Family Roles & Codependency
Why do so many well-meaning family members unintentionally enable the behavior of their addicted loved one? And what can be done to break the cycle and initiate meaningful change?
Codependency Assessment Quiz
Are You Co-Dependent? Did you know there are different types of co-dependency? In fact there are 4 of them.Take the quiz now
An intervention is not about how to control the substance user; it is about how to let go of believing you can.
Is it time for an intervention?
It’s not always easy to tell when a loved one struggling with drugs or alcohol is in need of professional help. Find out if it’s time with our quiz.
Thankfully, families don’t have to host interventions alone. They can call in a trained professional to help ensure success and make the process easier. Find out how
Intervention Help FAQs
At Family First Intervention, it’s our mission to help families understand how they can help save their loved ones from addiction. Get the facts.
Intervention Success Rates
One of the most commonly asked questions is, “What is your success rate?” But there is more to it.
Helpful Addiction Resources & Links
Just as with your loved one in treatment, there is no lack of resources or help available to the family. A disconnect may result from the family’s hesitation to take advantage of resources that could improve the current situation. The more we become involved in our own family’s healing, the greater the opportunity for a successful outcome in your intervention, and your loved one’s addiction recovery. Families who continue to struggle are often those who do not ask for help or follow professional suggestions. Family First Intervention, like all other professionals who help others with addiction or addiction-related issues, is not here to carry you forever. We are here as a bridge to give you the guidance, education, and resources needed to change and take back control of your life. And remember, you cannot be codependent and independent at the same time. The more you focus on changing your loved one, the less you allow yourself the opportunity to improve and grow yourself. Here is a list of resources to assist you as part of our intervention process.
We believe Al-Anon is one of the most important sources of ongoing support. Your loved one will be going to meetings for the addiction. Families will benefit as much by going to Al-Anon meetings and finding sponsors for themselves. The substance user’s chances of recovery increase significantly when the family enters recovery as well.
Families Anonymous is a great resource and is very similar to Al-Anon. Al-Anon seems to be a preferable match for the spouse, partner, or significant other of the addicted person. Families Anonymous seems to be better for the relatives, friends, or parents of the addicted person. We encourage you to check out both to see which you prefer.
Adult Children of Alcoholics (& Drug Addicted)/Dysfunctional Family Systems (ACOA)
Adult Children of Alcoholics (& Drug Addicted)/Dysfunctional Family Systems (ACOA) is as important a resource as Al-Anon. This program is also step- and tradition-based like Al-Anon, AA, & NA. The ACOA program is most helpful for those who grew up in dysfunctional homes and for those who currently live or lived in a dysfunctional home with an addict or alcoholic. Our family of origin largely influences how we handle situations today. By attending this program, you may learn why families wait to take action to help a loved one for as long as they do.
Alcoholics Anonymous has open meetings for everyone, including family members. Closed meetings are restricted to members of Alcoholics Anonymous only. It can be very helpful to hear other people experiencing the same thing as your loved one.
Narcotics Anonymous open meetings are also open to everyone, including family members. Closed meetings are for members of Narcotics Anonymous only. Again, it can be very helpful to hear other people going through the same thing as your loved one.
Cocaine Anonymous is similar to other 12-step groups. The focus on change is primarily the same. Although the emphasis tends to be more on cocaine or crack cocaine as the drug of choice, it can help in the case of any drug. Cocaine Anonymous also includes open meetings which anyone can attend.
Heroin Anonymous is available to those recovering from heroin addiction. Although not as prevalent as Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous, those attending the program can greatly benefit from what it has to offer. Open meetings are available in the HA fellowship for those wishing to attend and learn more about what their loved one is going through, be it a current user or one who is in recovery from heroin addiction.
Crystal Meth Anonymous
Crystal Meth Anonymous is a program based on a 12-step philosophy similar to programs such as Cocaine or Heroin Anonymous. Those in attendance most likely are recovering from crystal methamphetamine abuse and come together in support of recovery for each member.
Gamblers Anonymous is, as the name suggests, for those who have a problem with gaming. Gambling addiction is powerful because the gambler has a false sense of being in control. With gambling, the bettor controls the bet, the place, the pick of the team, the horse, the numbers, and so forth. Gambling addiction is very powerful and difficult to overcome. Gamblers Anonymous offers open meetings for family members of gamblers and for everyone who wishes to learn more about the Gamblers Anonymous program.
Overeaters Anonymous is a 12-step program for people with problems relating to their relationship to food and eating. It can also be for people with eating disorders and/or those who have concerns with body image.
Although Smart Recovery is not as prevalent as Al-Anon, this resource is for those who would like to explore science-based options (non 12 step).
Think of Celebrate Recovery as the opposite of SMART Recovery. This is 12-step program with an emphasis on the gospel of Jesus.
Locate Local Therapist and Counselors
This is a well-known resource to find local professionals and treatment resources in your area. A Google search for “therapist near me” can provide additional results. For those with insurance, contact your carrier for a list of covered professionals, too.
Daily Meditations and Readings
This is a great website to bookmark on your smartphone. Although all 6 sections of the book are helpful, “Today’s Gift” is for families, and “The Language of Letting Go” is for codependency.
For Young People
This is an important resource for children and teens affected by their parents’ addiction.
In-Person Family Recovery
If you and/or other family members are able to take some time away, The Bridge to Recovery is a wonderful place to go and get a jumpstart on your own family’s recovery. Addiction is a family problem and our guilt, shame, and family of origin play a pivotal role in how we deal with our addicted loved one, ourselves, and others.
Dr. Gabor Mate is a world-renowned addictionologist from Vancouver, Canada. This video is arguably the best description of how addiction happens and, although lengthy, it will help you understand what your loved one is up against in regards to the addiction. Dr. Mate also has a book, “In the Realm of the Hungry Ghosts,” that is a must-read for substance users and their families.
The Herren Project
The Herren Project is a non-profit organization providing assistance to anyone in need of resources related to substance use disorders, whether directly or indirectly affected. The Herren Project provides helpful resources for Family Support Services. Under the “Help & Support” drop down, there is a section for families.
By reading about Brene Brown on her “About Us” page, you will see why this is one of the most important sites to access books, guides, downloads, articles, podcasts, and additional resources.
Melody Beattie is known for her life changing, self-help books. We recommend “Codependent No More” in our book selection below as the first read. Another of her books, “The Language of Letting Go,” is one of the six options in the Hazelden/Betty Ford “Thought for the Day for Codependency.” Any book written by Melody Beattie can be helpful.
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) website provides information on leaves of absence for medical reasons. It is often a concern for substance users and their families as to what may happen to one’s job if the loved one leaves for treatment. Although the FMLA is a helpful resource, no job should ever supersede one’s medical needs or addiction rehabilitation. Jobs are replaceable, but people are not.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving is a powerful resource, an organization that takes a stance against drunk and drugged driving. It also assists victims of drunk and drugged driving, with a focus on prevention.
The American Association of Addiction Medicine is the standard in today’s treatment of drug and alcohol addiction. Almost all treatment centers address the client’s needs based on ASAM’s 6-dimension assessment.