NATIONAL FAMILY SUPPORT NETWORKSUPPORTING FAMILY MEMBERS LIVING WITH SUBSTANCE MISUSE
What Does A Family Support Group (FSG) Do?
What does a Family Support Group do?
A Family Support Group is a safe, confidential, non-judgemental place for family members to discuss issues emerging from the problem of drug or alcohol use within the family. From the shared experiences of the group, members may find useful strategies for coping with their particular problem. More importantly the support group is more than just having a group of friends. It is about respecting each other’s right to speak and to let go of the worries and stresses they have as a result of drug or alcohol use in the family.
Why join a Family Support Group?
Family Support Groups (FSGs) are a place that family members can come to speak openly about how they are affected by their relatives drug or alcohol use. It is a place where they can become empowered and gain strength to deal with negative emotions and further develop positive emotions.
Coming to a family support group for help is not an admission of failure but a way of finding strength. Most families dealing with drug use are looking for ways to help their relative. Family members frequently put their relatives needs ahead of their own. They do not realise they need help for themselves, often family members have been affected more than they were aware. In many cases family members don’t realize they need help for themselves. They have been affected more than they could have believed.
“I found out about the local Family Support Group and went along. I felt I couldn’t cope any more on my own. I was amazed to learn that there were other families in the community experiencing just what we were. We were able to share our experiences. Doing that, you begin to let go of it. And the best bit about it...because you’re sharing common experiences...because you know that these people understand what you are going through...you can begin to laugh...you begin to see a funny side. When you sit back and share the images, you have to laugh. Here we are worried sick, running around trying to find cures, excusing their robbing, blaming ourselves, living in constant tension, creeping around them, nursing grief and all the while, they’re having a great time, getting high!” - Family Member who attended a local Family Support Group.