The substance use disorder of a family member affects every other family member or loved ones, whether it be the parents, spouse, children, or friends. We believe that alcoholism and substance use disorder is a family disease. It doesn’t matter whether the substance being abused is alcohol or fentanyl, cocaine or methamphetamine, gambling or sex, or any number of other mood-altering chemicals and behaviors.
The stress of living with an impaired person can be too much for most of us. By trying to force solutions we may become irritable and unreasonable without knowing it. The isolation experienced by the family can rob us of desperately needed support. Medical families are often more severely affected as the fear of their medical professional’s disease becoming public knowledge and threatening the security of every family member causes even greater isolation. That’s where we come in.
We are IDAA family recovery. We are a fellowship of spouses, parents, and children of medical professionals who have substance use disorder. We too know how lonely and frustrating it can be to try to deal with this disease through our own wits and resources. Whether our loved ones are in recovery or not, we are learning to connect again and how to take care of ourselves.
At every IDAA Annual Conference, support for the family is a priority. It comes in several forms, including in-person speaker meetings covering a wide range of recovery topics, followed by small group discussions among your adult peers; Children’s Program for ages 7 to 12; Teens’ Program and, for those who have aged out of the teen program, groups of 20- to 30-year-old members also meet. Anyone attending who requests a mentor, a person who is more experienced and knowledgeable about the family recovery program, is matched with someone who can assist them. After the conference, you may wish to continue your IDAA connections by attending virtual meetings online. The virtual meeting connection info is found at IDAA.org, in the Members Portal. If you have any questions, on the home page there is a direct link to an IDAA family recovery member who will be glad to assist you.