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Opioid addiction is a chronic disease, like heart disease or diabetes. A chronic disease is a medical condition for life. It cannot be cured, but it can be managed. A person with addiction can regain a healthy, productive life.  Most people cannot just walk away from addiction. They need help to change addictive behavior into nonaddictive, healthful patterns. They can get this help with treatment—with the care of doctors and substance abuse treatment providers.
 
Treatment helps people stop using the problem drug. It helps them get through withdrawal and cope with cravings. Treatment also helps them move away from other harmful behaviors, such as drinking alcohol or abusing other drugs. Just as important, treatment helps people address life issues they might have that are tied to the addiction, such as feelings of low self-worth, a bad situation at work or home, or spending time with people who use drugs. In short, treatment helps people move into healthy, addiction-free lifestyles—into a way of living referred to as recovery.
 
Medication-assisted treatment is treatment for addiction that includes the use of medication along with counseling and other support. Treatment that includes medication is often the best choice for opioid addiction.  This booklet provides helpful information about medication-assisted treatment from the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

Source: Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 09-4443. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2009, revised 2011.

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Alcohol and Drug Abuse

www.aa.org
Alcoholics Anonymous website provides information about the AA approach and how to locate AA meetings.

www.aging.com
The National Council for Aging Care provides a complete guide to alcohol abuse amongst the elderly.

www.al-anon.alateen.org
Al-Anon website provides information about the Al-Anon approach and how to locate Al-Anon meetings.

www.na.org
Narcotics Anonymous website provides information about NA approach and how to locate NA meetings.

www.nar-anon.org
Nar-Anon website provides information for individuals living with an addicted relative or friend and how to locate Nar-Anon Family Groups.

www.samhsa.gov
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website provides information, news and statistics about substance abuse, mental illness and treatment.

www.nida.nih.gov
National Institute on Drug Abuse website provides resources and materials on drug abuse and addiction.

www.drugfree.org/join-together/
Join Together news service provides information and news about alcohol and drug policy, prevention and treatment.

www.drugfree.org
Partnership for Drug-Free Kids provides information to reduce teen substance abuse and support families impacted by addiction, including educational materials and toll-free helpline.

www.learn2cope.org
Learn to Cope is a support organization that offers education, resources, peer support and hope for parents and family members coping with a loved one addicted to opioids or other drugs.

www.ncadd.org
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence website provides education, information and referral services.

Tobacco Cessation

www.smokefree.gov
National Cancer Institute’s quit smoking website provides an overview of how-to-quit, with free web, telephone and print resources.

www.nicotine-anonymous.org
Nicotine Anonymous website provides education and step-by-step nicotine reduction techniques.

www.quitsmokeless.org
Quit Smokeless website provides information and resources for quitting smokeless tobacco.

www.lungusa.org
American Lung Association website provides information and resources about smoking cessation including the Freedom from Smoking program.

www.trytostop.org
Try to Stop website provides information on tobacco use, smoking cessation materials and referral assistance, including a toll-free helpline.

Mental Health

www.nami.org
National Alliance on Mental Illness website provides news, information, support services and advocacy resources.

www.samhsa.gov
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website provides information, news and statistics about substance abuse, mental illness and treatment.

www.mental-health-matters.com
Mental Health Matters website provides information on mental health disorders, self-help and treatment.

www.nimh.nih.gov
National Institute of Mental Health website provides information about symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of various mental illnesses.

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This booklet is for you, the family member of a person dependent on alcohol or drugs. Whether your family member is dependent on alcohol, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, prescription medications, or other drugs, his or her dependence affects you and your family, too.

This booklet answers questions often asked by families of people entering treatment. The “Resources” section, at the back of this booklet, lists a selection of sources for more information and support groups available to you during this stressful time. Take advantage of this help, ask treatment providers questions, and talk with supportive friends or other family members about your feelings.

Millions of Americans abuse or are dependent on alcohol or drugs. All of these people have families – so remember, you are not alone. The fact that your family member is in treatment is a good sign and a big step in the right direction. People with alcohol or drug dependence problems can and do recover.

Source: Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. What is Substance Abuse Treatment? A Booklet for Families. DHHS Publication No. (SMA) 08-4126. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2004, reprinted 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008.

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