Is your spouse or partner addicted to drugs or alcohol, or in the grip of another behavioral addiction? Are you consumed with worry or fear because of your spouse's problem? Are you withdrawing from the things you used to love as you struggle to help your loved one? Being the partner of an addict can be painful, lonely, and dangerous. Addictions can have long-lasting, devastating effects on entire families and successive generations. It's easy to focus exclusively on your spouse's issues, neglecting your own health and safety, so it's absolutely crucial to seek support and guidance from people who have been through the same experience. Getting help for yourself is never selfish. In the end, it may be the best thing you can do for your loved one.

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International Support Groups

  • Al-Anon is a branch of Alcoholics Anonymous designed for the families and friends of people who are problem drinkers. If someone else's drinking is affecting your life, Al-Anon may be for you. Al-Anon focuses on helping members live “One Day at a Time." At Al-Anon Family Group meetings, members learn from each other's experiences. They are empowered to make healthy choices, perhaps by changing some of their old behaviors that enabled others' addictions. You can find out more by calling 1-888-425-2666 or going to their website.
  • Nar-Anon Family Groups are for the family members and friends of drug addicts. Like Al-Anon, Nar-Anon offers a twelve-step program to help heal the emotional scars caused by living with a spouse or partner with a drug addiction. You can call Nar-Anon at 310-534-8188 or 800-477-6291 or visit their website for more information. Nar-Anon also maintains an online support group.
  • Co-Anon sponsors family groups for family members and friends of people with cocaine addictions. Contact them by calling 800-898-9985, or visit their website.
  • Families Anonymous offers support for the family members and close friends of people who struggle with any sort of addiction, whether drugs, alcohol, or other destructive behaviors. Call them at 800-736-9805, or visit them on the web.

All of these groups are intended to provide non-judgmental support, and they supply lots of literature geared toward spouses of addicts. Members can offer a wealth of information about the local resources, including whether legal help, housing, or other help may be available in your area.

Local Support Groups And Other Resources

  • Many churches offer local support groups for spouses of addicts. Try calling the churches in your area to find out if any of them have support groups. They may also be able to recommend clergy members and counselors who can provide one-on-one counseling for your situation.
  • Many books have been written to offer hope and wisdom for spouses of addicts. You might try reading Addict in the Family: Stories of Loss, Hope, and Recovery by Beverly Conyers or Reclaim Your Family from Addiction: How Couples and Families Recover Love and Meaning by Craig Nakken. Search Amazon or your public library for books that might speak to your situation.
  • You might also try listening to Addicted to Addicts: Survival 101, a weekly talk show that you can listen to online, featuring Denise Krochta, an author and family life coach for the loved ones of addicts.