For Family and Friends

in Addiction
Published Apr 28, 2020
For Family and Friends

Substance use disorder impacts approximately 45 million families. Addiction is often referred to as a family disease because it affects the whole family in many ways.

  • The sanctity of the home environment is violated — what should be calm and nurturing becomes volatile and unsafe.
  • Familial and romantic relationships are fractured.
  • Strong family values are replaced with distrust, resentment, frustration, and confusion.
  • Children risk developing substance use disorders themselves and can encounter learning and behavioral difficulties.

If left untreated, substance use disorders can cause serious damage within the family unit. However, recovery is possible. In fact, 23 million Americans live in long-term recovery and have successfully resolved a drug or alcohol problem. One of the major factors influencing long-term recovery is family support through the process of recovery.

two men having a conversation in rehab group

How to support families suffering with addiction

There are a number of ways to support loved ones, whether they are family members or partners, who are suffering with addiction.

One way is learning about substance use disorder and that it is a medical condition, not a moral failing. Unfortunately, it is a condition that is surrounded with shame, denial, and embarrassment and when a person feels supported they are more likely to open up and seek help. You could also find resources to support you and your loved one (we’ve listed many below).

Another way to support your family member or friend is through an intervention. If your loved one refuses help but is causing family disruption, or you fear for their safety, it might be helpful to arrange an intervention. We can help you find the right interventionist. Get in touch and we can direct you to the right person.

Addiction resources for family and friends

There are many resources out there for friends, families and partners of loved ones with substance use disorders.

Addiction treatment

Gallus Medical Detox Centers are a destination for addiction care. Our mission is to provide the highest quality inpatient medical detox services and to be the best first step in overcoming substance use disorders.

Gallus Detox Centers offers a unique and proven medical approach. To learn more about The Gallus Method and why it is successful, visit the treatment section of our website, or call our admissions team for a free, confidential assessment: 866-530-0691.

  • NIAAA treatment locator for alcohol use disorder
  • SAMHSA treatment program locator for opioid use disorder
  • SAMHSA medication-assisted recovery locator

happy family in a field with child playing

Support for family and friends with addiction

There are a variety of support groups available specifically for people impacted by addiction in their family, relationship, or friendship, including:

  • SMART Recovery Friends and Family
  • Alateen (for young people)
  • Al-Anon
  • Adult Children of Alcoholics
Education and information about addiction

There is a range of websites providing easily accessible information about substance use disorders.:

  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has free resources and publications, including pamphlets for families where addiction is present, information on family therapy, and what is involved in substance use disorder treatment.
  • The National Institute on Drug Abuse has provided helpful, easy-to-read drug facts.
  • The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism also contains information about alcohol and alcohol use disorder
  • For parents and teachers: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry resource center and NIHA Parents and Educators Resources
  • For physicians and clinicians: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry on substance use disorders, American Academy of Family Physicians on opioid use disorder, and the American Society of Addiction Medicine
Helpful organizations for people in recovery
Online support groups

Facebook has a host of recovery support groups for families, including Voices to End Addiction< and FamilyRx, as well as online versions of mutual-aid meetings. You can also find many online meetings for families at InTheRooms.

Recovery meetings and resources

If your loved one doesn’t go to treatment, or wants to supplement their therapy with a peer-based support group, they can go to any number of mutual-aid groups. Visit our Aftercare Planning page for an extensive list of meetings and support groups, therapists, and many other recovery-related resources.

Please feel free to call our admissions team for a free confidential consultation to see how we can help: 866-530-0691.