Opioid Matters: Support for Families and Loved Ones
When a family member of loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder or alcoholism, it can have a profound effect on the family. Depending on the severity of the situation, the person with the disorder can create chaos in the home by stealing from family members, acting violently or acting despondently and not partaking in family activities or meals. They can skip work or school or get themselves arrested. It can make the home--which should be a place of comfort and serenity-- feel like a war zone or it can feel like one of the family members is missing.
Too often, we try to deal with this situation on our own because we want to keep these matters private or are ashamed of our loved one and how he or she is behaving. But there are many others who share similar experiences, and there is comfort in knowing you are not alone. Al-anon and Nar-Anon meetings can be very helpful for family members and loved ones who are struggling in this situation.
Al-Anon and Nar-Anon Family Groups
For local Al-Anon meetings, visit www.al-anon.alateen.org. Please note: If your loved ones’ issue isn’t alcohol, it’s okay; everyone is welcome no matter the substance their family member is abusing. Meetings are available in person or online: https://al-anon.org/al-anon-meetings/ But if you really need a hug, in person is the better option. At Abington Hospital, there is a meeting on Sunday mornings for Adult Children on Alcoholics. At the Warminster campus, on Tuesday nights at 7:30 pm, there is an Al-Anon meeting.
For details about meetings that occur at Abington - Jefferson Health locations, please check here under the heading Support: https://www.abingtonhealth.org/classes-events/search-results/?TermId=eb6856e9-6507-de11-9b17-001372679326#.W8YBcE3fOJD
For NarAnon meetings, visit www.eparna.org.
Since substance use disorder is often co-occurring with mental health issues, NAMI is another option for support. NAMI is the abbreviation of the National Alliance on Mental Health, and the organization has local meetings; information can be accessed here: https://www.nami.org.
To speak to a live person at NAMI, call 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.