How we help Addictions We Treat Friends and Family Consider support if you: Begin losing control of your own behaviour and emotions. Shouting one moment, then feeling sorry and guilty the next. Having mood swings. Feeling constantly stressed, exhausted and even ill Feel ashamed and embarrassed by your loved one’s behaviour Self neglect, forget to look after yourself, losing sleep or staying up all night worrying about someone else Get into debt or forego spending on yourself due to lending money to the addicted loved one or from bailing them out of financial difficulties Start to adapt and change your own life or circumstances to try to manage another family member’s life and behaviour. Leave jobs, start extra work or don’t go for promotions, or move homes. Stop pursuing hobbies and interests of your own. Become isolated and lose social contact with other family members and friends Find yourself compulsively using behaviours like shopping, the internet and eating or substances to suppress difficult emotions With all your good intentions, attempts to cover up and to manage and control an addicted loved one’s using won’t ultimately help them to change. We recognise addiction as a family disease or dysfunction and know through our extensive experience that changed attitudes and behaviours in the family member can effect change and recovery throughout the family system. However, change can be difficult to maintain without regular support. How can we help? You will be assessed by a qualified and experienced addictions counsellor who has lived experience of addiction and recovery within families. You may attend our group therapy sessions which run all day Wednesdays in Stevenage and all day on Thursdays in St Albans. You will have access to our small, free and confidential groups, which offer non-judgmental support and understanding specific to the issues faced by family members, as well as practical advice, education and strategies or ‘tools’ to deal with addiction in the family system. You will be able to share experiences safely, obtaining freedom from isolation among others with similar experiences. Attendees of this support group often start to build for themselves a positive lifestyle, regardless of whether the addict gains recovery.