A Loved One’s Alcohol and Drug Addiction Affects Family and Friends Too

Categories: Addiction, Alcohol, Drugs, Friends & Family, News, Substance Abuse

A person’s alcohol or drug addiction affects everyone close to that person. Friends and family members often don’t know how to deal with a loved one’s addiction or even understand it. But when friends and family members get together, understand and address the impact they experience in the situation, they increase their ability to gather a much-needed social support system. And that not only helps the person using substances, but also the whole system of friends and family that remain in the background unsure of how to cope.

Crossroads for Women will be offering its next 5 week educational series, “The Efffects of Addiction on Friends & Family,” starting on Tuesday, May 15th at its outpatient offices in Portland, Maine. “The Effects of Addiction on Friends & Family” explores the basics of addiction, the recovery process and how to be supportive of an addicted loved one while also taking care of you. The participants of the most recent series, which ended in April, talked about how great it was to be together and what a relief to find that other people were in the same boat. According to one person, “In the end, we hung around because it was hard to leave.”

Here are some other comments from past participants of the series:

  • “Every last second of these sessions has been helpful, thoughtful, thought-provoking and effective. It’s all good!”
  • “Helped me to deal with myself better. And to understand my child’s sickness.”
  • “The information re: addiction was vital, informative and presented in a pallatable manner.”
  • “I’m not alone.”
  • “I liked the support of others and my questions were answered, not danced around. Thank you.”
  • “I liked the handouts – very useful for myself personally and also as a professional. I will look forward to referring people!”

Topics of the series include the basics of addiction; the effects of addiction on the user and family and friends; the dos and don’ts; recovery for all; and stages of family recovery. The 5-week series is held on scheduled Tuesday evenings in a positive, supportive environment and is for anyone who has a loved one with a substance abuse problem, male or female, who may or may not be in treatment. The sessions run from 6:00pm – 7:30pm and cost $25 per friend or family group per session or $100 for all 5 sessions paid in advance. A limited number of scholarship slots are available. The next session begins on Tuesday, May 15 at Crossroads for Women’s outpatient office on 66 Pearl Street, Suite 202 in Portland, Maine. Call 207.773.9931 or email for more information or to register.

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3 thoughts on “A Loved One’s Alcohol and Drug Addiction Affects Family and Friends Too

  1. i have been married almost 5 years an he is a drug addict inout of jail or hopping from hosital to another i am at a point i can not help him an better off without him

  2. Wow, the workshop sounds great – wish I lived in Maine so I could attend! Barring that, do you have any books or sites you could recommend on the same topic? My BF of one year recently revealed to me that he has a crack addiction. He’s stopped and is getting help, but I’m still trying to put all the pieces together psychologically, esp. when it comes to trust. Believe it or not, our relationship was/is actually very happy, but this has been like a huge bomb going off between us. We’re both picking up the pieces and want it to work, but I know I need support to deal with my side of things. Thanks in advance.

  3. Sarah, it’s great that you have identified that you need extra support in dealing with your BF’s addiction. It is not always easy to gain that trust back. Not knowing where you are, it is hard to make specific recommendations. However, we encourage you to contact the nearest treatment facility and ask them if they have a program for family and friends or if they can recommend a counselor to talk to. Your BF’s treatment counselor might also be able to help. Also, Nar-Anon ( and/or Al-Anon ( would be helpful if they have active local programs near you. These groups serve a wide population of addicts and their families. Best of luck!

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Thank You

This was definitely a life changing experience. The staff was wonderful and I am leaving here sober, happy and healthy. I thank everyone for their love and care.”
– Back Cove Women’s Residential Program Client

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Make an appointment or speak with a treatment specialist today.
Call us at (207) 773-9931