Are There Support Groups for Families of Addicts?

Although addiction affects the individual, they are not alone in their struggle. When someone struggles with addiction, it is not uncommon for them to do or say things that inflict emotional pain and discomfort on those they care about most. This happens due to what a struggling individual may say or how their behaviors and moods change in harmful and often self-destructive ways. These are among the many reasons why family members, and those struggling with addiction, can benefit significantly from support groups for families of addicts.


What are Support Groups?

Support groups are essential for comprehensive mental health and addiction treatment programs. Support groups allow small groups of people who share similar challenges and struggles a safe and supported environment to talk about their fears, worries, or concerns. Support groups offer a crucial support system after completing a primary treatment program for those in treatment. For families of addicts, support groups help family members by offering a group of like-minded people with whom they can share experiences and seek advice.


What are the Benefits of Addiction Support Groups?

Addiction is sometimes referred to as a family disease, as one family member’s addiction ultimately affects the entire family. Family support groups can provide family members with the tools they need to heal from the stain addiction places on the whole family. Family support groups help family members learn more about their loved one’s substance use disorder while offering reassurance and support.


Are There Support Groups for Families of Addicts?

There are many publicly advertised support groups for families with members addicted to various substances, which ensures all families have several options from which they can choose. A few examples of these support groups are described below.


Nar-Anon is a support group for family members of someone struggling with addiction. Remember, the family is a pivotal element in addiction recovery and long-term sobriety, and therefore the family needs healing as much as their addicted loved one does. Nar-Anon groups are a safe and confidential space where families can openly share their experiences and hope but, most importantly, know (and understand) that they are not alone. Nar-Anon is a 12-step support group that encourages each member to obtain a sponsor. In this program, a sponsor is someone who has completed their 12 steps and is working on carrying the message of the program to others. Twelve-step support groups for addicts’ families are not necessarily affiliated with any religion but are spiritual. By attending support group meetings like these, family members will learn about the disease of addiction and ways to implement an honest and consistent approach when talking to your loved ones about their addictive behavior.


Al-Anon is a support group for people affected by another’s alcohol addiction. This group is commonly composed of family members of alcoholics; however, friends of alcoholics are also welcomed to attend and participate.


Like the program by the same name for people surviving substance abuse disorders, this program is available for families who need support. SMART Recovery Friends & Family is a science-based secular alternative to Nar-Anon and other 12-step-based programs. Their method is based on SMART Recovery and CRAFT tools, which is a program aimed at teaching family and friends self-protection and non-confrontational skills that they can utilize to help their addicted loved one find recovery. SMART Recovery Friends and family is different than the 12-step programs because it works as a four-point program. Each program provides education, communication, and education about coping mechanisms.

Other Support Groups

In addition to the programs listed above, other programs are designed for parents and siblings of addicted loved ones. PAL (Parents of Addicted Loved Ones) was formed in 2006 and addresses issues such as co-dependency and enabling for parents with an addicted child. Support groups for siblings of addicts focus on strained relationships and ways to repair them. There are also grief-centered support groups, such as GRASP, which help families who have lost a family member due to an addiction-related overdose.


How to Find Family Support Groups in Southern California

Family members, spouses, and friends often need therapy, counseling, and peer support to learn the most effective and healthy ways to cope with their unique emotional challenges related to their loved one’s addiction. At our luxury Southern California rehab, the team at Rise in Malibu understands the critical role that family plays in ensuring your loved one’s long-term recovery.


We will work with you to ensure both your loved one and your family have access to the vital help they need during treatment and throughout the recovery process. Let today be the first day on your family’s journey putting struggles with addiction in the past. Contact us to learn more about Malibu addiction treatment and family support programs at Rise in Malibu.

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