Affected by a loved one’s addiction?
Nar-Anon offers HOPE for relatives and friends of addicts: Nar-Anon is a twelve step self-help group for families and friends of addicts.
What is Nar-Anon…?
Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Have you tried everything you can think of to change the addict and nothing seems to work? Don’t give up. There is hope. You are at a turning point. If you would like your life to be different, Nar-Anon can offer you a better way to live. You will meet people at Nar-Anon meetings who understand your frustration.
Nar-Anon is a fellowship for families and friends of addicts whose lives have been or are being affected by someone else’s addiction.
The Nar-Anon Family Group is primarily for you who know or have known a feeling of desperation concerning the addiction problem of someone very near to you.
When you come into the family group, you are no longer alone but among true friends who understand your problem as few others could. We will respect your confidence and anonymity, as we know you will respect ours. We hope to give you the assurance that no situation is too difficult and no unhappiness is too great to be overcome.
How can Nar-Anon help me…?
Nar-Anon is intended for parents, spouses, children, siblings and friends of addicts. Nar-Anon can provide new insights to help with our attitudes, behaviors and emotions. We can regain our own sanity and well-being. We learn addiction is a family disease and we need a recovery program too. In Nar-Anon we learn we are not responsible for another person’s addiction. Addicts need help and so do we. It can be a great relief to learn more effective ways of coping while gaining hope and peace of mind.
Why do I need help due to someone else’s addiction..?
We who care the most suffer from the addict’s erratic behavior. Soon, we begin to think we are to blame and assume the guilt, fears and responsibilities of the addict. Thus, we become sick too.
The obsession of the family becomes apparent when we try to control the addict’s using. We become detectives and search the premises and his/her personal belongings for drugs and drug-related items. We become obsessed with where the addict is, what he is doing and how we can control his using. We want to believe the problem has solved itself even through out gut feeling tells us this is not so. We pretend and begin the addict’s promises but we are uneasy because common sense tells us there is something wrong. We become victims of denial.
What will I find at Nar-Anon…?
You will find love, understanding and hope in the Nar-Anon Family Group. People in the group may be experiencing in varying degrees, the same hurt, anger and anxieties you may be feeling. We come to Nar-Anon because we are burdened with responsibilities and feel we are alone. We come here to changed the behavior of the addict but soon find that it is our own thinking and attitude that must be changed if we are to have relief. We find people in Nar-Anon who understand what we are going through and are ready to share their experience, strength and hope to help us. In Nar-Anon, we learn how to live one day at a time. we stop projecting. We learn how to deal with out feelings of fear, guilt, obsession, anxiety and denial. We look at ourselves and put our energy where we do have some power over the choices in our own lives.
As we begin to understand the family disease of addiction, we are better able to handle our problems and improve our own lives. We can gain support and understanding by listening and speaking with others at Nar-Anon meetings.
What can I expect if I keep going to meetings…?
Nar-Anon Family Group meetings with the twelve steps and twelve traditions, offer a new way to live. You will learn how to change your own thinking and attitude about the addict-about life. Experience, strength and hope shared at weekly meetings provide an ongoing opportunity to review and reinforce the tools needed to bring peace and serenity into you life. This is your program and your recovery. If you keep coming back…if you work it.. it will work.
Is my changed attitude going to make any difference…?
Addiction is a family disease. It affects everyone who is close to their addict. Most of us believe the addict is the one who needs to change. It comes as a shock to hear we also need to change. It is time to look at ourselves.
Addiction is like a chain reaction. It is a disease that affects the addict as well as family members, friends and the co-workers. We try to control, cover up and take on the responsibilities of the addict. The sickness spreads to those of us who care the most. Eventually, we begin to feel used and unhappy. We worry, lose trust and become angry. The addict blames us and we feel guilty. If only something or someone would change.
When we discover Nar-Anon, we find others with the same feelings and problems. We learn we cannot control the addict or change them. We have become so addicted to the addict that it is difficult to shift the focus back to ourselves. By working the steps, following the traditions and using the tools of the program, we begin with the love and help of our Higher Power and others, to change ourselves.
What can I do to help my children…?
Narateen is a part of Nar-Anon specifically for teenagers who are affected by the addiction of a family member or friend. At specially arranged meetings, teens share their experiences and hope with other teenagers living with similar circumstances.
How do I find a Nar-Anon meeting…?
Go to the website (www.nar-anon.org) or call the helpline at 800-477-6291. You will be directed to the nearest meeting in your area.
Nar-Anon is a fellowship for relatives and friends of addicts who share their experience, strength and hope. Addiction is considered to be a family disease and family members are encouraged to attend Nar-Anon meetings as soon as addiction is suspected.
God grant me
to accept the things
I cannot change,
courage to change the things
and the wisdom
to know the difference.
(Excerpts taken from the Nar-Anon Family Blue Booklet)
Do YOU need Nar-Anon…?
Ask yourself the following questions and answer them as honestly as you can:
- Do you find yourself making excuses, lying or covering up for someone?
- Do you have a reason not to trust this person?
- Is it becoming difficult for you to believe his/her explanations?
- Do you lie awake worrying about this person?
- If it is your child, is he/she missing school without your knowledge?
- If it is your spouse, is he/she missing work and leaving bills to pile up?
- Are your savings mysteriously disappearing?
- Are the unanswered questions causing hostility and undermining your relationship?
- Are you asking yourself, “What’s wrong?” and “Is it my fault?”
- Are normal family disagreements becoming hostile and violent?
- Are your suspicions turning you into a detective and are you afraid of what you may find?
- Are you cancelling your social functions with vague excuses?
- Are you becoming increasingly reluctant to invite friends to your home?
- Is concern for this person causing you headaches, a knotty stomach and extreme anxiety?
- Do minute matters easily irritate this person? Does your whole life seem like a nightmare?
- Are you unable to discuss the situation with friends and relatives because of embarrassment?
- Are you frustrated by ineffective attempts to control the situation?
- Do you overcompensate and try not to make waves?
- Do you keep trying to make things better and nothing helps?
- Are the life style and friends of this person changing? Do you ever thing they may be using drugs?
If you have answered YES to four or more of these questions, Nar-Anon may help you find the answers you are looking for.
*(Excerpt taken from Do You Need Nar-Anon?)
The Nar-Anon Family Groups are a worldwide fellowship for those affected by someone else’s addiction. As a twelve step program, we offer our help by sharing our experience, strength and hope.
We will carry the message of hope throughout the world to those affected by the addiction of someone near to them. We will do this by:
*Letting them know they are no longer alone.
*Practicing the Twelve Steps of Nar-Anon;
*Encouraging growth through service;
*Making information available through Public Information, Hospitals and Institutions and websites and;
*Changing our own attitudes.
Nar-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.
22527 Crenshaw Boulevard, Suite 200B
Torrance, CA 90505
(310) 534-8188-(800) 477-6291
Disclaimer: This information was taken from the Nar-Anon pamphlet. I have never used the service so I have no opinion of the service either yes or no to how the program works. Please call the above number or email the for more information.