If you have a family member struggling with addiction, it’s important that you find addiction support for families. Addiction can cause emotional, psychological, financial, and social ramifications on every family member, including children and spouses. The impacts don’t stop when children become adults, either. Parents of adult children with addiction still need addiction support groups.

Casa Serena is a premier women’s drug and alcohol rehab in Santa Barbara. Contact us today to learn how we can help your loved ones during the recovery process.

How Does Addiction Impact Families?

Substance abuse disorders uniquely impact every member of the family. Substance abuse can cause:


Over eight million children under eighteen live with one adult family member with a substance abuse disorder. When a child experiences their parent as inconsistently responsive or varying in their attachment as a parent, it can inhibit the child’s ability to thrive and lead to problems like depression and anxiety. 

When parents struggle with addiction, they might be preoccupied with getting high, their mood can be altered while high, and they can spend significant amounts of time recovering. During these phases, changes to things as simple as eye contact, a soothing touch, or a soothing tone can inhibit healthy development and attachment between parents and their children. 

This leaves children, especially young children, more vulnerable to stress and more susceptible to problems with mental illness, cognitive development, social skills, and academic performance.


Within the family, when an adult member struggles with addiction, it can disrupt the:

  • Attachment
  • Family rituals
  • Roles
  • Routines in the household
  • Communication between family members
  • Social life
  • Finances

Without proper addiction support for families, teenagers can grow up struggling with role reversal, where they end up being the person taking care of their addicted parent. 

For example:

Teenagers might clean up after a parent has passed out, clean up vomit after drinking too much, put their parents to bed, and try to hide the signs of addiction from another parent or other members of the family.

During this phase, healthy boundaries between parents and children fall apart.


Lacking resources for families of addicts can allow problems between spouses to get worse. For example, a wife might recognize that she abuses prescription pain pills because her husband regularly ignores her and she struggles with depression. But then the husband might continue to ignore his wife because she is always abusing pain pills and depressed. Without intervention, the behavior of each spouse reinforces feedback for the other and disrupts proper communication within the family.

Are There Support Groups for Families of Addicts?

Resources for families of addicts come in many forms. 

You can find resources for alcoholics families geared at all members of a family or addiction support for families feared toward spouses. 

Al-Anon Family Groups

Al-Anon resources for families of addicts address problems that family members of addicts face. This is a worldwide program available to friends and families of alcoholics. It doesn’t emphasize trying to stop your loved one from drinking, but it can certainly help you and your family members address the issues you might have.

Nar-Anon Family Groups

This is a similar form of addiction support for families of narcotic addicts. It is a twelve-step program for people who are affected by someone else’s addiction. You have the opportunity to address the issues with which you struggle and get support and encouragement from people around you while moving through a step-by-step process.

Families Anonymous

These, likewise, are twelve-step resources for families of addicts. These are programs for friends and families who have someone struggling with addiction, and they help you address the destructive behavior of that addiction.

Learn to Cope

This is a peer support network for families. They have online forums and support resources with a few face-to-face meetings in locations throughout New Jersey, Massachusetts, Idaho, and Florida.

SMART Recovery Family and Friends

SMART is a secular alternative to things like alcoholics anonymous. It’s a science-based recovery program that provides online support group meetings and face-to-face meetings in select cities across the United States.


GRASP stands for Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing. This is a foundation that provides resources, compassion, and support for people who have lost a loved one because of addiction. You can find local charters throughout the United States that have face-to-face support groups.

Recovering Couples Anonymous

These are resources for alcoholics families, specifically for couples. You can be anyone in a committed relationship. They are not part of Alcoholics Anonymous but rely on the same principles. Their services are only available in fifteen states. 

Al-Anon for Spouses and Partners

These resources for alcoholics families are part of the Al-Anon special support programs. They are, similarly, not available everywhere, but you can check the local Al-Anon programs in your area to see if any are currently available. 

How to Find Resources for Families of Addicts

If you are ready to find resources for families of addicts, you can turn to many places. 

You can ask for resources for alcoholics families from your doctor or healthcare provider. 

Secondly, you can get addiction support for families from Casa Serena. Casa Serena helps provide treatment programs for women and their families. We are here to help facilitate recovery for everyone, and that includes families. If you are living with a family member-child, parent, or spouse who is struggling with substance abuse, we can help you find the right resources for your family. 

Let Casa Serena connect you to resources for families of addicts today.

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