Family Support Groups for Families of Alcoholics and Drug Addicts, Benefits, How to Find Support Groups & FAQs
What are Family Support Groups?
While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for helping a family member who is drinking too much, using drugs, or dealing with a mental illness. Research shows that family support groups can play a major role in helping a loved one with mental and substance use disorders. 
Family members may be more likely to notice when their loved ones are experiencing changes in mood or behavior. Being able to offer support, family members can connect those in need with treatment, resources, and services to begin and stay on their recovery journey.
A licensed therapist usually conducts family therapy sessions. You need to trust your therapist to be able to open up and talk about your issues during these sessions. Parents, whether married or divorced, spouses, siblings, and even grandparents can attend. Above all, therapy sessions are tailored according to the specific family’s needs.
Family therapy sessions have different approaches to each member, and also depending on the problem you may be trying to solve. However, in most cases, the therapist will begin by observing everyone together. That way, they can hear everyone’s point of view, see how they interact with each other, and understand what role each member plays.
What is the Support Group for Families of Alcoholics?
Al‑Anon is a mutual family support groups program for people whose lives have been impacted by someone else’s alcoholism. By sharing common struggles and applying the Al-Anon principles, families and friends of alcoholics can bring positive developments to their circumstances, whether or not the alcoholic realizes the existence of a drinking problem or seeks help. 
It may be that you could help matters by changing some of your ways that make things more damaging. On the other hand, it may be likely to find a healthier way to react to these challenges.
While simple problems may have manageable solutions, the solution to complicated problems is more difficult to explain. Al‑Anon simplifies a complex problem by recommending a “One Day at a Time” approach, which takes things one step at a time.
Are There Family Support Groups for Family Members of Drug Addicts?
The Nar-Anon Family Groups is principally for those who know or have known a feeling of desperation concerning the addiction problem of someone very close to you. 
You are no longer alone when you come into the family group, and members respect your confidence and anonymity. The program hopes to assure you that no situation is too difficult and unhappiness is too great to overcome.
The Nar-Anon program, which is not a religious but a spiritual way of life, is based on the Twelve Steps. Members found that the working of these steps will bring the solution to practically any difficulty. So the program urges you to take this program and its twelve steps earnestly. It has been as crucial to the members as the Narcotics Anonymous program is to the addict.
The group only asks for the wisdom and courage to see ourselves as we are, to do something about ourselves with the help of a Higher Power as we realize this, and for the grace to release our addicts with love and cease trying to improve them.
Al-Anon and Nar-Anon are non-professional fellowship whose members share their experience, strength, and hope to resolve everyday problems. Participants learned to avoid standing in the way of the addicts’ or alcoholics’ recovery. Al-Anon and Nar-Anon are not a replacement for nor provide professional treatment. We do cooperate with AA and NA and other recovery programs but don’t affiliate with or recommend them specifically.
The Benefits of Family Support Groups for Families Affected by Addiction & Mental Illness
According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the sense of belonging comes just after human basic needs. This goes to show just how much we humans crave being a part of something, wanting to be wanted, and needing to feel useful. A familial unit is the best place to provide this feeling; this becomes an integral motivating factor in one’s sobriety and long-term recovery. The family program during your addiction treatment will help you have this belongingness back again after being consumed by the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Who Should Use Family Support Groups
Addiction affects more than just the patient as it affects everyone around them, and particularly their families. For the same reason, it is important to treat both the addict and his or her loved ones. This is to address the ways the addiction has impacted each other through supportive services for family members.
Family Member Roles in the Program:
- Parents should attend family support groups as they are often the most affected by the addict’s behavior and struggle.
- The subject matter may seem hard for children. However, when of a certain maturity level, they may be able to help the addicted person confront the denial of the wreckage caused by their substance use.
Husbands and Wives
- Significant others are often the most entrenched of the groups. Even if they are enablers or abusers themselves, if the one going to treatment sees they have their loved one’s support, they will feel more confident in their choices.
- Some friends are as close as family and should be included in supportive services.
Additionally, the duration of therapy often depends on the availability of the family members as well as the severity of the issues.
How To Find Family Support Groups
Family members that are supportive and knowledgeable in the recovery world (especially with help from Al-Anon) will be extremely beneficial. For instance in offering practical help like taking you or a loved one to treatment, therapy, or meetings. They can also encourage you to attend a 12-step program and even attend meetings with you. This type of help is essential in making you or a recovering loved one have a sense of importance and usefulness.
In a group of others in recovery, which will soon simply feel like a group of friends, one can get help on various life issues. For example, they might be able to help or suggest a new place to live, a career path, or anything else.
In conclusion, social support, especially from the family, is integral and will easily help boost morale and fortitude. Family should be careful not to enable you or your loved one. Enabling might seem like support. But, it makes the individual less motivated to stop abusing drugs, as their lifestyle and choices are being supported.
When a family member is experiencing a mental or substance use disorder, it can affect more than just the person in need of recovery. Evidence has shown that some people have a genetic predisposition for developing mental and substance use disorders and may be at greater risk based on environmental factors such as having grown up in a home affected by a family member’s mental health or history of substance use. Families should be open to the options of family support groups or family therapy and counseling, which can improve treatment effectiveness by supporting the whole family.
Most of us who had been suffering from addiction or alcoholism have been cast out by our family, work, and even at times by society. This lifestyle has a knack for pushing those that matter to us most away. It is because we cannot help but simply be selfish about our own needs revolving around the drug or drink.
An intervention is something that we at We Level Up TX can also do aside from the family therapy. We will also participate for you or your family member to help ease the transition into a life of peace and recovery.
Call us today with any questions that you might have regarding our family support groups. Our counselors know what you are going through.
Who Conducts a Family Therapy Session?
Family therapy is usually provided by a psychologist, clinical social worker, or licensed therapist. Patients need to trust their therapist to be able to open up and talk about their issues. Parents, whether married or divorced, spouses, grandparents, and even siblings may visit or attend the sessions or scheduled family visitation timeframe by invitation along with client and therapist approvals.
At We Level Up TX clients’ primary therapists, are supported by one family therapist and one family support groups specialist, case manager, an assistant Clinical Director, and or Clinical Director. Clients are eligible for weekly individual therapy plus family session. The clients’ family therapist will accommodate more sessions throughout the week if the client agrees and requests additional involvement. The clinical group schedule runs daily and includes family education plus caseload groups. Therapy programs may include family dynamics. Each rehabilitation program and facility services vary. Please call us for more about family resources and support services available to inpatient clients.
Which Family Members Does the Program Include?
Family therapy is often short-term. It may include all family members or just those able or willing to participate. Your specific treatment plan will depend on your family’s situation. Family therapy sessions can teach you skills to deepen family connections and get through stressful times, even after you’re done going to therapy sessions.
The family program at We Level Up TX can help you improve troubled relationships with your partner, children, or other family members. You may address specific issues such as marital or financial problems, the conflict between parents and children, or the impact of substance abuse or a mental illness on the entire family.
Your family may pursue a family program along with other types of mental health treatment, especially if one of you has a mental illness or addiction that also requires additional therapy or rehabilitation treatment.
What Happens During a Therapy Session in Family Support Groups?
At the start of the session, the therapist typically invites you to share what is been going on in your life, what is on your mind, what is bothering you, or whether there are any goals you would like to discuss. You will be invited to speak openly. The therapist will listen and may take notes as you speak. You will not be criticized, interrupted, or judged as you speak. Your conversation will be kept in the strictest confidentiality. This is a unique type of conversation in which you can say exactly what you feel, speak honestly, and do not be worried. Anything you want to need or to say is OK.
How Long or Often Should One Go to Therapy?
One family’s dynamic will be completely different from another’s. Therefore, the duration of therapy often depends on their availability as well as the severity of the issues. Practically speaking, therapy may be more productive when incorporated into a patient’s lifestyle for approximately 12-16 sessions. Most typically delivered in once weekly sessions for 45 minutes each. For some families continued post inpatient client treatment may be required. Here outpatient family therapy may continue and or begin more in earnest with the client and family free to attend sessions together. It can take up to a few years of therapy for some families to come to a resolution.
Is Family Support Groups Program Enough to Treat Addiction?
Typically, addiction treatment requires a complex, personalized plan, according to each person’s needs. Besides counseling and other behavioral therapies, medication may also be an important part of the treatment, because it assists the detoxification stage, where the patient needs to get the substance out of their system. And maybe needed to enhance co-occurring primary or secondary mental health disorders like depression.
Will Insurance Cover This Type of Therapy?
Patients can pay for their rehab treatment through insurance or you can arrange a payment plan with the treating facility. Addiction is a complex illness that has a dramatic impact both on the user and their loved ones. More often than not, families do not know how to respond to the addiction and make crucial mistakes that worsen the situation instead of helping it. Supportive Services for the family can give both the addict and the family members the tools to learn how to communicate and help each other.
One of our primary goals with families is to educate them about the disease of addiction and provide everyone with ways to effectively communicate with their loved ones.
We know your concerns lie in sustained long-term recovery for your child, spouse, or loved one. Many families have already made huge strides by reaching out to our treatment center in the first place. Please connect with us. We’ll show you how our addiction and mental health treatment programs do not leave the family behind but welcome them in.
Supportive Services for the family can include:
- Visitation opportunities when clinically appropriate and approved
- Weekly phone updates for family members by a certified drug and alcohol counselor
- Referrals to community support services
- Education about the addiction/recovery process
- Client family therapy sessions, family dynamics program & family education program
We invite you to discuss with the clinical team the options for visiting with your loved one while you are in the area. Depending on the clinical assessment, passes perhaps may be planned to support spending time together.
Call us now to explore how we can develop a recovery plan for you or for someone you love.