How to Help an Addict
You may roll your eyes, but the most important way you can help is by getting your own education and support.
We get so caught up in their addiction that we enable the disease and forget about our own life. Instead, be an example of peace and self-care.
The 6 Things You Should Do to Help
- Get educated – keep reading this website (including the addiction information for families article) and look into the books, app and podcast recommendations below.
- Evaluate areas you may be enabling and set boundaries – read the what is an enabler article next.
- Keep healthy communication open that stresses sobriety – don’t miss the addiction intervention article for help.
- Attend support groups – options listed below.
- Participate in individual or family therapy – advice below.
- Take care of yourself and your own needs – doing fun things or even launching may feel selfish or cold when someone you love is struggling, but your life and happiness matters too!
Support Groups for Families of Addicts
Family support groups are usually free and readily available with in-person and phone or virtual options. Maybe people are nervous before attending their first meeting, but simply expect to be understood and able to learn from other families.
- Parents of Addicted Loved Ones – Ideal for parents that have tried traditional meetings and are looking for something different. Weekly meetings involve worksheets and specific lessons focused on helping vs. enabling adult children.
- Learn to Cope – Ideal for anyone dealing with addiction that’s looking for something non-12-step based. The weekly meetings center around stories from unique guest speakers (authors, lawyers, therapists, etc.).
- Co-Dependents Anonymous – Ideal for those with deep-seeded enabling issues, most commonly spouses. Weekly meetings are 12-step
- Adult Children of Alcoholics – Ideal for adult children (18+) dealing with alcohol. Meetings use a version of the 12-steps.
- Al-Ateen – Ideal for teens dealing with a parent or sibling with addiction. Meetings are 12-step based, catered to the 13-18 age demographic and guided by an Al-Anon certified adult.
- Al-Anon – Ideal for anyone dealing specifically with alcohol. Meetings are 12-step based and the most readily available, even in remote areas.
- Nar-Anon – Ideal for anyone dealing specifically with drugs (not alcohol). Meetings are 12-step based and the most readily available, even in remote areas.
- Families Anonymous – Ideal for anyone with any addiction. Meetings are 12-step based. Offers email, virtualt, phone and in-person options.
- Face it Together –Ideal for anyone impacted by addiction, including loved ones. Provides coaching, online resources and other wellness content. Not a “one size fits all” program.
- Herren Project – Ideal for anyone not knowing what to do at this point. This is an outlet for anyone struggling with drugs or alcohol, and their families. Provides free phone consultations, online meetings and access to a community of advocates.
- Families for Addiction Recovery – Ideal for parents/caregivers of children struggling with addiction, (regardless of age). Offers one on one phone support and online parent support groups.
- SAFE Project – Ideal for anyone looking for resources on how to help stop the opioid epidemic. Their goal is to build safe communities, workplaces, places for veterans and campuses.
- Community in Crisis – Ideal for anyone struggling to understand those in the disease of addiction. Provides digital, all recovery meetings, online resources and scientific information supporting addiction as a disease.
- Faces & Voices of Recovery – Ideal for those in recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs, their families and friends. They provide webinars, various publications and success stories of those who are now in recovery.
Therapy for Family Members of Addicts
Don’t be shy, passive or embarrassed about therapy. Your feelings matter!
- If addiction controls your life despite going to support meetings, therapy offers more personal advice and coping skills.
- If you’re striving to rebuild your relationship, a therapist is a great mediator.
- If children are involved, therapy helps them process their feelings.
Family Therapist Recommendations
JourneyPure doesn’t offer family counseling outside of your loved one’s time in treatment here, but we work with individual therapists every day.
Murfreesboro, TN – Abby Frazee, LCSW (615) 722-7081
Panama City, FL – Joel G. Prather, PsyD, LMHC (850) 249-9636
Bowling Green, KY – Jonathan Lee, MA, LMFT, CHT (270) 904-4945
Recommendations Anywhere in the U.S.
Since patients come here from across the country, we have resources in every state that can help. Please use JourneyPureRefer.com to let us know your situation. A Clinical Consultant will call back with recommendations.
Resources for Families of Addicts
Here are the top FREE resources recommended by our families:
By: Sandra Swenson
Specifically for parents with addicted children, written by a mother of two addicts
By: Dr. Janet Woititz
Specifically for those with an addicted spouse, written by a family psychologist
By: Dr. Richard Carlson
Not addiction-specific, but a new way of looking at life that allows you to be happy despite tragic circumstances
By: Eckhart Tolle
Not addiction-specific, but offering spiritual development to turn worry or frustration into peace
Apple & Android Stores
Meditation is proven to help – learn and practice with any skill level as little as 5-minutes a day (free for 1 year)
Finding Help for My Loved One
Most people enter rehab after honest conversions and treatment pre-arranged by loved ones.
While there are quality rehabs across the country, there are more rehabs that are cutting corners.
The rehabs below have:
- CARF Gold Seal – earned by the top 20% of treatment centers in the world
- Masters-level therapists – with low patient-to-staff ratios to ensure individual attention
- Dual Diagnosis Curriculum – licensed to treat underlying issues like depression, anxiety and trauma too
Rated as a top 2 rehab in the U.S. by Newsweek, Addiction Center and the BBB.
The highest-rated rehab on Google that’s in-networks with insurance.
Start with FindTreatment.Gov using the no cost or sliding scale filters. Religious options like the Salvation Army may not show, so ask at a local Al-Anon meeting too. Finding treatment will be difficult, but not impossible! You can also check if your loved one qualifies for Medicaid.
Note: As an addict myself, I understand the stigma around the word addict. But, as with all things addiction, we need to meet people where they are at.
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