Health care costs can be expensive and addiction treatment is no different. Many people struggling with substance abuse don’t even consider rehab treatment because they can’t afford it or the financial burden would be too great. The problem with that is the addiction only gets worse when left untreated. Fortunately, free addiction treatment resources in Kentucky are there to help anyone struggling with addiction get the help they need.
Why It’s Important to Get Addiction Treatment HelpNo one starts out using drugs or alcohol with the intention of getting addicted. For many people, what starts out as casual recreational use turns into an everyday indulgence that takes on a life of its own. Addiction happens without you even knowing it and by the time you see the problem, it’s spinning out of control. When used on a regular basis, addictive substances, such as prescription opioids, cocaine, heroin, and alcohol have the ability to change how the brain works. They do this by interfering with brain chemical processes. In turn, the brain responds by altering its normal processes to accommodate the drug’s effects. With repeated substance abuse, the brain will continue to re-adjust its chemical makeup. Before long, the brain can no longer function normally without the drug’s effects. In the process, changes in the brain’s chemical pathways and physical structures give rise to new, destructive ways of thinking and feeling. It’s at this point where getting and using drugs and alcohol takes on top priority in a person’s life. In order to overcome an addiction problem, you have to undo the damage caused by substance abuse. More often than not, this requires medical and behavioral treatment supports that are designed to help the brain and the mind recover from addiction’s effects. Free addiction treatment resources in Kentucky make it possible for anyone struggling with addiction to get the help they need to live a healthy, normal life.
Types of Free Addiction Treatment Resources in KentuckyIn today’s economy, the cost can easily become the determining factor when it comes to getting needed treatment help. Being able to access addiction treatment when you need it makes recovery possible. Fortunately, treatment resources in Kentucky cover a wide range of services, including support groups for you, your family, and friends along with transitional living options. Here are a few free addiction recovery resources in Kentucky to consider:
Alcoholics AnonymousWhile stopping drug and alcohol use is essential to addiction recovery, it doesn’t solve the problem. Once addiction develops, it warps your thinking and emotions to the point where new belief systems form. Addictive substances interact with the brain’s reward center, changing your values and priorities. Once a full-blown addiction develops, the brain believes it needs drugs (or alcohol) to cope with everyday life just as much as it believes the body needs food and water. For these reasons, a big part of addiction recovery centers on replacing these belief systems with ones that can support a drug-free lifestyle. Alcoholics Anonymous support groups follow the 12-Step program, which follows a road map for developing healthy thinking and healthy behaviors. The 12-Step approach also emphasizes the importance of social support and working through challenges in recovery with people who share the same struggles. These meetings take place throughout the week in several locations across the state, making Alcoholics Anonymous one of the more popular treatment resources in Kentucky.
12-Step Support Groups for Family & FriendsWhen addiction enters the picture, relationships tend to change in destructive ways. Family and friends often feel the brunt of addiction and they can influence your progress in recovery, for the good or for the bad. Twelve-Step support groups for family and friends use a modified 12-Step plan that’s designed to help loved ones better understand the effects of addiction. These groups also help their members learn to communicate in ways that allow the recovering addict to be accountable for his or her actions and choices. The two most popular groups are An-Anon, which helps spouses and friends and Adult Children of Alcoholics for adults who grew up in alcoholic (or any form of substance) households or anyone who’s dealing with the effects of addiction in their life.
SMART Recovery MeetingsAs far as free addiction recovery resources in Kentucky go, SMART is a fairly new resource that first launched in 1994. SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training, a nonprofit community of support groups. People recovering from addiction as well as their friends and family members are welcome to attend. Compared to the 12-Step model, SMART Recovery takes a markedly different approach to addiction recovery. With the 12-Step model, belief in a Higher Power plays a central support role in helping a person live a drug-free lifestyle. SMART Recovery takes a more secular slant that’s science-based. The overall approach entails using cognitive behavioral techniques, which emphasize the importance of replacing unhealthy thinking and behaviors with belief systems that promote drug-free living.
Sober Living HomesFor many in recovery, returning back to normal life after rehab can be overwhelming. Daily stressors, relationship conflicts, and being around friends and family who still drink or use drugs can quickly drive you back to using again if you’re not grounded in recovery. Sober living homes act as a bridge between rehab and normal life. While this option is not a free addiction treatment resource in Kentucky, sober living homes are a low-cost option that provides treatment support within an independent living environment. Residents must hold down jobs, do household chores, and pay rent. Most homes also require residents to have sponsors and attend 12-Step support group meetings on a regular basis. Sober houses provide you with a built-in community of people working towards the same goal. Overall, free addiction recovery resources in Kentucky can help you manage the challenges you’ll face in recovery. Social support and ongoing exposure to the principles of recovery can prove invaluable when things seem overwhelming, helping you stay focused on what’s most important. So if you’re concerned about not being able to afford ongoing treatment support, free resources are there to pick up where rehab leaves off.
What Is Families Anonymous?
Families Anonymous (FA) is an organization dedicated to helping family members and friends of people who are addicted to alcohol or drugs.
Members began holding FA meetings in 1971. It resembles 12-step organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous (AA and NA, respectively). Like AA and NA, Families Anonymous:
- Offers both in-person and online meetings that are free to attend (but the organization also accepts donations and sells literature).
- Encourages members to proceed through a series of twelve steps to find healing.
- Features twelve traditions that provide guidance for the organization and explain what it is.
- Promotes twelve promises, which are benefits that FA claims that it can provide as well as other statements about healing.
- Respects the anonymity of its members, who can refer to themselves by their first names only.
- Provides literature that contains more about the programs, addiction, and addiction-related issues.
These similarities may help Families Anonymous members better understand their loved ones with addictions, especially if the loved ones are attending Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or other sobriety meetings themselves.
To further guide members, FA also warns people against four destructive forces that can prevent people from healing:
1.Discussing specific religions
2. Gossiping about other FA members
3. Dominating meetings
4. Dwelling on the past
Families Anonymous Meetings
Meetings are an important aspect of the Families Anonymous organization.
The organization encourages the family and friends of people who are addicted (or people who are in recovery) to gather. Recognizing shared experiences can be cathartic. People can share what has helped them heal. Just as importantly, they can reveal what hasn’t helped them heal.
Members of FA can meet other members in various ways.
By visiting the Families Anonymous website, people can find meetings near them. The organization has meetings across the United States and throughout the world.
People who can’t find a meeting in their areas may want to consider starting a FA group near them by using the information on FA’s Starting a New Group page and ordering a free FA Starter Kit.
For people who don’t have meetings in their area or can’t attend gatherings for other reasons, local Families Anonymous chapters host virtual meetings.
Such virtual meetings are known as Meetings Without Walls (MWW). They allow people to participate in voice chats with each other in real time. FA offers a script template for MWW online voice chats.
The organization encouraged more online meetings due to COVID-19. The pandemic shut down many places that host meetings while governments discouraged or banned social gatherings.
Another way to attend remote Families Anonymous meetings is by phone. The meetings occur on Saturdays at 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) and can be reached by dialing:
- 605-313-5141 in the United States.
- 0330 998 1210 in the United Kingdom.
After dialing either of these numbers, callers are required to dial the access code 164804# and wait for the moderator to begin the meeting.
People who are more comfortable writing about their thoughts and feelings may find that the Families Anonymous E-Meeting is a good fit. It’s an email discussion group that consists of members from around the world.
In addition to its diversity, another advantage of the E-Meeting is its convenience. People can visit the group at any time of the day or night to ask or answer a question, discuss something, or read what others have posted. They can start participating online by following the instructions on the Families Anonymous Virtual Meetings page.
What Happens During Families Anonymous Meetings?
Some of the advantages of FA are its inclusivity and flexibility. Any member can lead a meeting and the organization encourages different people to lead.
Leaders don’t have to conduct all meetings the same way, but for guidance, FA offers a suggested meeting format.
For example, a meeting leader can begin by welcoming newcomers, making announcements, and asking others if they have any announcements of their own. The leader can describe what Families Anonymous is and what it does.
Members can read FA’s twelve steps, twelve traditions, and twelve promises, as well as information about drug abuse and helping by being, not doing. Members can also provide contact information to others.
After a break in the meeting, discussion time can begin. According to Families Anonymous, “Any piece of FA literature, such as a bookmark, a Step or Tradition, or a reading from Today a Better Way (TABW), makes an excellent topic for discussion.”
While anyone at the meeting can participate in these discussions, FA discourages what it calls crosstalk, which it defines as
- Talking without the leader recognizing them.
- Holding one-on-one side conversations during the meeting.
- Counseling or questioning other members.
During Meetings Without Walls sessions, members can request to make comments during the meetings and be recognized by the leaders.
Such requirements allow everyone to contribute. They allow people to focus on the speakers and let speakers truly be heard, which can provide emotional boosts when they need them the most.
Following discussion time, leaders can pass a basket for voluntary donations, ask newcomers if they have questions or comments, and ask if anyone has anything else to contribute.
At the end of the meeting, the leader can remind members that FA offers suggestions and that the program works differently for different people. The leader can also remind members that Families Anonymous values the anonymity of its members, so it discourages discussing what happened at the meetings outside of the meetings themselves.
Finally, like other 12-step groups, FA often ends its meetings with the Serenity Prayer:
- God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
- Courage to change the things I can,
- And wisdom to know the difference.