Updated on March 21, 2024
6 min read

Support Groups for Families of Addicts and How to Find One

Support for Families Affected by Addiction

While navigating addiction is certainly not easy, there is professional help available. No one should go through the recovery journey alone, and families can benefit from the help that’s available, too.  

There are some substance abuse support groups for family members of addicts that you should be aware of. There are pros and cons to each, so be sure to find an alcohol or drug addiction support program that works for you. 

Are There Support Groups for Family Members of Addicts?

Support groups for family members of addicts are safe spaces to which family members can turn for help. They usually consist of other people who share similar experiences.

People in support groups can share their experiences with others who can completely understand what they’re going through. Support groups are typically led by a facilitator who may be a psychologist or mental health expert with extensive knowledge of substance use disorders.

Here are some popular support groups for family members of addicts:

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Support Groups for Families of Addicts and How to Find One
Addiction Group

Pros and Cons of Support Groups for Families of Addicts

There are pros and cons of all support groups for families of addicts. Not all support groups will feel very supportive to everyone, since different groups are geared toward different purposes.

Here are some of the major pros and cons to consider when looking for a support group that feels right for you and your family.


  • Support groups help you to not feel alone in the journey.
  • Meeting other people in your shoes can help you discover new ways of navigating conflict and difficult times.
  • Talking about your worries, stress, or grief can help you feel better.
  • Regularly meeting with a group could connect you with like-minded people and form friendships.
  • Support groups are generally run by a mental health professional who can offer advice and healthy coping mechanisms.
  • Your loved one with the substance abuse disorder may feel more supported in their journey knowing that you’re also trying to help by attending support groups.


  • Not all support groups are open to everyone. For example, some are only for adults.
  • Not everyone in the support group will share your exact situation. Different people may be battling different disorders.
  • Going to a support group, being vulnerable, and opening up to strangers may feel difficult, overwhelming, or emotionally exhausting.
  • Not all support group techniques will feel productive for you. Different groups follow different programs; some might sit well with you while others don’t.
  • Talking to strangers about your family problems might feel uncomfortable at first.

Because there are so many benefits of support groups, they’re an ideal option for families of loved ones with addiction to explore.

However, because they can also have their downsides, it’s important not to give up if it doesn’t feel right.

Try different support groups or go for a few weeks before deciding to stop. Finding support groups that fit your needs can take time.


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How to Find Nearby Family Support Groups

Finding nearby family support groups is easy. Search support groups in your area by doing a Google search of a phrase like, “addiction support groups near me.” You’re likely to find support groups in your area.

You can also search social media groups for families of people coping with addiction. Facebook groups or Reddit threads are good sources to help you find support groups near you.

Following the links to the above support groups also will lead you to larger organizations with local support groups nationwide. Search for your zip code and find a group near you.

The Ripple Effect of Addiction on Family Members

Addiction impacts families in many ways.

More than eight million children younger than 18 years old live with at least one adult who has a substance abuse disorder. That equals more than one in 10 children.3

Studies show that substance use disorders hurt the emotions and behaviors of children living with parents who have substance addictions.3

Children of biological parents with alcoholism are also four times more likely to develop it themselves.4

However, substance use disorders don’t only affect children of parents who battle addiction. Drug and alcohol addictions can also impact other family members, including spouses, parents, siblings, and more. 

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How Addiction Impacts Families

Addiction doesn’t only affect the person who is suffering from it. Addiction to drugs and alcohol can also take a toll on their families. 

What Can Families Do to Cope with a Loved One’s Addiction?

Coping with a loved one’s addiction isn’t an easy feat. To help you navigate the journey a little easier, follow some of these tips:

  • Know the stages of alcoholism — from binge drinking to withdrawal.1
  • Have a family intervention with your loved one. Sit them down to discuss your concerns, express your support and consider your options for a path forward.
  • Keep your house clean and clear of substances.
  • Avoid enabling problematic patterns.
  • Reach out for professional help.

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Addiction Treatment Options

No one should navigate addiction or recovery alone. Trying to withdraw from drugs or alcohol without support can be dangerous or even deadly.

Fortunately, there are plenty of addiction treatment options available:2, 6

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Holistic therapy
  • Medications
  • In-person support group meetings or virtual meetings
  • Inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation
  • Treatment for co-existing disorders, like depression5

Just remember that while your loved one seeks help with one of the above treatment options, you should also seek a supportive environment to help you.


If a family member or someone you know is struggling with substance use disorder, you’re not alone. Addicted loved ones can cause common problems for families affected by drugs and alcohol. 

Recovering couples, parents of addicted children, brothers, and sisters of an addicted sibling, and other people are also dealing with alcohol and drug abuse. Support groups for family members struggling with someone who is facing addiction are available.

Follow the above tips and recommendations for finding support groups for you and your family.

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Updated on March 21, 2024

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