met the man who helped organize this grp. he lost his daughter when she was 35 and overdosed on oxycontin. some very good info here: The family’s best defense against the emotional impact of alcohol and drug abuse is gaining knowledge and achieving the emotional maturity and courage needed to put it effect. Individuals who may be capable of assisting drug and/or alcohol abusers outside the family may become confused, destructive persons if a member of their own family becomes an active abuser. This is especially true if the abuser is a son or daughter. The next of kin or person most responsible for the abuser may need more assistance and counseling than the abuser if an effective recovery program is to be launched. Addiction is an illness, but one which has tremendous emotional impact upon the immediate family. Those most affected by the abuser are the parents, sister, and brother. The more distorted the emotions of these persons become, the less adequate their help will be. The interaction may and often does become destructive rather than helpful. For example, parents may find themselves blamed for everything that is wrong in an abuser's family. This may reach the point where they may fear this is true. Yet addiction is an illness. The parents are no more responsible for alcohol/drug addiction than they would be for the existence of diabetes or tuberculosis in their children. No parent ever made his son or daughter an addict, therefore, no parent can be held responsible for his or her recovery. However, by lack of knowledge they may allow the illness to go unnoticed. By lack of adequate understanding and courage they may acquiesce in the development of the disease. For the existence of alcohol/drug abuse, the parents are not responsible, but they can abet the child avoiding treatment; or take steps which may lead to earlier recovery, though this cannot be absolutely assured. This same principle holds true for all members of the family, especially the one person upon whom the abuser ultimately depends. This primary person in the abuser's life cannot treat the illness. No doctor should treat his own serious illness, and few will ever act as physician for a member of their immediate family, especially spouse, parent or child. As drug abuse progresses, relatives become involved emotionally. The best help they can give initially is to seek help and treatment for their own situation, so that they will not play into the progressive illness pattern of the abuser and thereby contribute to the progress of the illness rather than recovery. The mistakes made by well-meaning family members are almost unbelievable, and often make recovery most difficult for the patient. In the beginning it must be understood that a family may do everything known or thought to be right and the illness might go unchecked. However, if a family is willing to learn the facts about alcohol/drug abuse and put them into effect, the chances of recovery are greatly increased. In fact the best way to help any abuser recover is to remove ignorance, acquire an adequate attitude based on knowledge and have the courage to practice these principles when dealing with the abuser. To begin in the usual manner of attempting to force the abuser to stop depending on drugs, without first learning and changing one’s own self, will simply make the matter worse. Initially we must understand that the problems of drug/alcohol abuse do not lie in the drug/alcohol, but in persons. However, recovery does not begin until the abuser is able to break away completely from the drugs and practice continued abstinence. Recovery is also similar to the construction of a Gothic arch. There are unseen foundations; many persons may lay various stones in the arch; but the keystone must be put in place by the abuser or the structure fails. No one can do for the abuser what must be done by the addict himself. You cannot take the patient’s medicine and expect the patient to benefit. Choices must be made and action taken by the abuser of his own volition, if recovery is to occur on any permanent basis. It is appalling how well the abuser controls the family, especially the parents. The addict takes drugs again and again. The family screams, cries, yells, begs, pleads, prays, threatens, or practices the silent treatment. It also covers up, protects and shields the abuser from the consequences of the drugs. If the abuser continues to act like a little god, it is because the family is inadequate in opposing this attitude and abets the preservation of the illusion of omnipotence. In the preservation of this omnipotent neurosis the abuser has three primary weapons. The family must learn to defend against these three, or become virtual slaves to the illness thereby creating for themselves emotional or mental illness of no small proportion.