One of the reasons that Alcoholics Anonymous works is the support it provides through its regular meetings and sponsorship therein. That kind of support is crucial for any addict, but in this case is designed for those addicted to alcohol. Alcoholics should do everything in their power to be at EVERY meeting, and make no excuses for missing any.

All other addictions also need support groups, too.

Sometimes that support can come in the way of family members or even a qualified therapist. I strongly urge any addict to build some kind of support group. Even if he or she has to pay to attend sessions with a qualified psychologist, therapist, even a psychiatrist, but one who is trained in treating and helping addicts.

As for the family, an addict is already likely being more of a burden on family members than they can humanly handle and cope with. But the addict can relieve that pressure by reversing the roles somewhat.

Instead of depending on a family member(s) to catch him or her when he or she slips off the wagon, the addict can refocus their thinking to try to carrying the image of what happens to loved ones when he or she does slip off the wagon. Falling off the wagon will embarrass their loved ones. If kids are involved, the kids have to withstand ridicule at school. Teenagers have to  shy away from taking friends into the house during leisure time. If the addicts kids are of dating age, the addict is forcing those kids to adopt avoidance behavior that will have long-term and dangerous consequences.  And, for the friends of the addict’s children, their parents will be constantly worried and pressuring their own kids to socialize with other “more desirable” families.

The addict, when temptation strikes, can conjure images of the loved ones they are about to injure, especially psychologically. No addict hurts only themselves when indulging in their addiction. Because of such anti-social behavior, the addict also hurts loved ones and pushes them away with every excursion down the rabbit hole into their addiction. Addicts may find that, if they can stop be selfish for a moment, they are damaging the lives of their loved ones, especially their growing children.

Addicts can use that image to lend more support, like calling upon their own private, internal, silent support group.

But wherever possible, addicts should also make use of external, qualified support groups, or even a therapist qualified to deal with addicts.