Educational Resources for Loved Ones
Your loved ones care very much for you and want you to feel good in recovery, but they may be unaware of certain issues related to substance abuse disorder (SUD) or alcohol use disorder (AUD). There’s a wealth of community and virtual resources that you can offer to friends and family members.
Families Anonymous (FA): This California-based organization was founded in 1971 by parents who witnessed a child struggle with substance abuse, according to the Families Anonymous website. The FA mission reflects the founding members’ shared desire to support their children and each other. Similar to, but not affiliated with, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), FA also employs a 12-Step fellowship program. Families and friends dedicated to providing support for struggling loved ones while tending to their own mental health needs can attend meetings across the globe. Due to the pandemic, face-to-face meetings have shifted to a virtual platform. Visit their website to find information about the organization.
SMART Family & Friends: SMART Recovery is an “abstinence-oriented, not-for-profit organization for individuals with addictive problems” that offers a program for friends and families of those in recovery. SMART Family & Friends provides access to resources such as relevant literature and in-person or virtual meetings. Members of this group publish blogs and podcast episodes related to SUD and mental health issues on their website.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): Congress established the SAMHSA in 1992 “to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.” Nearly 30 years after its inception, the organization works to decrease addiction rates and eradicate stigmatization of SUD through establishing public programs, granting funds, conducting research, and organizing practitioner training sessions. The SAMHSA website presents visitors with information on recent research projects, upcoming training events, and other mental health topics. Their extensive library of pamphlets, videos, and other materials can guide family and friends through challenging situations, such as talking to loved ones about substance abuse. Consult their website for helpful articles about therapy, mental and emotional health, and coping with drug and alcohol abuse.
Rehabilitation Center Blog Posts: Many rehabilitation facilities include a blog section on their website. These posts cover topics from finding a workout routine that caters to your physical and emotional health to more serious issues like alcohol abuse and its effects on children who witness the behavior. Some posts are written by former residents of the programs and reading first-hand accounts may help your loved ones to understand your situation more clearly. You may want to peruse these blogs yourself to learn more about treatment options and life in recovery. Some posts may be dedicated to topics that interest you.
Social Media Groups and Chat Forums: Popular social media platforms like Facebook and Reddit foster community by providing a space for individuals with similar interests to chat with each other. Your loved ones may find that expressing emotions and asking questions is easier to do in a virtual setting. Your loved ones might feel more comfortable asking questions or offering commentary on a virtual platform than in-person.
How You Can Help
The best source of information is you! Each person in recovery follows a different path and, though the books, websites, and group meetings will provide an understanding of what SUD is and how it operates, only you can express your unique experiences with SUD. Share as much of your experiences as you would like–even offering a little insight into your life can go a long way.
Remember to be patient when educating your loved ones on your journey in recovery. They may not respond in a way that you anticipate, and this can hurt your feelings. Unless a friend or family member reacts in an overtly malicious way, their intentions are likely sympathetic but misguided. Your role is to inform them of your dislikes and insecurities to prevent accidental affronts in the future. When you are both comfortable communicating about addiction and recovery, your relationships will grow deeper. Moreover, the people in your life comprise your support group. Stronger relationships with the members of your group improve your mental health and promote progress in your recovery journey. Don’t underestimate the power your friends and family can provide!
If you are coping with SUD, we invite you to explore Silver Lining Recovery. We provide each of our guests with a holistic treatment program tailored to suit their specific needs. When you join us, our team of dedicated mental health professionals will walk with you as you take the first steps in recovery. We want you to feel confident in yourself and your sobriety inside the facility and, after completion of the program, in your social and professional spheres. If you’re interested in joining our recovery community, please call us today at (866) 448-4563 for a consultation.