You’re Not Alone: How to Find the Support You Need When Taking Care of Someone with an Addiction
According to the (National Survey of Drug Use and Health) NSDUH 19.7 million American adults (aged 12 and older) battled a substance use disorder in 2017. Addiction is a disease that affects many Americans but because of the shame associated with it many people don’t know how to cope. The amount of resources needed to support a family member or close friend with addiction can be overwhelming, and people looking for help can begin to feel lost. The goal of this blog post is to provide you with information needed to help and to remind you that you are not alone. Let’s dive in below:
One key resource is joining a support group
Al-Anon – Is a support group for families of people who struggle with addiction, it was founded in 1951, roughly 16 years after AA. They offer virtual and global meetings in person with the goal of helping family members of those who struggle with alcohol addiction.
Alateen – Is Al-Anon support group specifically for family members of teens who struggle with addiction.
Nar-anon – Nar-Anon Family Groups are worldwide groups for those affected by someone else’s addiction. They have a Twelve-Step Program that has spiritual principles, they state to offer help by sharing “experience, strength, and hope.”
SMART Recovery Family – SMART Recovery is a non-profit that offers virtual and online meetings that provide “concerned significant others the tools they need to effectively support their loved ones.”
With these groups you can join a community of others that also have family members who are struggling with addiction. You can also get the tools and resources you need that will make a difference not only in the recovery of your significant other, but your own personal mental health and peace of mind.
Seek Professional Counseling
Professional counseling can be a great way to get the support you need when taking care of someone with an addiction. If you’re in the Denver area, our counselors in Castle Rock, CO can provide a safe space to express your feelings and help you develop coping strategies. We have therapists ready to help, and we even have a LAC (Licensed Addiction Counselor) directly on our team. However, if you’re seeking out support in other areas some important questions to ask when seeking out a counselor for addiction recovery is:
How do you approach the treatment of addiction?
What strategies do you use to provide support specifically to family members of those with addiction?
Do you have experience helping families navigate the difficult conversations around addiction?
How can you help with the often complex emotions of addiction?
How can you help us develop a plan for supporting our loved one in recovery?
More specifically therapy can support by helping you process your own emotions and the shame associated with dealing with a close friend or family member who is going through this.
Practice Positive Self-Talk and Self-Care
Through this process it is important to be kind to yourself, here are some ways you can practice positive self-talk and self-care.
Remind yourself that you are not responsible for the other person’s addiction.
Don’t feel guilty for taking time for yourself and allow yourself to breathe and relax.
Focus on positive affirmations to help foster positive thinking.
Engage in positive activities to help reduce stress, such as reading, drawing, exercising, or spending time in nature.
Regardless of your situation, there is help available for you. If you’d love to know more about how we can help you and your family on the road to addiction recovery, our team of therapists at Authentic Connections Counseling Center in Castle Rock, Colorado are here to support you. You can book a session by calling 720-370-3010 x100 or emailing us at [email protected] for more information.