When it comes to drug and alcohol abuse, there is a growing number of resources that have been designed to help lift people out of the pit of addiction. But what about everyone else? What about the family members and friends who have helped and supported their loved ones while they have battled their demons? Where is the support for them?
Thankfully, the world is beginning to understand the help and support that comes from the family and friends of addicts. Without these people, some addicts would not make it through their treatment. Because of the mental load that they carry, these supporters must be also supported. Without help, they may discover that they are suffering mentally. If you have an alcoholic in your life, you might find meetings with Al-Anon beneficial. However, if you are dealing with a drug addict, you might find Nar-Anon to be a helpful group.
What to expect?
There are no easy answers when it comes to helping someone who is an alcoholic or a drug addict. Every case is different and what has worked for one person will not work for another. This is an important part of the recovery process but it is something that some family members have a difficult time with. You may have worked with a guy who found a certain treatment to be useful, but this might not work for your family member. It is important to remember this when you are assisting someone with their treatment.
One of the things that you should expect is to have your behaviors challenged. The reason behind this is to ensure that your behavior is not causing problems at home. This can be a tough fact to process, however, it is true. There are many times that the atmosphere at home and the behavior of other family members have driven people to drink and take drugs. This, along with other things that you do will be challenged as a way to help you. This in turn will help you be a more supportive member of the community.
Are there resources?
When you join your local support group, you can get help accessing the available resources. At each meeting, there is a table of literature that is available to all attendees. When you attend your first meeting, you can get a Newcomer Pack which is filled with information. The available literature is designed to help on your journey. Although this information is free, it is possible to buy it all online and help fund the work of Nar-Anon to continue supporting the families of drug users. Every time you attend a meeting, you will have access to the minds of other people who have been in the same place as you.
Can I bring my friend?
When it comes to supporting, most groups believe that more support is better. However, it is important to be mindful of the fact that these types of groups are not for addicts. They are not designed to help maintain a sober lifestyle. They are for assisting people who have lived or currently live with someone who has an addiction. If your friend has an addiction, there are many other groups that they can attend that will be beneficial to them. Of course, as part of the Nar-Anon process, there is an outreach program that helps people to access their services. If you feel that there are other people, there is a range of outreach material that you can access to help spread the word about Nar-Anon.
How does Nar-Anon support people?
When you start to attend meetings, you may notice that Nar-Anon members have their own language. At first, the new words and phrases may appear foreign. As you continue to attend meetings, you will learn about the steps, traditions, and slogans and find helpful information in the Nar-Anon literature. Nar-Anon meetings only allow one person to speak at a time. Anyone can express an opinion during their sharing but they don’t engage in dialogue, debate, or cross-talk. They do not comment, correct, or judge others as they share. What is true for one may not be true for another. You can sit and just listen. This space is not to talk about the addict’s problems. Instead, it is to keep the focus on the supporters and their recovery.
If you have any questions about recovery, our friendly staff is ready to answer your questions.