About Families Overcoming Addiction
Welcome to Families Overcoming Addiction. We hope you find some useful information, support and comfort here.
It is suggested that if you would like to attend the support group, come at least three times before deciding whether it is a good fit for you. Most of us, when we first come to the group, share feelings of confusion, frustration, anger, disappointment and fear for our loved one. Given time, we have found that sharing and learning new coping strategies has not only strengthened us, but also helped us create healthier relationships with our person, which may instigate positive change for them.
Family members new to Families Overcoming Addiction often hope to quickly learn some instant ‘golden answers’ for their loved one’s substance use. Although there is no instant-fix, there ARE things you can do which will not only improve your life but may impact positively on your person. You can learn about:
- Setting Boundaries
- Love & Support v Rescuing and Enabling
- Letting go – Exploring “Whose Responsibility is this?”
- Self Care
Families Overcoming Addiction encourages you to:
- Catch him/her being good (Praise where praise is due)
- Withdraw when he/she is using (Not giving attention or engaging in battle)
- Allow natural consequences (He/she will change when they need to)
These three steps form a powerful foundation for you, as a loving family member, to provide an environment where your person can recognise and act on their need for change.
We value every group member’s contribution to discussion, respecting our differences while being drawn together by our similar experiences.
From a current group member:
“I look on the Families Overcoming Addiction group meeting each Monday night as my weekly ‘dose’ of support from people in similar situations. Initially it was a ‘lifesaver’ for me at a time when I needed, not only support and information, but also compassion and understanding. The group environment provides all of the above and, importantly, I have learned skills to deal with situations & behaviours involving my son in a positive, caring manner and to take care of myself throughout the journey.”
Our group purpose is to:
- Reduce isolation by meeting with others experiencing similar situations.
- Understand the nature and power of addiction.
- Exchange information, practical ideas and support.
- Explore alternative coping strategies and ways of helping our loved one without rescuing or enabling.
- Strengthen ourselves, supporting others to identify their own needs and appreciate their own strengths, working toward establishing boundaries and practicing self care.
- Use what we learn to strengthen families – strengthen communities.
- Foster hope.
We learn through the Families Overcoming Addiction group that our job is not to fix our loved one, but to make positive changes to improve our own lives. Through learning more effective ways of communicating, we may provide our loved one with the opportunity to make their own positive changes.
So, welcome – we are glad to have you with us and hope we can help make your journey a little less lonely and a lot more hopeful.
Hi, I’m Sue, Chairperson and a Peer Support Facilitator of the Families Overcoming Addiction support group.
I have a passion for working with families who have a loved one with addiction issues, to help them find ways to minimise their stress and enhance their well-being. I’ve been working with people affected by the addiction of a family member since 2006 and for 11 of those years, worked in a hospital Drug and Alcohol Service as Family and Whānau Advisor.
The Family Whānau Advisor role provided an opportunity for me to advocate for family inclusive practice in treatment facilities and to take a systemic approach to helping addiction services, locally, regionally and nationally, to improve the way they work with families and whānau.
The Families Overcoming Addiction group takes a solution-focused approach and I use my training in the Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) model, Trauma-Informed Care, Motivational Interviewing, Solution-Focused Group Facilitation, Mindfulness and my own lived experience as a family member with a loved one with addiction to assist those families who attend the group. I believe that all families have strengths which can be utilised in overcoming the challenges addiction may present and through support, information and sharing with others in similar circumstances, we can all find ways to improve our well-being.
Families Overcoming Addiction
AGM Chair Report 2023