Support Groups for Families of Drug Abusers

Annette Nay, Ph.D.

Copyright © 2005

Thank you for your article and the honesty behind it (Options For Families of Drug Abusers). My family is just now coming to terms with the fact that my daughter (35) is a drug addict. She has been taking prescription medications for years based on what we considered legitimate reasons. Kidney infections (she has had two surgeries). She (over the past 10 years) has Dr. hopped with a variety of mental problems, depression, bi-polar, borderline personality disorder etc. She has been on every medication known to man and we were so focused on the mental illness part and trying to figure out what was wrong with her we missed the real issue. The drugs. Would you believe I am an R.N. I feel really stupid for not seeing it before now but she was really good with the manipulation. Anyway, the family is slowly being destroyed by her because I think we are enabling her and other's feel sorry for her and listen to the manipulation. Are there any on-line support groups for this type of situation? Thank you again for writing the article.


Thank you for your comments.  I wrote that article after doing an internship at a Methodone Clinic (a clinic that helps get users off of Heroin).  After seeing the clients cycle around and around in the system, never getting better, I came to the unhappy understanding, that few get out of drug addiction.  This knowledge hurt my soul, because of the pain I had witnessed from the addict's families.  In spite of it all, I felt that the truth had to be told.

About your daughter:  We all want to believe in our children and want to help them feel better.  Thatís what a mom does, but sometimes, as in your case, things get out of hand.  We donít notice it because it comes on gradually, until we find ourselves in the middle of a huge mess, wondering how it all came to be.  Donít be hard on yourself!

In larger cities, there are Nar-Anon meetings, which are for the family of drug-addicts.  See:   In these meetings they discuss enabling behaviors (behaviors that allow or help the addict continue his addiction) and other topics to help you help the recovering addict in your family and help you heal too.  I highly suggest that you attend these meetings if they are available.  You should be able to find them in the Phone Book. Here are some sources on the net:

Nar-Anon Resources
Nar-Anon Family Groups is a 12-step support group for relatives and friends of drug abusers

Nar-Anon Meetings
Support meetings for those who have been affected by someone else's substance abuse.

Nar-Anon Resources
Information and resources for the friends and families of drug addicts and substance abusers.


Annette Nay, Ph.D.

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