The Next Step – Support for You
So the first step is to understand what is happening to you and your family. You can’t do this on your own – it’s far too difficult. You need support either from professionals or from other parents who have been through this and who can give you the benefit of their experience. Once you’ve got some understanding, you can decide what you want to do about your situation. I’ve found the ideal approach is to combine professional and personal support. You will need not just one person, but several people you can turn to. And it will take a while to find the support that you feel meets your needs.
- Find a meeting of Al-Anon near you. http://www.al-anon.org/ (worldwide) and al–anonuk.org.uk for the UK.
- Adfam (support groups and helplines for anyone affected by someone else’s substance misuse) http://www.adfam.org.uk
- Drugfam ( “Our core purpose is to ensure that the families, friends and carers who turn to us are listened to, understood and supported”). http://www.drugfam.co.uk/
- Action on Addiction (Support for families with addiction issues. Short residential programmes). http://www.actiononaddiction.org.uk/
- Find a drugs counsellor. The NHS has advice on this http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/drugs/Pages/caring-for-a-drug-user.aspx
And so does FRANK http://www.talktofrank.com/support-near-you
If you are able to see a drugs counsellor, you will find enormous help.
The support groups run by DrugFam and Adfam will welcome you and you can find a local group on their website.
Al-Anon is a non-professional organisation that aims to provide “strength and hope for friends and families of problem drinkers” through support meetings. These take place throughout the UK, the US, Europe and worldwide; you can search on their website for a meeting near you. To attend a meeting you must have (or have had in the past) an alcoholic or drug-addicted relative or friend. People in Al-Anon meetings understand what you are going through and will listen to your concerns and fears. (NB – for more detail about these meetings, see Al-Anon post under Recovery Toolbox).
Athletes and footballers have coaches. Concert pianists and ballet dancers have teachers and mentors. We who walk this path of recovery from our loved ones’ addiction are going to need our coaches, trainers and mentors too.
That’s how we triumph over the darkness and walk into the light.