Nar-Anon Offers Hope (FAQ)

What is Nar-Anon?
Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Have you tried everything you can think of to change the addict and nothing seems to work? Don’t give up. There is hope. You are at a turning point. If you would like your life to be different, Nar-Anon can offer you a better way to live. You will meet people at Nar-Anon meetings who understand your frustration.

Nar-Anon is a fellowship for families and friends of addicts whose lives have been or are being affected by someone else’s addiction.

The Nar-Anon Family Group is primarily for you who know or have known a feeling of desperation concerning the addiction problem of someone very near to you.

When you come into the family group, you are no longer alone but among true friends who understand your problem as few others could. We will respect your confidence and anonymity, as we know you will respect ours. We hope to give you the assurance that no situation is too difficult and no unhappiness is too great to be overcome.

How can Nar-Anon help me?
Nar-Anon is intended for parents, spouses, children, siblings, and friends of addicts. Nar-Anon can provide new insights to help with our attitudes, behaviors, and emotions. We can regain our own sanity and well-being. We learn addiction is a family disease, and we need a recovery program too. In Nar-Anon we learn we are not responsible for another person’s addiction. Addicts need help and so do we. It can be a great relief to learn more effective ways of coping while gaining hope and peace of mind.

Why do I need help due to someone else’s addiction?
We who care the most suffer from the addict’s erratic behavior. Soon, we begin to think we are to blame and assume the guilt, fears, and responsibilities of the addict.  Thus, we become sick, too.

The obsession of the family becomes apparent when we try to control the addict’s using. We become detectives and search the premises and their personal belongings for drugs and drug-related items. We become obsessed with where they are, what they are doing, and how we might control their addiction. We want to believe the problem has solved itself even though our gut feeling tells us this is not so. We want to believe the addicts’ promises, but  common sense tells us there is something wrong.  We become victims of denial.

What will I find at Nar-Anon?
You will find love, understanding, and hope in the Nar-Anon Family Group. People in the group may be experiencing, in varying degrees, the same hurt, anger and anxieties you may be feeling. We come to Nar-Anon because we are burdened with responsibilities and feel we are alone. We come here to change the behavior of the addict but soon find that it is our own thinking and attitude that must be changed if we are to have relief. We find people in Nar-Anon who understand what we are going through and are ready to share their experience, strength, and hope to help us. In Nar-Anon, we learn how to live one day at a time; we stop projecting. We learn how to deal with our feelings of fear, guilt, obsession, anxiety, and denial. We look at ourselves and put our energy where we do have some power over the choices in our own lives.

As we begin to understand the family disease of addiction, we are better able to handle our problems and improve our own lives. We can gain support and understanding by listening and speaking with others at Nar-Anon meetings.

What can I expect if I keep going to meetings?
Nar-Anon Family Group meetings, with the twelve steps and twelve traditions, offer a new way to live. You will learn how to change your own thinking and attitude about the addict –about life. Experience, strength, and hope shared at weekly meetings provide an ongoing opportunity to review and reinforce the tools needed to bring peace and serenity into your life. This is your program and your recovery.
If you keep coming back . . . if you work it . . . it will work.

Is my changed attitude going to make any difference?
Addiction is a family disease. It affects everyone who is close to the addict. Most of us believe the addict is the one who needs to change. It comes as a shock to hear we also need to change. It is time to look at ourselves.

Addiction is like a chain reaction. It is a disease that affects the addict as well as family members, friends, and co-workers. We try to control, cover up, and take on the responsibilities of the addict. The sickness spreads to those of us who care the most. Eventually, we begin to feel used and unhappy. We worry, lose trust, and become angry. The addict blames us and we feel guilty. If only something or someone would change.

When we discover Nar-Anon, we find others with the same feelings and problems. We learn we cannot control the addict or change him. We have become so addicted to the addict that it is difficult to shift the focus back to ourselves.  By working the steps, following the traditions and using the tools of the program, we begin, with the love and help of our Higher Power and others, to change ourselves.

Reprinted with permission of
Nar-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.
23110 Crenshaw Blvd.  Suite A
Torrance, CA  90505
(310)-534-8188 or (800)-477-6291
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