A strong support system can make a huge difference in a person’s addiction recovery journey – but where are the people who typically provide that support receiving the help that they need? Having a relationship with someone who struggles with substance use disorder (SUD) is often an emotional burden itself and can feel extremely isolating. We’re here to tell you that you do not have to struggle alone.
A Family Disease
As those of us in the addiction recovery field often say: addiction is a family disease. When someone you love is suffering, you suffer too. When someone is struggling with addiction, the ripple effects can spread to the whole family – parents, siblings, partners and friends. It is not uncommon for family members to develop their own mental health struggles – anxiety, depression, isolation and shame. They may be upset about how their loved one is causing themselves harm, and anxious about what they may do in the future. They may feel helpless and unsure of how to help, or they may feel overwhelmed with how much they’ve already done.
The persistent stigma of addiction impacts the family as well. Just as people with SUD, alcohol use disorder (AUD) or opioid use disorder (OUD) may feel ashamed about their struggles, family members may also feel shame either personally or on their behalf. They don’t want other people to know about their loved one’s struggle, or they feel like they have failed their loved one and fear they will be judged.
Whatever they may be feeling inside, the loved ones of people in recovery or active addiction often feel like they must be the strong one. They don’t know who to reach out to for help, or perhaps think that they have no right to feel as they do, compared to what friends or family members are experiencing. The truth is they have just as much of a right to seek the help and support they need, and our hope is that now they will.
Spectrum + Magnolia’s Family Support Meeting Series
At Spectrum Health Systems and the New England Recovery Center, we have always strived to involve families in the recovery journey of our clients – so we have seen firsthand the toll it takes on family and friends. That is why we are so pleased to be able to collaborate with Magnolia Recovery Resources to offer a free virtual support group series for family, caregivers, and others who have relationships with people who have SUDs.
The curriculum for the FAST© Family Support Meeting Series was developed in collaboration with Maureen Cavanagh, founder of Magnolia New Beginnings, Magnolia Recovery and Consulting and Magnolia Addiction Support. Maureen’s work has been dedicated to spreading education and awareness around SUDs and advocating for those who struggle with it and for their family and loved ones. In this new series, we will be working with Magnolia to provide participants with knowledge, connection and inspiration to navigate their own journeys.
Meetings will be starting Tuesday, July 13th from 6:00 – 7:30 PM EST with an introductory session. Each weekly session will be led by a member of Spectrum’s addiction treatment team and will include:
- 15-20-minute educational component focused on addiction
- 60 minutes of sharing, open discussion, and support
- 10-15 minutes of a guided self-care activity
All sessions will be completely free and open to the public, making it the first of its kind support group in Massachusetts! We’re so happy to be able to provide this service to anyone who needs it, and hope that participants will find connection and support among others going through the same struggles.
To join the virtual meeting, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom link.
If you or a loved one is struggling with an alcohol or other drug addiction, call Spectrum Health Systems today at 1-877-MyRehab. For more information about working at Spectrum, visit our careers page.