Resources for Families of Addicts.

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Resources for Families of Addicts.

23 October, 2020Articles, News

It is said that addiction is a family disease. When an addict or alcoholic uses the whole family feels the impact of the disease. But what happens when a person enters recovery? The pain and trauma does not simply vanish because the use of drugs and alcohol is no longer the focus point of a persons life. It is recommended that the family and loved ones of addicts and alcoholics also enter a process of recovery and restoration.

There are many, varied resources that can assist in the recovery process for the family, below are some that we would recommend as well as some information on each.

Tough Love

Tough Love is an international network of support groups with more than a hundred groups in South Africa alone. Tough Love aims to teach families healthy and more effective strategies on how to deal with their loved ones who are struggling with destructive behaviour. They have regular peer support groups all over the country and world. The primary objective of Tough Love is to enable their members to live successfully despite their addict or alcoholic.


Nar-Anon is a 12-step fellowship that assists loved ones of addicts with their own personal recovery process. Though completely separate from Narcotics Anonymous there is strong cooperation between the fellowships as well as a lot of similarities in how the respective programmes work. The primary objective of these groups is to give people a safe and supportive environment to share their own recovery.


Much like Nar-Anon, Al-Anon is a support structure for friends and relatives of persons with a drinking problem, regardless of whether or not the person acknowledges their alcoholism. AL-Anon has existed since the 1950’s as a complimentary fellowship to AA. It emphasizes the fact that it is not a place to fix another person’s addiction but rather that a change in perspective and attitude can aid in the recovery of another.

Crossroads Family Support Groups

Crossroads Recovery Centres offer our own family support groups run by the counselling staff. The groups follow a variety of formats. Generally, a client who has left and maintained their recovery will come and share their story as well as a family member who has supported them in their journey.

These groups are an excellent place for a person to learn more about the disease of addiction as well as to gain a greater understanding of what they can expect to happen in a loved ones recovery, both positive and negative. It can be an incredibly isolating experience to have someone you care about enter treatment. These groups offer support, love, care and guidance from people who have walked the path and are able to give empathetic advice and insight, because they have been through a similar experience.

If you and your [partner] find a solution for the pressing problem of drink you are, of course, going to be very happy. But all problems will not be solved at once. Seed has started to sprout in a new soil, but growth has only begun. In spite of your new-found happiness, there will be ups and downs. Many of the old problems will still be with you. This is as it should be.” – Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, Page 117

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Stories of Recovery

  • The encouragement, love and support from the team at Crossroads allowed me to eventually see that I was worth something - that my life could be turned around and that I could accomplish the things that had long been a forgotten dream.
    Oliver VG
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  • On the last day of my stint at Crossroads I could only express gratitude towards all who works there. A wise councillor once commented on my question when one is ready for rehab by explaining that when one is ready for rehab, rehab is ready for you.
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  • I was lost and my soul was broken until I ended up at Crossroads and was introduced to the Twelve Steps. With the help of their excellent staff and amazing support I have recently been clean for 18 months, I could not have done it without them!
    Carla S
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  • "Just for today I am more than three years in recovery. I have Cross Roads to thank for this wonderful gift. Cross Roads helped me to set a firm foundation in my recovery on which I can continue to build."
    Angelique J
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