Tips on finding a parent's support group?

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Tips on finding a parent's support group? 2014-07-06T17:48:33+00:00
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  • hwarchitect
    Participant
    Post count: 4
    #1561 |

    Can anyone offer tips for finding a support group? In “Anyone else struggling with this?:, Mouse mentioned how much it helped to find a support group.  I went to a couple of Al-anon meetings for parents, but I’m not really convinced by the unquestioning powerlessness of the whole 12-step thing.  I’m not particularly religious and feel like a doubter who can’t jump on the same train that they all seem to be hurtling forward on.  I would love to discuss how to move forward with my son with like minded people. I’m on the westside of Los Angeles if anyone has an idea.

  • JAKJAK
    Participant
    Post count: 7

    Hi hwarchitect. It’s pretty hard to find a support group for parents that is not al-anon or 12-step based. That said, I highly recommend SMART recovery Friends and Family meetings. They are slowly spreading out around the country, and they have an online group meeting as well.

    This link – http://www.smartrecovery.org/resources/family.htm – has all of their meetings listed and their online meeting.

    Also, you are on a support group right now! If you are looking for support, please feel free to post more here. That’s what this forum is for!

  • Rox
    Participant
    Post count: 1

    Hi hw!

    I am sorry to hear that your son is having problems.  May I ask how old he is and if he is living at home with you?

    JAK, thanks for suggesting SMART Recovery for Family & Friends as an option for hw.  🙂
    Hw:  There is a SMART meeting for Family & Friends in LA.  🙂

    I know LA is H-U-G-E and that this meeting may not be close to you, but hopefully it is close enough.  There may also be CRAFT therapists in LA.  I’m not sure about that, but I do know that there  are CRAFT therapists in the San Diego area if that might be helpful to you.

    In addition to the local meeting in LA, there are also 2 weekly online SMART meetings for Family & Friends. Info about those and the LA meeting can be found on the link that JAK provided.  And like the CMC, SMART has a message board where you may ask questions,  get feedback and exchange ideas and experiences.

    SMART F&F offers  a blend of  CRAFT tools for learning how to change your interactions with your Loved One, and  SMART tools for managing emotional upsets and facilitating behavior change.  If you are unfamiliar with SMART, it is the leading self-empowering (and science-based) addiction recovery support group.   SMART is a non-profit organization and offers mutual aid support meetings world-wide  at no charge (donations requested). SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training and it is in its 20th year.   Although offered for ‘addiction recovery’ the tools incorporated in the SMART program are really helpful for managing many of life’s challenges.  In a recent online F&F meeting, a new participant showed up.  Although she was not familiar with SMART for F&F (it was her first meeting), she was very knowledgeable about SMART tools. She had been attending local SMART recovery meetings herself and found them extremely helpful to her as she navigated her way through her relationship with a partner who had an addiction.

    JAK is right, the local SMART F&F meetings are not available everywhere – yet 🙂  But anyone with an internet connection can attend the online meetings.  I’ve been co-facilitating the online meetings there since 2010 and invite you to give them a try!

  • hwarchitect
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    Thanks both JAK and ROX for responding.  My son is 19 and has been living at a residential rehab (12-step) for the last five months.  He is about to move into a sober living apartment for the rest of the summer, and is talking about coming home after that and enrolling at the community college.  His goal is to get back to a UC and resume a fairly typical college lifestyle in terms of drinking (his drug of choice was pot).  He probably believes he can eventually smoke pot again too.  I’m at a crossroads regarding the idea of him coming back home-I’m afraid that if we let him back in the house he will revert to his old behavior and all of the progress he/we have made these last few months will be lost.  I did attend a SMART meeting in LA back in January, but the facilitators were unorganized and it was not helpful.  I suppose I should give the online meeting a shot.  I would love to talk to other parents who have been in this position and hear what they recommend.

  • EFarrar
    Participant
    Post count: 2

    I’m afraid that this group is east coast, based in Massachusetts, but they do have an on-line forum, so it may be worth checking out:

    Personally, I have found a meeting like this one to be enormously helpful:

    http://www.renewedhopeproject.org/Next_Step_Forward.html

    Also in Massachusetts, but my understanding is that similar meetings are spreading throughout the country.   The meetings are managed and organized for parents by younger (20-30’s) addicts in recovery.   The meeting format is a check in, then a younger person in recovery tells his story, including how he/she manipulated, used, etc their family, how they found recovery, and what they do to stay sober.  Final section of the meeting is an opportunity to ask questions, get advice, etc.  One gets a better idea of what actions on the part of parents are likely to fuel or quell the desire to seek sobriety.  I should say that this the folk who manage the meeting I attend (in Portland, Maine, called ‘The Family Restored” are very much 12 steppers.   I have found that learning about all of the various recovery oriented programs has been the most helpful, so I am a believer in all of them:  12 steps, CRAFT, SMART, etc.  This (substance abuse)  is such a complex subject.  I do believe that there is a continuum ranging from people who ‘age out’ of their own accord, to people who can learn to use in moderation, and those for whom abstinence is the only alternative .

  • JAKJAK
    Participant
    Post count: 7

    Another place you can check out is the Partnership for Drugfree Kids’ Parent Support Network. These are volunteer parents who have also dealt with their own children’s struggles and who have been trained in CRAFT and the 20 Minute Guide to help with issues just like what you’re dealing with. You can find out more about them online at http://www.drugfree.org/community/parent-support-network/.

     

  • hwarchitect
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    <span style=”color: #606060; font-family: Arial, Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 20px;”>”One gets a better idea of what actions on the part of parents are likely to fuel or quell the desire to seek sobriety.” </span>

    I guess this hits the nail on the head.  My dream is that he gets back to school and sports, enjoys the competition and is interested in his future again. Regardless of what he does, we are going to continue to expect sobriety for the next year or so and would never imply or actively give him the green light to start again, but I suppose part of my dream is that he does “age out” of this and move on in life.  Thanks EFarrar and JAK, you’ve helped be define what it is I’m trying to get at.  I’m going to check out all three websites you have recommended.  I agree also with EFarrar in that I believe in all of the approaches (12 step, CRAFT, SMART, etc). I think the key is finding the right community of people to help determine a path to move forward on, and so far THIS forum has been incredibly helpful to me.  Thanks to all.

  • EFarrar
    Participant
    Post count: 2

    hwarchitect:  I hope that your son does ‘age out’….I believe many do.  In our case, this was not our experience.  When our son went through his first round of treatment at 16 (14 weeks at Second Nature, 14 months at a wonderful residential treatment center in Utah), and was able to graduate from high school on time, we thought we had the ‘problem’ licked.   Despite all of the reading, etc. etc. we were not prepared for his relapse and the chaos that followed.  I’ve since learned that it is very common for those in recovery to go through a ‘bargaining phase’ where they go back and test out their ability to use substances, telling themselves they can control it.   Our son tried and could not.  Long story short, after two years of using, he is now almost 9 months sober, and hopefully, wiser this time about his limits.   I wish there was more info out there about recovery, what to expect, etc.  We would have been much more adroit about supporting his recovery the ‘first’ time.

  • hwarchitect
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    EFarrar, I’m so sorry you went thru all that pain and chaos-again.  Your story is exactly what I guess I’m gambling with and it doesn’t sound like a good bet.  Was he in college when he started using again? I imagine it is pretty difficult to find sober-supportive communities at schools these days.

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