Family members of drug addicts are often the ones who provide their relative with support during the highs, lows, overdoses and rehab stints. But who is there to help them?
Now there is NAR-ANON – a new support group in Albion Park.
The group was started to help people like Sarah from Bomaderry and Kim from Windang (not their real names).
Sarah’s son turned to drugs after her marriage broke down in 2015.
“My son lost his job, his car and eventually ended up on the radar of the local police,” she said. “He was in and out of the court system and had two stints in rehab.”
After her son moved away, he got his life together and is in the recovery stage and working full time.
“We moved into a new stage in my son’s recovery and I knew I wasn’t coping anymore,” she said.
“I was not able to let go and realised I was a wreck. I had another friend in rehab tell me about a NAR-ANON support group. The program supports all of the processes for recovery.”
Sarah recently joined the new group and is pleased to have a support service close to home. The next closest NAR-ANON group is in Kogarah, in Sydney’s south.
The support group will meet for the first time at the Albion Park Community Centre on January 8.
Members will meet every second Tuesday of the month, from 7pm to 8.30pm, to learn about drug abuse, to share their problems, learn how to encourage an addict to seek help, replace despair with hope, improve their family’s attitude and help regain self confidence.
Kim’s life has been consumed by her family members’ drug addiction.
“I was a child of alcoholic parents,” she said. “After school I did not know what I would come home to – a smashed up house, domestic violence or no food to eat because my Mum was too drunk to think about her children needing it.
“I then married an addict/alcoholic who I loved and had four beautiful children with but sadly he died due to his addiction too," she said.
“Now I'm living the nightmare of addiction again with my son. He lives in men's shelters and when he can't get into one he rides the trains so he has a roof over his head for a few hours.
“It’s a vicious, insane cycle that keeps happening because my addict son likes using and refuses to go back to rehab.
“I lie awake at night and cry. I think, ‘is he safe’. I have had to learn a different way to live.
“In NAR ANON I have learnt a special prayer: ‘God grant me the serenity to accept the things and people I cannot change, please give me the courage to change the things I can in myself and my life, and give me the wisdom to know the difference’."
For more information: call Lynda 0432 201 897 or contact Miranda from Albion Park Youth and Community Care on 4257 3342.