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Did you know one in four families are affected by substance use disorder? Addiction not only affects the individual, but also those around them. Family, friends, and even coworkers can find themselves with many questions after discovering someone they care for is struggling with addiction. The first question of many may be, “what can I do?”
One of the best steps loved ones can take is to learn about the treatment and recovery process. Understanding the process allows loved ones to offer compassion and support to the individual with a substance use disorder, instead of passing judgment.
The disease of addiction affects everyone involved and there can be feelings of guilt, shame, rejection, resentment, violence, and even financial stress. When these issues are discussed early on, it will ease the healing process.
Another important way to assist someone is to understand the importance of getting help for all loved ones. There are support groups and meetings design just for friends & family (see below). Family therapy and addiction counseling also play an important role for both the individual and their family. Engaging a trained and neutral individual can assist both parties to pursue wellness in this new season of recovery.
Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA)/Dysfunctional Families is a Twelve Step, Twelve Tradition program of men and women who grew up in dysfunctional homes.
Al‑Anon is a mutual support program for people whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking.
The Nar-Anon Family Groups is primarily for those who know or have known a feeling of desperation concerning the addiction problem of someone very near to you.
Gam-Anon is a 12 Step self-help fellowship of men and women who have been affected by the gambling problem of a loved one.
The S-Anon International Family Groups are a worldwide fellowship of the relatives and friends of sexually addicted people.
Grief after losing a loved one from addiction can be difficult. GRASP (Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing) is a group designed just for friends and family and they meet in Berks County.