Why You Should Attend Al-Anon Meetings if Your Loved One is Suffering From Addiction

Why You Should Attend Al-Anon Meetings if Your Loved One is Suffering From Addiction

Rehab is one of the most effective treatments for patients suffering from addiction, with success rates similar to those for other chronic illnesses.

Family members of addicted people are often eager to support them getting help. In many cases, however, family and loved ones fail to realize the role they play in recovery.

Al-Anon meetings are not just for the person suffering from addiction. The people who make up their support network should also be at these meetings. Attending these meetings will both help aid the patient’s recovery, and help the loved one heal.

Wondering if you can benefit from attending Al-Anon meetings with your loved ones? Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits you can expect to enjoy.

Addiction Effects Everyone

When a person suffers from an addiction, it does not just affect them. Rather, it affects everyone in their lives. The impacts of addiction can be emotional, financial, physical, and more.

Friends and family will often rightly focus on getting their loved one help by getting them into an inpatient or outpatient treatment. When they do this, however, they often forget to consider their own needs. By attending Al-Anon meetings with your loved one, you can make sure you get the help you need to heal as well.

Avoid Bad Habits

In addition to being affected by others’ addictions, loved ones also play an important role in recovery. To remain healthy, those leaving rehab must return to a community that will support their recovery efforts.

By attending meetings, you will learn what kinds of behaviors support recovery, and what behaviors threaten it. This will help you avoid habits that may enable your loved one, or provide an environment conducive to substance abuse.

For instance, many loved ones engage in behaviors that they think are helpful, but actually instead just help perpetuate addiction. For instance, providing an addict with shelter or resources can create a situation that makes it easier for them to use.

Attending rehab will help you learn how to balance being supportive with being an enabler. This way, you will be able to ensure to provide genuine support to your loved ones that will help them to get well and get their lives back.

Learn How to Communicate

Friends and family of addicts often struggle with learning how to communicate with their loved one. While addiction is recognized as a brain disease, those affected by the addiction sometimes mistakenly assume that substance abuse is a character flaw. Spending time in treatment with your loved one will help you better understand how their disease works.

When a patient’s support network understands their disease, this helps facilitate conversations. Rather than shaming the patient for failing to control their behavior, loved ones will understand that they are fighting an illness. This will help create a more supportive environment that is healthy for everyone involved.

Learn to Let Go

Even when people realize that addiction is a brain disease, it can still be tempting to believe it can be overcome with willpower alone. Family and friends will often try to “love” others out of their addiction by providing support.

Not only will this approach not cure addiction, but it will also discourage you. But, by attending meetings, you will be able to come to terms with the fact that you do not have control over this addiction. This will help you focus instead on the aspects you do control, like the relationship with your loved one.

Learn Strategies for Coping

While your loved one works on recovering, their personality may shift. Controlled substances alter a person’s demeanor, so you may not recognize the person they are when they are not under the influence. In addition, detoxing may make your loved one irritable, which can be challenging for friends and family.

Through rehab meetings, you will learn how to deal with these changes and reactions from your family. When you learn these coping strategies, you will be able to not take your loved one’s behavior personally. Instead, you can implement effective communication strategies.

Work Through Your Own Struggles

While your family member may be the one struggling with addiction, that doesn’t mean that you are not dealing with challenges as well. When you are focusing on someone else’s problems, it can be easy to neglect your own needs. By going to rehabilitation with your loved one, you will have the opportunity to learn ways to work through your own struggles.

At a meeting, you will hear many stories from people overcoming and working through adversity. You will also hear the group facilitator talking with these individuals about new ways to approach their problems.

While you may not deal with addiction, these strategies can help you in other areas. Embracing these tactics and modeling them can be a great way to practice solidarity with your loved one.

Be Respectful of Space

While it is helpful for family members to attend meetings with their loved ones, it is also important to respect their space while they receive treatment. Early on in the treatment process, family and friends may be discouraged from visiting. While this is challenging, there is a good reason for it.

Early on in rehab, many facilities focus on limiting contact with the outside world. This allows the patient to focus on detoxing without distraction. After this phase has passed, however, the patient is often in a better place to connect.

Attend Al-Anon Meetings With Your Loved Ones

With these benefits in mind, it’s easy to see why attending Al-Anon meetings is an important step to take in supporting your loved one’s recovery. To get more information or help with a loved ones addiction call us at (877) 322-2450.

About the author

Dr. Michael Carlton, MD.

Leading addictionologist, Michael Carlton, M.D. has over 25 years of experience as a medical practitioner. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and returned for his MD from the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona in 1990. He completed his dual residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and his Fellowship in Toxicology at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center and Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

He has published articles in the fields of toxicology and biomedicine, crafted articles for WebMD, and lectured to his peers on medication-assisted treatment. Dr. Carlton was a medical director of Community Bridges and medically supervised the medical detoxification of over 30,000 chemically dependent patients annually.

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