Support for Family Members of Addicts

While your loved one struggled with addiction, it was necessary for you to completely focus on their survival and entrance into recovery.  Now that your loved one is on the road to recovery, the focus can shift to yourself and your own wellbeing. The effects of addiction in families can be felt generationally for many years, even if the addict has been sober for significant amount of time. The mental well being of the family members of addicts can be in as much of a perilous state as the addicts themselves.

Just as there are a multitude of options for help and recovery for the addict, there are many ways to seek help as a family member of an addict. Your mental health and wellbeing is as important as the recovery of your loved one suffering from addiction. The first step is asking for help and there are a variety of therapy and non-therapy options available to explore.

Therapy and Non-therapy Options

  •     Individual Therapy: One-on-one sessions for you to express your feelings and work through the emotional trauma and stress of watching your loved one suffer from addiction.
  •     Family Therapy: This could be in conjunction with the loved one suffering from addiction or could be a separate session with the family unit discussing in an open and safe environment the effects of addiction on the family.
  •     Group Therapy: There are multiple groups available for those struggling with their loved one’s addictions. Many of these groups such as AL-ANON, a sub sector of AA, are free and have daily meetings open to new members.  
  •     Focus on Physical Health: Daily workouts are not only beneficial to your physical body, but your mental health as well. Even fifteen minutes a day of daily exercise can focus the mind and relieve a bit of tension.
  •     Mediation: Mediation for ten minutes a day has been proven to be greatly beneficial in calming the mind and with new phone apps like Headspace and Calm, the practice is easily learned in the comfort of your home.
  •     Religion: Many find comfort in forming a spiritual relationship within themselves. There is also a built in community within organized religions that may provide additional comfort outside of the family unit. Many religious organizations host AA and AL-ANON meetings in their places of worship as well.

While there is no right fit for anyone in the recovery of caring for an addict, there are multiple options to explore until you find the right combination of support for you and your loved ones. Your wellbeing is as vital and important as your loved one suffering from addiction. Now is the time to put yourself first.