What Can Family and Friends Do?
Family and friends of active addicts have a natural desire to save their loved ones. What many don’t have, however, is an understanding of the fundamental irrationality of addiction or the experience to recognize the difference between enabling an addict and offering appropriate help. Many may need to address co-dependency issues as well.
Families and friends who don’t have experience with addiction often lack an understanding of what they can do to support their loved one’s new sobriety and how to deal with the substantial relationship changes sobriety brings. Friends and family need to learn these skills.
Treatment programs usually offer family counseling. So if a loved one is fortunate enough to attend rehab, that’s a good start. But because most rehabs are a relatively short 28 days, family counseling there amounts to a crash course in what has to be an ongoing, long-term process of more open and honest communication. That requires continuing education.
The best place to find it is Al-Anon and other similar programs like Nar-Anon (for families of narcotics addicts) and Co-Anon (for families of cocaine addicts). People there have the most practical experience responding appropriately to addiction. They’re also wonderful sources of hope, inspiration and social support.
Many are reluctant to go to Al-Anon type programs for any number of reasons. If you’re one of them, go anyway. Overcome your reluctance. To find out why, click on But I Don’t Want To Go To Al-Anon!
For more on the subject click on the links below:
- Understanding the Irrationality of Addiction
- Understanding Why Addicts Act They Way They Do
- Enabling, Detaching and Letting Go
- Al-Anon and Other 12-Step Programs
- But I Don’t Want To Go To Al-Anon!
To access web sites for families and friends click on the links below:
Alanon and Alateen: http://www.al-anon.org/
Co-Anon (for families of Cocaine Addicts): http://www.co-anon.org/
Co-Dependents Anonymous: http://www.coda.org/
National Association for Children of Alcoholics: http://www.nacoa.org/
Adult Children of Alcoholics: http://adultchildren.org/
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