National Family Support Resources
Al-Anon is one of the longest running family support groups in the country. It was founded in 1951 for the relatives and spouses of members of Alcoholics Anonymous. Now it is one of the largest support groups in the country and offers help and strength to friends and families of problem drinkers. At Al-Anon, families can find peace and comfort from people who once were in their shoes. Al-Anon offers advice as well as an outlet for people suffering from the ripple effects of alcoholism. The groups are free and can be found all over the country. The national website offers a meeting directory and more information about the program.
Al-Anon also has sub-group called Alateen. Alateen is specifically for teens that are affected by alcoholic families. The groups are slightly different than Al-Anon because most of the members are minors. Alateen usually has an adult leader in the group to lead the conversation as well as act as a mentor.
Nar-Anon is similar to Al-Anon but focuses on drug addiction opposed to alcoholism. It is a 12-step based family support group for those affected by drug addiction. There are sponsors, meetings, and people who have recovered from their codependent or unhealthy relationships to offer support. Meetings can be found nationwide and the Nar-Anon website has a directory of meetings. Meetings are often held at AA or NA club houses.
Adult Children of Alcoholics is another 12-step based support group. ACA has few formal requirements but was intended to offer support to those who grew up in an alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional households. Those who grow up around alcoholics are often traumatized and rarely talk about their struggles. ACA offers a community of people who share the same struggles and can support each other, for free. ACA can be found all over the country.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness is a grassroots organization that support those living with or affected by mental illness. NAMI Family Support Group is a peer-led program that is similar to Al-Anon or Nar-Anon, but specifically for mental illness. Most people with addiction are also suffering from an underlying mental illness, so these meetings could be very beneficial and eye-opening. NAMI offers support from those who have been in the same situations and can offer hope to new members. Meeting are free and confidential and can be found all over the country. Unlike Al-Anon or Nar-Anon, NAMI is not a 12-step fellowship. NAMI simply offers camaraderie and hope to families affected by the ripple of mental illness.
CoDA stands for Co-dependents Anonymous. This group offers support to people who have been in or are currently in co-dependent relationships. Co-dependence is extremely common in relationships strained by addiction. It can affect spouses and parents of addicts alike. This unhealthy type of relationship is the result of enabling one-another. Usually, each person in the relationship cannot support themselves without the other, or at least feel that way. These support groups are 12-step based and offer camaraderie and guidance to those suffering from co-dependence.
Learn To Cope
Learn to Cope is a non-profit support network that offers education, resources, peer support and hope for parents and family members coping with a loved one addicted to opiates or other drugs.
Founded by Joanne Peterson in 2004, the organization has grown to include over 10,000 members, and has become a nationally recognized model for peer support and prevention programming.
You can call our office at : (508) 738-5148 to speak to one of the staff.