Why are Support Groups for Families of Drug Addicts Important?

This article was written by Audra Franchini and published by RCA


Learn about the ways that addiction can impact the whole family and how our addictions recovery center can help.

The drug crisis in the US today is highly troubling. In 2014, 8.5% of the US population was suffering from a substance abuse disorder. Less than half of those received treatment within the next year. If you have a family member who is struggling with an addiction, you can offer support by seeking treatment. Although it is rare, difficult, and dangerous for people with addictions to try to stop using on their own, receiving treatment from trained professionals at our addiction recovery centers ensures their safety and increases their chances of maintaining abstinence.

But recovery doesn’t end with the individual who is struggling with substance abuse. Addiction impacts the whole family and there is often a lot of healing that needs to occur, even though family members close to the individual who is struggling with substance abuse may not be suffering from any kind of addiction themselves. Support groups for families of drug addicts serve as an important aid in the recovery of the individual as well as that individual’s community.

Understanding the Relational Impact of Substance Use Disorder

When someone we love is struggling with substance use disorder our tendency is to focus all of our attention on him or her and helping that person get well. This is, of course, of great importance, but it is also necessary to look beyond the individual. First, the involvement and support of family members plays a significant role in the recovery of addiction patients. Research suggests that family involvement in the intervention and recovery process enhances our patient’s potential for recovery.

But recovery is not just for the individual suffering from addiction. Substance use disorder often spreads its roots throughout our patient’s community, such as close friends and family. Close relationships with someone who is struggling with addiction can affect people in several ways. Here are some of the ways support groups for families of drug addicts can help offer help during this difficult time.

  • Deal with blame and guilt: Often family members blame themselves for the situation and may be crippled by guilt. Therapy, counseling, and support groups for families of drug addicts can help family members deal with these emotions and move forward with their lives in spite of the condition of the family member struggling with substance abuse.
  • Heal enabling and unhealthy relationships: Families may fall into unhealthy relational patterns created by or perpetuated by the situation. Family members may even unintentionally enable the user’s addiction. Support groups can help family members work through these relational issues together.  This way, the family can stay healthy and provide a healthy environment for recovering patients as well.
  • Provide general support and understanding: One of the most difficult things about having a loved one struggling with substance abuse is feeling lost and alone. Family support groups bring together people who are dealing with similar issues. This allows family members to hear other people’s stories, learn from other’s experiences, and know that they are not alone.

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