Help for families of addicts: 5 places to seek help

If your family is affected by addiction, who can you turn to for help? I’ve been there…and I share my real life suggestions for getting help for families of addicts here.

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If your family is dealing with addiction and you have had enough, there is no time like the present to become proactive. Instead of feeling like there are heavy bricks on your chest and you are losing the battle, take a proactive approach to helping you and your family recover. There is nothing worse than feeling helpless, and until we recover from our own signs of being a co-addict, we cannot help an addict recover.

We can help ourselves and our loved ones who are affected by addiction to take back their lives, regain some sanity and feel less alone. Here are five (5) resources for finding help for families affected by addiction. And we invite your questions, experiences, or shares about treatments for codependent behaviors or finding help for family systems struggling with addiction…in the comment section at the end.

Where can families of addicts find help?

1. Seek knowledge in books.

History Repeats Itself! Know what you are dealing with. Read up on addiction. There are great books out there on addiction, like Healing the Addicted Brain. Read about co-addiction. There are books on codependency and co-addiction like, Hope Street. In order to understand what you are facing it is good to understand what has come before. There are a lot of people who have been there, done that! Feeling understood, and reading stories of people who were able to triumph will give you hope and inspiration.

2. Seek advice from friends or experts.

Speak to people, friends, and acquaintances about your problems that have been through the same situation. Hearing that you are going to be okay from people who have survived addiction is a great way to motivate yourself. Advice from an expert is another type of advice that could be beneficial. An expert on addiction could help guide you through the process of recovery. There are therapists who are experts in working with addicts and addictive families who can help you understand the course of addiction.

3. Find community support.

Most communities provide support for addiction that is usually free or covered by insurance. There are community support groups you can join to help you cope. Look to your public health department, local religious organizations or simply google “addiction help” in your area. Support groups can be an instrumental step in recovery. Support from peers and others in your situation can help you feel like you have somewhere to turn.

4. Go to an Al-Anon, Alateen, or Nar-Anon meeting.

This is another, but very specific form of recovery and support for the families dealing with addiction. Everyone knows about AA and NA, but Al-Anon and Nar-Anon are for the people affected by addiction. The focus is on the co-addict or family member and how they can take back their life and heal despite what is going on with the addict in their lives. Some people find this very effective and really appreciate the group support they find in these rooms, although Al-Anon alternatives are also out there.

5. Comfort each other.

If your family is living with an addict, odds are each person feels isolated and helpless or has given up. If you get together without the addict and come up with a plan for internal support for one another this might help you gain back some trust in your family unit. Creating a plan of action for your and your family on how to deal with issues that come up, making a safe space in your home, keeping the lines of communication open, and drawing a roadmap on how you will move on despite what the addict does is a great way to take back your family from the reigns addiction. Even if you chose to live with the addict, you can still learn to live again and encourage each other.

About the author
Amanda Andruzzi, MPH, AADP, CHES, is a Certified Health Coach, founder of Symptom-Free Wellness, and the author of Hope Street. Her first book, Hope Street memoir is an inspirational story of one woman's frightening journey of co-addiction that led her to uncover courage, unbelievable strength and overcome great adversity. She resides with her daughter, husband, and two sons in Florida.


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  1. linda,
    I am sorry I did not catch your post until now. I do hope that your children realize that you are doing the best you can and although the story is a little confusing, it sounds like the meth is your husband’s and I think you need to explain that to your children. I also think either way they will be worried that he is using in your home and I can understand their concern.
    Amanda Andruzzi, MHP, CHC, AADP,published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the video book trailer:

  2. Last Tuesday I came home from taking my husband back to work in Florida as my 18 year old daughter was busy doing all laundry in house she grab my beach bag I took w me w a few pieces of clothes for the early morning drive just in case I decided to stop by beach & as she emptied my bag onto floor she heard something ding on the laundry room floor. She looked to see what it was cuz it sounded like glass. When she picked it up she noticed it was s mans dicj w a pipe & some meth I guess & a lighter all inside. Well she immediately took pics of it since I wasn’t home at time I was picking her little brother up from school. She sent the pics to her big sister (sge39). I guess she was scared. I do understand her shock’. To never got asked anything about it even after I got home not even 30 mins later. After the rest of evening activities w after school things ‘ after dinner while relaxing e kids getting winding down fir bed getting baths… all of a sudden I see my oldest daughter (age29), my other son (age 24), my son in law (age 29), come walking him telling my youngest son (age 12) to go w my other sons wife to my oldest daughters house for little while. I said what is going on & they said we will tell u in a minute. My18 year old daughter was in her bedroom she didn’t even come out until they all started drilling me saying something was going of mine & I got to get well I immediately got defensive. I told them over & over & I was completely shocked & numb that thhat filth was even found in my stuff & I was devastated since I knew in my heart & mind this horrorible nightmare was being framed on me whether by accident or intentional I was horrified– I truley was almost almost positive that it was not supposed to be forgot before I left. I believe it was it was hidden to vonceil at the time from me – so I wouldn’t see it in my husbands pocket when I kicked him up for lunch to eat at Burger King b4 I left. He didn’t want to carry that inside. But I end d up getting stuck in the dirt at the job site taking back to work so we ended up stressing over that & I think that completely made that filth get accudentky left by mistake in my bag. I’m not saying g by no means that this is by far ok…. I can’t even worry about whether the story he told that someone gave it to him to give to his 25 year old son from his previous marriage to give to somebody. Or his his period cuz he has been on that in the past & left us for & domestic violence & the drugs that put him in prison. I can’t even worry about truth about any if that my kids said as long as he is back at this house my grandkids or they won’t be back at this house. I feel so betrayed, cheated, alone, heartbroken, crazy….. what is wrong w me? Why can’t I figure out what’s right? I pray & my kids & grandkids are my world that’s all I live for. I am very good person & I have strong beliefs. I do not drink & I do not do drugs, I have never abandoned any of my kids. Everyone that knows me know me as a great mother & I have raised some great kids. I do not understand how I allowed this horror to hurt my most precious gifts in life.

I am ready to call
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