Help! How Do I find Resources for My Loved One with an Addiction?

Recently a colleague alerted me to an article in the Chicago Tribune about CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training). A few months back I wrote a blog post about CRAFT that described the research support and basic ideas of the treatment. Briefly, CRAFT teaches family members with loved ones with addictions how to non-confrontationally change their loved one’s substance use. Additionally, CRAFT helps family members learn skills to improve the quality of their lives by breaking free of the cycle of their loved one’s addiction.

First, I think it’s awesome that CRAFT is getting noticed by the mainstream press and that people may learn about the treatment and, as a result, get help for themselves. The article offers interesting facts about the rise of prescription pain killer dependence, as well as tips for helping your loved one. While the tips for getting you and your loved one help were useful, I felt they were incomplete. Additionally, the article didn’t offer resources to help family members access services, get support, or learn the skills discussed in the article. With so many people affected by addiction, I think an opportunity to provide resources for substance use related issues was missed.

How to Find Help for Yourself and Your Loved One:  Some Tips and Resources

While this isn’t a complete list, here are some ideas on how and where you might find the resources mentioned in the Chicago Tribune article.

  • Ask people you trust about resources. Talk to your friends, a family physician, a spiritual leader, and family members about substance use treatment programs, counselors/therapists who specialize in addiction, or community programs tailored to you or your family members’ needs. For example, Dual Recovery Anonymous is a peer-run 12-step program for people experiencing addictions AND mental health problems.
  • Check out your local hospital. Many hospitals offer substance use treatment (e.g., detox, outpatient treatment). Contact your local hospital’s psychiatry department to see what options are available. In the Portland area some hospitals that offer substance use treatment are Providence and Cedar Hills.
  • Check out peer support organizations.
    • 12-step organizations for individuals with addictions (AA, NA) and for family members (Al-Anon, Nar-Anon) offer support and have information on substance use treatment programs in your community.
    • People who prefer not to use the 12-step approach are encouraged to check out SMART Recovery, an alternative to the 12-step approach that uses evidence-based principles to help people overcome their addictions. SMART Recovery also has meetings and resources for family members (SMART Recovery Family Resources). SMART Recovery has a list of national providers and substance use treatment programs that use CRAFT or therapies similar to CRAFT.
  • Check out your state’s department of health website. The websites for your state’s department of health often include a list of mental health and substance use treatment centers that are licensed by the department of health to provide these services. In Oregon, go to:  http://www.oregon.gov/OHA/addiction/index.shtml.
  • If you are experiencing domestic violence, or there is threat of domestic violence, contact local or national domestic violence agencies.  
Portland Psychotherapy Team

Author: Portland Psychotherapy Team

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