A Program For Families Affected By Addiction

You’re carrying the burden of your loved one’s addiction in the form of resentment, stress and helplessness. Our New Dawn family program provides guidance, education and therapy to empower loved ones to support and heal from the destruction of someone else’s addiction. 

Healing Families From The Impact of Drugs or Alcohol

Loving someone in addiction is stressful, traumatic, frustrating and frightening.  More often than not, family members find themselves in a painful situation and questioning:

The New Dawn Family Program at Sana Lake helps you find the answers, support and healing that you need and deserve. You are not alone.

Family Therapist Meeting Room

What to Expect From The New Dawn Family Program

The New Dawn family recovery program at Sana Lake includes virtual and in-person services, including individual, family and group therapy. Not only do we provide evidence-based treatment interventions, but the family program is purposefully staffed by individuals who understand your story. We know exactly what it’s like to love someone in active addiction.

1:1 Therapy

1:1 Therapy

To feel better even if your loved one continues to struggle

Group Therapy

Group Therapy

To get advice, support and a reminder you are not alone

Family Therapy

Family Therapy

To heal together and improve communication, when clinically indicated

Education Sessions

Education Sessions

To understand the disease of addiction and why they can't "just stop"

All treatment here is covered by insurance.

Eileen L.
Eileen L.


Sana Lake has been wonderful! They saved my daughter’s life and supported me in mine. Couldn’t ask for a better staff or program. We are members for life!

Theresa F.
Theresa F.


I am so grateful to Sana Lake helping my daughter attain sobriety and learn the coping skills to sustain it. The staff are caring, devoted and easy to talk to. Not only do they help the member but their family in understanding the disease as well.

Jason M.
Jason M.


I was estranged from my family. In their eyes, there was no saving me. I felt they disowned me forever because of my disease. Today, my family and I are closer than ever! Sana help me mend our relationship. They are even educating themselves about my mental diagnosis.

Lisa K.
Lisa K.


My brother and I never communicated, but he is one of my best friends today. He says, “I have my sister back.” And, nothing has ever felt so good, as to hear him tell me how proud of me he is. I couldn't have done this on my own. (I tried and failed on many occasions).

Get Help For YOU

Reaching out for your own mental health shows your loved one that you are genuinely struggling with their substance use and sets a positive example of self-care. There is no shame in anyone getting help to feel better! You can access options across Missouri virtually or at our “New Dawn Family Healing” location in St. Louis.

Area of Focus
Codependency, Family Dynamics and Roles, Education on the disease of addiction, Grief, Adjustment Related Disorders, Anxiety, Depression and Trauma-Related Disorders

711 Old Ballas Rd #203 St. Louis, MO 63141

Virtual Family Options

Is The New Dawn Family Program Right For You?

Don’t be shy, passive or embarrassed about therapy. Your feelings matter!

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Does their addiction control your life?

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Are you striving to rebuild your relationship with them?

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Do you need advice on what to do or say about their addiction?

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Are you able to be happy despite their struggle?

Must-Read Answers for Families Dealing With Addiction

The information below should give families a good foundation of knowledge, but call to talk about your specific situation and how to apply the advice. Your loved one does not have to come to treatment here for you to get the help you need to feel better.

We get so caught up in their addiction that we enable the disease and forget about our own lives. Instead, be an example of peace and self-care.

Here are the top 10 things that family members can do to support someone struggling with drugs or alcohol.

  1. Get Educated: Understanding addiction is crucial. Continue exploring this website and look into books like Tending Dandelions and You Can Be Happy No Matter What, podcasts like Detachment with Love and mindfulness apps like the Balance app.
  2. Evaluate and Set Boundaries: Recognize if you’re enabling your loved one and establish clear boundaries. This helps them understand the consequences of their actions.
  3. Maintain Healthy Communication: Keep communication lines open and emphasize the importance of sobriety. Healthy, supportive conversations can dramatically change your relationship for the better.
  4. Attend Support Groups: Support groups like Al-Anon, Alateen, and Narc-Anon provide emotional support and practical advice from others who understand your situation. These groups can offer empathy and encouragement to help you cope.
  5. Participate in Therapy: Individual or family therapy can be very beneficial. Therapy provides a safe space to express feelings, resolve conflicts, and develop coping strategies. Look into the therapy options listed below for more information.
  6. Take Care of Yourself: Living with someone struggling with addiction is exhausting. You need time to recover and maintain your own well-being. Engage in activities you enjoy and take time for self-care. Remember, your happiness matters too.
  7. Avoid Self-Blame: Understand that addiction is a disease, not a personal failure. You can’t control another person’s decisions or force them to change. Focus on what you can control and seek support for yourself.
  8. Balance Your Efforts: Don’t work harder than the person you’re trying to help. Being a caretaker can be detrimental. Instead, focus on setting a positive example of balance and self-care. Recognize the limits of what you can do without enabling their behavior.
  9. Educate Yourself and Seek Help: Stay informed and reach out for assistance. Call Wellness at (314) 664-9931 for instant, personal guidance and recommendations for local, top-rated professionals or support groups for families of addicts.
  10. Stay Positive and Supportive: While staying realistic, maintain a positive and supportive attitude. Arguing or trying to discuss issues when the addict is intoxicated won’t help and can push them further into using. Remember, addiction recovery is a long process, and healing takes time.

The recovery journey is mentally, emotionally and physically hard. As members in recovery begin thinking clearly, they may feel humiliation and embarrassment for past behaviors. However, families dealing with addiction who support their loved ones can help rebuild self-confidence. Family support also motivates members to maintain recovery.

If away at inpatient rehab consider:

  • Writing letters or call when allowed to support and motivate recovery.
  • Attending family therapy for substance use disorder.
  • Avoiding judging or criticizing 
  • Attending all visitation days.

If your loved one is attending outpatient treatment:

  • Keep all drugs and alcohol out of the home. Even if the addiction is to drugs, alcohol can be a trigger for recurrence of use. Also, if other family members are going to drink, don’t do it in front of the recovering member.
  • If other people in the home also struggle with substance misuse, it may require finding other housing options.
  • Always be available for emotional support. Many members in recovery feel alone. This feeling can lead to the recurrence of use. However, being a supportive shoulder can ease the feelings of loneliness.
  • Encourage members to attend family therapy for substance use disorder.

Enabling happens when you protect a loved one from the consequences of their addiction, often out of guilt, fear or a desire to control the situation. While it may feel like love, enabling can prevent your loved one from facing the reality of their addiction and seeking help.

Enabling vs. Helping

  • Covering Up: If you lie or make excuses for your loved one, they don’t face the consequences of their actions. For example, not covering for them if they miss work or family events.
  • Financial Support: Providing money, paying bills, or covering fines can unintentionally support their addiction. Let them feel the financial impact of their choices.
  • Housing: Feeling unsafe or uncomfortable in your home because of their behavior is a sign that boundaries are needed. Removing them from your home can make seeking treatment more appealing.

Enabling allows your loved one to live more comfortably in their addiction at your expense. Instead of lending them your car to buy drugs, offer them a ride to an AA meeting. It’s crucial to show love and positivity without making it easier for them to continue using or avoid dealing with consequences.

There are several groups available that provide education, resources and emotional support for families dealing with addiction. Sana Lake also offers support meetings and group therapy on-campus in Missouri and virtually.

Here’s an overview of other valuable resources for families:

  1. Al-Anon: For anyone dealing with a loved one’s alcohol addiction. This widespread, 12-step program promotes compassion and acceptance, with meetings available even in remote areas.
  2. Nar-Anon: Tailored for those affected by someone else’s drug addiction (excluding alcohol). This 12-step program offers extensive support and is widely accessible.
  3. Alateen: Targets teens aged 13-18 dealing with a family member’s addiction. These 12-step based meetings are guided by certified adults and provide a safe space for teens to share and receive support.
  4. Families Anonymous: Suitable for families dealing with any type of addiction. This 12-step group offers in-person, phone, email, and virtual meetings to ensure support is always available.
  5. Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PAL): Ideal for parents seeking non-traditional support. Weekly meetings focus on specific lessons and worksheets aimed at helping versus enabling adult children.
  6. Learn to Cope: A non-12-step group perfect for anyone dealing with addiction. Weekly meetings feature guest speakers such as authors, lawyers and therapists, providing diverse perspectives and support.
  7. Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA): Best for individuals with deep-seated enabling issues, particularly spouses. This 12-step program helps participants develop healthy relationships and boundaries.
  8. Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACoA): Designed for adult children (18+) dealing with the effects of a parent’s alcoholism. Meetings use a modified 12-step approach to address childhood impacts and recovery.
  9. Herren Project: Provides free phone consultations, online meetings, and access to a community of advocates for those unsure of their next steps in dealing with a loved one’s addiction.
  10. Families for Addiction Recovery: Offers phone support and online parent support groups for parents/caregivers of children struggling with addiction, regardless of age.
  11. Community in Crisis: Provides digital resources, all-recovery meetings and scientific information to help families understand addiction as a disease.

Confronting addiction without the right tools further complicates the issues. However, avoiding the problems also can make things worse. Family therapy for substance use disorder repairs the damage and builds healthy family roles.

When family members have healthy behaviors, it supports and encourages recovery. Family therapy provides several benefits that are crucial for supporting recovery:

  • Improved Communication: Family therapy helps family members learn effective communication skills. This reduces misunderstandings and creates a more supportive environment.
  • Conflict Resolution: Therapists guide families in resolving conflicts in a healthy way. This helps prevent the destructive patterns that can trigger or worsen addiction.
  • Education: Families learn about addiction and its effects. Understanding the disease helps them support their loved one’s recovery better.
  • Boundary Setting: Therapy helps family members set and maintain healthy boundaries. This prevents enabling behaviors and encourages personal responsibility.
  • Emotional Support: Family therapy provides a space for family members to express their feelings and get support. This can be a crucial part of their own healing process.
  • Unified Approach: With guidance, families can develop a unified approach to support their loved one. Consistent support from all family members strengthens recovery efforts.
  • Personal Growth and Healing: Therapy not only supports the person in recovery but also helps family members address their own issues. It changes family dynamics that contribute to substance use and creates a healthier environment for the well-being of everyone.

Most importantly, families should understand that addiction is a chronic brain disease that changes the way the brain functions, making drugs or alcohol feel like necessities for survival. It’s not caused by anything a family member did or didn’t do.

Your Loved One Can’t “Just Stop”.

  • Physical Cycle: The body becomes dependent on drugs or alcohol to function. Without it, withdrawal symptoms like nausea and seizures can occur, continued use is the easiest way to avoid feeling intensely sick.
  • Mental Cycle: Addiction often becomes the primary coping mechanism for dealing with stress, disappointment or boredom. They may also struggle with underlying mental health issues like anxiety, depression or trauma, which complicate their ability to stop.
  • Spiritual Cycle: Life can feel meaningless within the cycle of using and withdrawing. Negative consequences, like job loss or damaged relationships, further deepen their despair and drive continued use.

Comprehensive treatment addresses both the addiction and any underlying mental health issues. Your support is crucial, but it must be balanced with clear boundaries to avoid enabling behaviors.

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