Support Groups For Families Of Addicts: The Importance Of Sharing Your Story

Support Groups For Families Of Addicts: The Importance Of Sharing Your Story

You may be aware that your loved one’s addiction to drugs or alcohol takes a toll on you emotionally. But did you know that families, as well as individual family members, of addicts, are impacted differently? It’s important for families of addicts to share their experiences. Having an honest conversation about how you are dealing with a loved one’s addiction and dealing with any emotions that arise in the process is a healthy part of recovery.

The Importance Of Sharing Your Story

While most families understand they feel frustrated or hurt by the actions of a loved one’s substance use, many families don’t realize that they need to go through a  healing process of their own. Families of addicts can start the healing process by sharing their experiences. 

Support Groups For Families Of Addicts

The benefits of sharing your experiences of addiction can start the healing process by…

  • Puts things into perspective
  • Find support in others through shared experiences
  • Work through emotions with guidance and support


Some families internalize stress, anger, resentment, or even blame. Others deal with sadness or even guilt about the addict’s substance use. And yet others may appear aloof as though they have checked out of the situation completely.

Why Support for Families of Addicts is Important

Addiction affects the entire family. It’s important to understand that it is common for families to need support and that support can be beneficial for all families affected by addiction. 


Within the family dynamic, addiction often causes…

  1. Financial strain
  2. Relationship turmoil
  3. An unsafe environment
  4. Increased risk of substance use
  5. Emotional pain
  6. Loss of trust


Addiction can cause families to change the way they live their lives. They might feel like they’re walking on eggshells or losing a sense of who they are because they become consumed by the loved one’s addiction. When someone you love has a substance abuse problem, some members of your family may become withdrawn to avoid dealing with the situation. Others may attempt to become a saving grace and try to influence, change, help, or offer support to the addict with the best of intentions. Furthermore, you will be impacted differently if the addict is your parent, spouse, child, or sibling.


Not every family will be impacted to the same degree or deal with the same types of issues. But all families can benefit from having support.


Support groups for families of addicts can help families by…

  • Understand what addiction is
  • Address their needs to support a healthier lifestyle
  • Establish healthy communication between other family members and the addict
  • Recognize that the addict’s behaviour is not their fault
  • Understand they cannot control the behaviour or the addiction
  • Learn they cannot cure the addiction despite having the best intentions

The Benefits Of Joining a Support Group For Families Of Addicts

Support for Families of Addicts Can Help

Why It’s Beneficial

Deal With Anger, Resentment, And Stress

Learning to deal with emotions in a healthy way can improve relationships.

Establish Healthy Communication

Opening healthy dialogue where it may have been shut down can reestablish rapport with family members and with a loved one in recovery.

Develop Healthy Boundaries 

Helps family members recognize they cannot control and are not responsible for the loved one’s addiction.

Offer Insight On Family Members’ Roles In Recovery

Helps a family understand how to be an effective support system without enabling the addiction.

Learn Self-Forgiveness

Allows families to work through feelings of guilt. Families can learn to recognize that they’re not at fault and ultimately accept self-forgiveness.


You may feel as though you have been dealt a losing hand or that you have been climbing an uphill battle. Know that what you feel is valid and that healing is possible with the right strategies and support. There are several benefits the right support group can offer families of addicts. By joining the right support group, families can take away a fresh perspective and implement strategies that move them closer to their own healing. Let’s look closer at some of the benefits families can expect from a support group for families of addicts.


Learn how to deal with anger and resentment and also cope with stress.

Resentment and anger can build between family members and an addicted loved one causing rifts in relationships to form. Support groups for families of addicts can help family members recognize what they’re feeling and help them deal with the emotions in healthy ways rather than from a place of anger, resentment, or fear.


Establish healthy communication with the addict and with other family members.

Family members may also learn to rebuild relationships through healthier ways of communicating once the anger and resentment are put into perspective. Additionally, any communication with the loved one struggling with addiction may cease or become unhealthy. 


Learn how to establish healthy boundaries.

While families usually have the best intentions out of love for the addict, unhealthy boundaries can lead to behaviours that enable the addict in their addiction. A support group can help family members recognize their own boundaries and behaviours and help them to make changes where needed. Families are given resources to help them form healthier ways of dealing with addiction.


Help with understanding the family’s role in the recovery process.

Families may learn how to play an effective role in their loved one’s recovery process while at the same time ensuring that their own well-being is taken care of. That may include learning positive communication, positive reinforcement, and effective interaction. Learning how to be an effective support system once the addict is out of recovery may also be part of the process.


Learn self-forgiveness.

While self-forgiveness is an important part of the addict’s journey in recovery, it is also part of the family’s journey in healing. Everyone’s self-forgiveness process will look different. Family members may blame themselves and feel a lot of guilt for their loved one’s addiction, especially when the addict is a child of the family member. An important part of healing in support groups for families of addicts is to recognize that the addiction is not your fault and that it is a disease.

support for families of addicts

What Do Meetings For Families Of Drug Addicts Do?

Meetings for families of drug addicts can help families and family members

  • Regain a sense of self apart from the loved one’s addiction
  • Uncover insights about their feelings
  • Deal with addiction effectively rather than from a place of guilt which often yields enabling behaviours.
  • Connect with drug-alcohol-interventions resources

Support groups for families of addicts provide family members with addiction education and more. Meetings for families of drug addicts work with a group facilitator and participate in discussions about addiction and learn why addiction is a disease. When you’re already consumed with the toll that addiction has on you and your family, it’s understandably difficult to know where to begin. So, is there a support group for families of drug addicts? The answer is yes, absolutely. 

Where Can I Find Support Groups For Families of Addicts Near Me?

is there a support group for families of drug addicts

There are many resources that can help families affected by addiction find the right support group. Some resources include…

  1. SAMHSA National Helpline can help you find resources
  2. Drug-alcohol-treatment-centres in your area can refer you to the best support group
  3. Online support groups for families of addicts
  4. Experienced family-interventions services

Types of Support Groups For Families of Drug Addicts

In addition to connecting with a support group it helps to know what kinds of support groups for families of addicts exist. If your loved one has a drug addiction, there are specific groups tailored especially for that. Support groups for families of addicts are available. Here are several options at a glance.


Support Groups For Families of Addicts What They Offer
Narcotics Anonymous Family Groups 12-step program that offers support for families of addicts
Families Anonymous Groups that individual family members can attend
SMART Recovery They’re an alternative to the 12-step program, offering support groups for families of addicts and addiction resources throughout the US and Canada, in person or online.
Parents of Addicted Loved Ones Support groups for parents of adult children struggling with addiction.
GRASP Support for families of addicts or individuals who have lost someone to addiction.


Tips For Finding The Right Support Group For Your Family Through Addiction Recovery

In addition to getting in touch with the support group organization or addiction-interventionist that aligns with your and your family’s situation, it helps to connect with others in similar situations. Other families who have experience dealing with addiction may help you feel that your family is not alone. Families that have been through difficult emotions from seeing someone they love struggle with a drug or alcohol problem can offer emotional support, unique insights, and valuable resources. The most important tip is to find the help you can trust.


If you are ready to start rebuilding a healthy family dynamic for yourself and for someone you care about who’s struggling with addiction, please reach out today for a consultation. Call our emergency 24-hour intervention phone line at 1-888-960-3209 or call Andy Bhatti directly at 1-604-309-1573.

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