Having begun my healing in 1976, I have seen many families excited at the prospect of healing for their loved ones only to have to face the reality that the loved one has entered a new world. Often it is a world that other family members don’t enter. Addiction feels as if it is the addict’s problem. But addiction is a family disease. We all learn how to dance to addiction’s tune. Addiction is in control of all the family members.
Blog posts written by family members dealing with addiction and/or similar life situations:
From themiracleisaroundthecorner: “Is Dysfunctional Family a Redundancy?”
From The Maven of Mayhem: “In Which I Respond to 5 Comments on My LGBT Family”
From The Immortal Alcoholic: “What! No Family program?”
From Jean Heaton: “That’s What I’d Like to Know, What Did You Do Wrong?”
Many of the following YouTube videos have several other videos in each series.
Resources to help the family understand addiction recovery:
From Addictions and Recovery.org: “An addiction destroys families as much as it destroys individuals. Living with an addict is both heartbreaking and exhausting. Family members are torn between how to help the addict and how to avoid being sucked into the addict’s world.”
From The Addiction Recovery Guide: “The tragic death of a brilliant young writer named Jacob Waletzky* from a cocaine induced cardiac arrhythmia at the age of 29 inspired the creation of this website. The site is produced and funded by Lucy Waletzky, MD, a psychiatrist who is Jacob’s mother and fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. She is assisted by Marsha J. Handel, MLS, a medical librarian at Mt. Sinai Beth Israel.”
From NCADD: National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence: “Living with addiction can put family members under unusual stress. Normal routines are constantly being interrupted by unexpected or even frightening kinds of experiences that are part of living with alcohol and drug use. What is being said often doesn’t match up with what family members sense, feel beneath the surface or see right in front of their eyes. The alcohol or drug user as well as family members may bend, manipulate and deny reality in their attempt to maintain a family order that they experience as gradually slipping away. The entire system becomes absorbed by a problem that is slowly spinning out of control. Little things become big and big things get minimized as pain is denied and slips out sideways.
Helpful Links from caron.org:
- The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships by Patrick Carnes, Ph.D.
- Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring For Yourself by Melody Beattie
- The New Codependency: Help and Guidance for Today’s Generation by Melody Beattie
- Mending A Shattered Heart: A Guide for Partners of Sex Addict edited by Stefanie Carnes, Ph.D.
- It Takes a Family A Cooperative Approach to Lasting Sobriety by Dera Jay
- Addict in the Family: Stories of Loss, Hope and Recovery by Beverly Conyers
- Adolescent Drug and Alcohol Abuse: How To Spot It, Stop It and Get Help for Your Family by Nikki Babbit
- Don’t Let Your Kids Kill You by Charles Rubin
- Everything Changes: Help for Families of Newly Recovery Addicts by Beverly Conyers
- Get Your Loved One Sober. An Alternative to Nagging, Pleading and Threatening by Robert J. Myers, Ph.D. and Brenda L. Wolfe, Ph.D.
- Parenting for Prevention: How to Raise a Child to Say No to Alcohol/Drugs by David J. Wilmes
- Recovering My Kid: Parenting Young Adults in Treatment and Beyond by Joseph Lee, M.D.
- Sober Siblings: How to Help Your Alcoholic Brother or Sister – and Not Lose Yourself by Patricia Olsen and Petros Levounis, MD, MA
- The Family Recovery Guide: A Map for Healthy Growth by Stephanie Brown, Ph.D., and Virginia M. Lewis, Ph.D., with Andrew Liotta
- A Gentle Path Through the Twelve Steps: The Classic Guide For All People in the Process of Recovery by Patrick Carnes, Ph.D.
- Courage to Change: One Day at a Time Al-Anon
- How Al-Anon Works: For Family and Friends of Alcoholics Al-Anon
- One Day at a Time Al-Anon
- Paths to Recovery: Al-Anon’s Steps, Traditions, and Concepts Al-Anon
- The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie
- A Family’s Journey by Diana Clark