Friends and family of drug addicts are as entwined in the addiction as is the addict, and finding help for families of drug addicts is a necessary step in the recovery process. A great many issues come to bear on families of substance abusers and, if left unaddressed, can cause irreparable damage. Fortunately, there is help available, and it can be found in a number of sources.
Family participation in treatment programs
If the individual is in addiction recovery, or is in the process of seeking help with his or her addiction, the majority of therapy programs are designed to include family members in the process. There are several reasons for this. One reason is to help the family members understand the nature of the addiction and how they will be needed in the recovery process, particularly once the patient leaves the facility. A second reason is to help directly with rehabilitation. Depending on the overarching philosophy of the treatment, family may need to be involved to help the addict understand the impact of addictive behavior, or to resolve underlying issues the therapist believes may be a factor in the addiction.
External support groups
There are a number of support groups available to families who are coping with addiction. Among these are:
Each of these is available in almost every community, and in areas where they do not exist, but a need has arisen, they will provide help and support to begin a chapter. All use the 12-step program as the base for their support, and have access to resources from other health care professionals and agencies.
Access to these support groups is not limited to families of someone who has already begun the rehabilitation process, nor do they focus exclusively on helping the recovering addict. Any family or family member may participate, even if the subject family member has shown no inclination to entering drug or alcohol recovery programs.
These support groups focus on the needs of the families and their members who have become victims of an addict’s struggle, and offer help in overcoming the problems the personal and emotional problems that are a result of a family member’s substance dependence. Seeking help for families of drug addicts is an important phase of the addiction and addiction recovery process. The addict is not the only one who needs help with recovery. For more information about addictiona dn treatment options go to The Way Out.