Addiction support groups help parents, friends and family

Support groups help parents, friends and family of loved ones affected by the disease of addiction.

If you are reading this article, know that you are not alone in the journey of addiction recovery. There are support groups to educate and embrace parents, friends and family of loved ones affected by this devastating disease. We have highlighted the following support groups and encourage you to visit the respective websites for more information on local meetings.

PAL (Parents of Addicted Loved Ones)

Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PAL) is a support group for parents with a child addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. PAL is a non-profit organization that helps parents find hope through support meetings. Michael Speakman, LISAC, founded PAL in 2006 while working as an in-patient Substance Abuse Counselor.

According to the PAL website, the guiding principles of PAL are confidentiality, respect, acceptance and support. PAL groups meet weekly to educate, support and help each other with issues arising from loving someone with an addiction. The meetings are open to anyone of any faith or background as the primary goal is to provide hope through education and support for parents dealing with addicted loved ones.

Differences in opinion are embraced without judgment and suggestions are offered in lieu of advice. Members are encouraged to “take what works and leave the rest.”  Everyone experiences the journey at their own pace and is supported by the group regardless. While the focus is on parents with an addicted child, all family members and friends are welcome to attend the meetings.

“You are not alone in this journey of addiction. BreakFreely is the work of people who want to help addicts and their families find treatment. PAL group meetings bring changes for our addicts and their families by offering a place to find hope and resources during recovery. I am a mom with a son in long-term recovery. Breakfreely is exactly what every parent and addict needs when the day comes to seek help. PAL is a support group for parents and partners. We offer education, compassion, suggestions and HOPE! Together, bringing communities and resources together, we will have the resource we all need to heal.”  Cindy, PAL Facilitator

 To learn more about PAL or find a PAL meeting near you, go to


Al-Anon is a support group of members who are affected by someone with a drinking problem. Al‑Anon can help you learn how to cope with the challenges of someone else’s drinking.

Al‑Anon members come to understand problem drinking as a family illness that affects everyone in the family. By listening to Al‑Anon members speak at Al‑Anon meetings, you can hear how they came to understand their own role in this family illness. This insight puts them in a better position to play a positive role in the family’s future.

Some research shows that when problem drinkers enter a recovery program, their chances for success are improved when family members who are in a family recovery program such as Al-Anon support them.

To learn more about Al-Anon Family Groups, click here.


Alateen is a part of the Al-Anon Family Groups. It is a fellowship of young people (mostly teenagers) whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking. By attending Alateen, teenagers meet other teenagers with similar situations. Teens come together to share experiences to find effective ways to cope with problems.

Alateen is not a religious program and there are no fees or dues to belong to it.  Click here to learn more about Alateen.

The Addict’s Mom (TAM)

 The Addict’s Mom (TAM) is a non-profit organization for mothers and grandmothers to offer understanding, comfort and hope surrounding the deadly disease of addiction. They focus on raising awareness of addiction issues.

According to their public Facebook page,, the organization’s mission is:

United behind the credos of “Sharing Without Shame” and “Together We Really Are Stronger.” Thousands of mothers have joined The Addict’s Mom group fan pages on Facebook and on the Addict’s Mom online community. The Addict’s Mom helps create personal change and healing among the broken spirits of the Addict’s Moms. We do not allow soliciting, brokering, or any other culling of our members for personal or private gain. When we learn better, we do better.

SMART Recovery®

 SMART Recovery Family & Friends is a science-based alternative to other addiction support groups. Their method is based on the tools of SMART Recovery and CRAFT (Community Reinforcement Approach & Family Training).

SMART Recovery Family & Friends helps those who are affected by the substance abuse, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, or other addictions of a loved one. The meetings, both online and fact-to-face, share SMART Recovery tools to help with emotional upsets and offer effective communication methods when dealing with loved ones.

SMART Recovery also has a self-help program for people with drug and/or alcohol addictions. It includes many ideas and techniques to help you change your life from one that is self-destructive and unhappy to one that is constructive and satisfying.

Click here for more information on both SMART Recovery programs.


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