Renaissance Ranch

12-Steps: Also for Family Members

Aug 4, 2021

When your loved one is entering treatment, you possibly wonder about your own healing. Recovery is not just about your loved one with addiction but also about healing your relationship with them and finding a space for you to heal. At Renaissance Ranch, we foster treatment goals with the family. One thing that has helped many families is using the 12-Steps for themselves. There are four programs nationally in the United States for family members of a person struggling with addiction: Al-Anon, Alateen, Nar-Anon, and Families Anonymous.

A Deeper Look

There are four 12-Step programs for family members that can help them in their own healing process:

#1. Al-Anon

Al-Anon is like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) for people whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking. The group includes family members, romantic partners, friends, and even coworkers. The purpose of Al-Anon is to provide a structured path to recovery for loved ones, like what AA provides for those struggling with alcoholism. Al-Anon isn’t a program where you’re encouraged to bring your recovering loved one with you. This is about you and your own life.

#2. Alateen

Alateen is a part of Al-Anon Family Groups and caters specifically to younger friends and family members.

#3. Nar-Anon

Nar-Anon is to Narcotics Anonymous (NA) what Al-Anon is to AA. It’s a support group for family members and loved ones of people struggling with drug addiction. Like AA and Al-Anon, this 12-Step program encourages participants to embrace a spiritual way of life-based on organizational traditions.

#4. Families Anonymous

Families Anonymous is a 12-Step program that covers alcohol, drugs, and related issues. Like most 12-Step programs, Families Anonymous holds meetings centered on the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions pioneered by the AA. They welcome anyone concerned about a loved one who was, is, or is suspected of being addicted to drugs or alcohol. 

Principles of 12-Step Family Programs

Like the 12-Steps of recovery, family-based 12-Step programs are also based on spiritual principles. The 12-Steps are based on the original steps developed in AA. Family groups focus on how the behaviors of their loved ones have impacted them and promote a way of healing and building a life beyond the alcohol or substances abused by their loved ones. These groups also help build community and let family members know they are not alone.

As in the original 12-Steps, the first step is admitting that your life is unmanageable, and the steps go on focusing on the ability of a Higher Power to bring it back under control with His help. As you progress through the steps, you develop a sense that you are not the only family with these circumstances and that a power greater than yourself can help you cope with your situation.

Why Should Families Focus On Healing?

At Renaissance Ranch, we understand the realities of overcoming addiction and healing the individual and the family. One aspect of overcoming addiction is that expecting healing to occur in treatment and extend beyond the doors is a lifelong process, and the family needs to be prepared. The family also needs to take care of each of its members, not just the loved one struggling with addiction. In some ways, every family member is struggling with addiction, but not in the same way.

Persons with addictions can have destructive behaviors that have had a significant impact on their family and friends. One thing that is most commonly felt is self-blame. Some family members wonder how they could have prevented the addiction. Family members sometimes wonder if they did something wrong to cause the addiction of their loved one. You are never responsible for the behavior of other people. Other people can respond in the way they want to respond. You did not choose their response.

All members of the family deserve healing from destructive patterns in their relationships and their actions. Using the 12-Steps can be a cornerstone to begin the healing process.

The Importance of a Higher Power

Trusting in a power greater than oneself can be extremely comforting. Having a Higher Power can ensure that you do not feel alone in your own recovery. Understanding that you have help on a more extensive plain of experience might make you more willing to face your problems. Having this belief might also give you the hope you need to keep pushing forward. 

Having a Higher Power, be it God or the extraordinary nature of the universe, can have a profound effect on your ability to believe in the ability of yourself and your family to heal. Healing never occurs in a vacuum but requires oneself, one’s friends, one’s family, and power bigger than you can comprehend. Having a spiritual focus promotes healing on a greater level.

If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction to alcohol or other substances, it is time to reach out for healing. Healing never occurs in a vacuum and might require the help of professionals. You may also need help from friends and family and the support of a Higher Power. Renaissance Ranch is committed to helping both individuals and their families heal from the effects of addiction and the subsequent addictive behaviors. We have a clinically driven program and provide assistance through every step of the healing and recovery process, beginning with detox from substances to providing support after treatment. At Renaissance Ranch, we are gospel-centered and use the 12-Steps as the backbone of our treatment methods. We believe in a Higher Power and His ability to heal you and your family. Reach out to us at Renaissance Ranch today by calling (801) 308-8898 and begin the process of healing your family.