Even if you haven't had a substance abuse problem and don’t know anybody personally who has struggled with them, chances are that you have heard of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. People who struggle with addictions or have loved ones with addictions may have heard of the more specific groups like Heroin Anonymous.
But do you know about the social support groups that are made not for addicts, but the people who are close to addicts? Groups like Nar-anon intend to help the families, spouses, friends, or other loved ones of people struggling with addictions.
What is Nar-anon? What are group support therapies?
Nar-anon, in particular, is a group support therapy for the families and loved ones of someone who has an addiction. These people are often negatively affected by the addiction, and it can be difficult for them to cope with the problem.
Alcoholics Anonymous and other group supports intended to help out the addict are fantastic, but they are not very comprehensive for the other people affected by the addiction. While it is possible for someone to attend an AA group even if they don't have an addiction, the way the group is run makes it a bit more difficult for non-alcoholics to take part and contribute.
The subject matter and the stories told will be more beneficial for addicts trying to walk the road to recovery than they will be for a family member of loved one seeking support. This is why groups like Nar-anon came into play.
Do I need to go to Nar-anon?
Nar-anon will never be a requirement, like AA and NA sometimes are required for somebody to complete a rehabilitation program. It is completely up to you if you want to attend these meetings, but if youre not sure whether or not you would benefit from them, consider the following.
It has been known for many years that addicts are not the only people who suffer during an addiction. Anyone who is close to an addict might have to cope with any of the following.
- Anger and emotional instability may be common occurrences in the life of an addict, and this can make it difficult for them to open up or understand who they are.
- Someone who cares for an addict may experience financial problems as a result of their compassion and generosity.
- The loved ones of addicts may be traumatized by physical violence that occurs as a result of addiction.
Many families and friendships have been irreparably damaged by drug addictions, and the people who have been damaged don’t always have the necessary outlet for the stress and anxiety that comes with caring for an addict.
If you dont have as big of a support group as you would like, you would probably benefit from going to a Nar-anon meeting. Even if you do have a good, caring support group, but find it difficult to open up due to the embarrassing or distressing nature of the things that you have to live with, you will probably benefit from Nar-anon.
Nar-anon helps people because it makes it easier for them to open up and share things that they might not be able to share otherwise. Addiction is fit with a very bad stigma, and talking about the trauma and danger of addiction isnt always the easiest thing to do in polite company. Besides, most people dont want to stress others out with their problems.
Nar-anon will allow you to become a part of a group of caring, hard-working, persevering individuals who have experienced similar problems as you. You wont have to worry anymore about meeting the right person, or having to get to know someone very well before talking to them about your addiction. You might even be able to prevent needing to go to a therapist by attending Nar-anon meetings.
These people are all a part of the group in order to support and help themselves and others overcome these issues. Many members of groups like these have actually managed to overcome their problems, or no longer have to care for an addict. They can still share and impart the wisdom and knowledge they've learned from their difficult experiences to others, though.
>Getting to a Nar-anon meeting
Even if you think that you have overcome the issues caused by caring for a drug addict, or i you are currently struggling to manage your life thanks to the care you have to give someone struggling with addiction, you should look up where you can go to a Nar-anon meeting.
Nar-anon has a web page online that outlines the support group and can provide you with information on where you can find local chapters. Nar-anon is not nearly as popular as AA or NA, so you won't be able to find as many groups as easily as you would with the other more popular support groups.
If youre having no luck looking online for Nar-anon, consider going to any local rehab facilities or giving them a call. Since many rehabs require that their patient's go to a group support after leaving the facility as a form of aftercare, they usually have information about local support group meetings.
Most meetings dont require you to formally register to be a part of. Most often, you can just show up at the building at the time of a scheduled meeting and sit down. Each person will introduce themselves once the meeting begins, and you'll be able to share your story with others. Or you can just sit and listen to the experiences of other strong individuals who have had to make sacrifices for their loved ones while they battled addictions.
Whatever your intention is, you could probably help yourself, or help somebody else, by attending a Nar-anon meeting.