Given that one family member’s addiction ultimately affects the entire family, it is often described as a family disease. The effects of watching a loved one struggle with addiction can be nothing short of devastating. In most cases, family members are left with a feeling of helplessness as they watch the person they love abuse drugs or alcohol, which generally leads to reckless decision-making and self-destructive behaviors that harm both physical and mental health. Thankfully, support groups for family members of addicts are available to help you deal with the devastating mental effects of watching a family member battle alcohol or drug addiction.

Family support groups may be provided by a rehab facility your loved one is attending or by nonprofit organizations such as Al-Anon Family Groups, Nar-Anon Family Groups or Alateen. Listed below are five of the biggest benefits of attending support groups for family members of addicts when someone you love is facing addiction.


Support groups for family members of addicts during their meeting


Top 5 Important Benefits for Families Affected by Their Loved One’s Addiction

1. Connecting With People in Similar Situations

Sometimes, the best way to deal with trauma is by working through it alongside others who have faced or are facing a similar situation. Most people don’t understand how it feels to support a family member with substance use disorders unless they’ve been in the situation themselves, and the simple act of sharing these struggles in support groups for family members of alcohol or drug addicts can help to minimize negative feelings such as stress, guilt and anger. Often, other group members have experienced the same specific issues and problems that you may be facing as a result of your loved one’s addiction. As such, they may be able to offer unique insight and solutions that your friends, family members or healthcare providers may not have considered, all while emphasizing the importance of family training.

2. Getting Additional Support to Cope With the Repercussions of Addicted Loved Ones

Sometimes, having an understanding shoulder to cry on is one of the best ways to cope with watching your loved one struggle with drug or alcohol addiction. A family support network can provide just that — support at a time when you need it most.


Meeting for online support groups for family members of addicts can also provide grief recovery training


3. Learning How to Set Boundaries and Prevent Enabling Behavior

When you’re helping a family member who’s facing addiction, there’s a fine line between helping and enabling. Setting boundaries is a vital part of supporting your loved one as they recover from their addiction. Support groups for families of addicts can provide you with the tools you need to set important boundaries with your loved one and provide them the support they need from you without enabling them to abuse drugs or alcohol.

4. Letting Go of Anger and Resentment

There are a lot of emotions that family members experience while facing a loved one’s addiction. These include fear, sadness and guilt, but more than anything, you’re likely feeling angry and resentful about your situation. These feelings may be directed toward your loved one, another family member you feel is enabling them or the situation itself. Regardless of where you’re directing your anger and resentment, it’s important to let them go so that you can move on and provide your loved one with the love and support they need to get through this challenging time. A family support group can provide the counseling and tools you need to let these feelings go and work toward a more positive outlook.


Attending family therapy sessions can help understand a family member's substance abuse disorder


5. Recognizing What Led to a Loved One’s Addiction and Gaining a Better Overall Understanding of Addiction

To help your family members in their recovery efforts, it’s important first to understand what led them to drink alcohol or use drugs and how addiction is affecting their brains. In support groups for family members of addicts, you have opportunities to openly and honestly discuss your family member’s addiction — both with them and without them. These candid discussions are the best way to get to the root of the problem, and acknowledging that root is the best chance your loved one has for a successful recovery. In support groups, you’ll gain a better understanding of why addiction happens and the reasons it has become a part of your family’s life.

If someone you love is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, Changing Tides, the leading North Carolina rehab center can help. Contact us today and help your loved one take the first step towards recovery.

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