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Support Groups for Family Members and Friends

July 21, 2013

The recovery process is necessary for a person coming out of addiction. Recovery is equally important for his or her family members. A popular quote says, “Love the person but hate the disease.” This is true for a family in this situation.


Healing can begin after the disease is confronted. During this time, regaining stability and establishing lifestyle patterns becomes top priority. Part of this process is becoming equipped to relate to the person in recovery.

Here are a few tips to protecting oneself while supporting a loved one who is working through addiction:

1) Gain knowledge about the cycle of addiction and addiction recovery. Doing research, speaking with medical professionals, and joining a support group can empower family members with sound, factual information.

2) Resist the urge to enable the person with an addiction. This may provoke the disease. As a result, the emotional roller-coaster will continue for all parties involved. Avoid financially supporting the habit by refusing to “rescue” the individual from the consequences of his or her behaviour.

3) Family members must realize the situation is out of their control. They cannot act as a psychologist; their threats and promises won’t make a difference; in fact, pity and anger may make a loved one’s addiction worse.

4) Don’t get sucked into destructive behavior. It is important for family members to maintain normal routines despite the chaotic behaviours going on around them. Finding a support group and gaining knowledge are great ways to combat destructive forces and establish balance after chaos.

Support groups are available for family members of people with addictions. Finding a community of individuals in similar situations is possible. Consult this website to research local options:

In addition, this Disability Living post is inspired by two articles. These are excellent resources that offer solace and encourage independent research on the topic of family support in the midst of addiction recovery.

It is unfortunate to think that addiction can affect so many lives. A person can be deeply wounded by a family member’s substance abuse. Love becomes twisted and painful in these types of situations.

To regain control and experience healing, family members need support throughout the process of addiction recovery. Fortunately, there is a lot of help out there. Support group exists to bring people together who are lost and hurting. They can be a great benefit to family members.

Image made available by Glyn Lowe Photoworks on Flickr through Creative Common Licenses.

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