresses the importance of family therapy and individual therapy for each family member affected by addiction. Therapy helps to improve the health of the family system by fostering better communication among family members, helping you identify and change harmful attitudes and behaviors, and addressing negative and damaging emotions like fear, anger and resentment. Therapy also opens the door to a wealth of resources for both you and your addicted child.
Psychology Today’s website has an excellent tool that can help you find a therapist who specializes in treating those with addictions and their family members. Gracious Care Recovery Solutions is a member of Psychology Today.
The Bottom Line
Addiction is a complex disease. The more you learn about it, and the more help and support you seek, the better off your family and your addicted child will be. For additional resources, contact your local Department of Health and Human Services, or talk to your family physician about your needs.
“When Your Child Has an Addiction” Continues
In the next entry in this series, learn about how addiction functions as a disease and the effects of substance abuse on the brain. Continued in “My Child Has an Addiction, Part 6: Understanding Addiction”.