The Church has created a new online guide to help spouses and families affected by a loved one’s addictive behaviors find help, hope and healing.
Located on the Addiction Recovery Program website, addictionrecovery.lds.org, the guide aims to help spouses and family members personally heal from challenges they experience from the addictive behaviors of their loved ones involving drugs, alcohol, pornography or other harmful substances or practices.
“We as leaders are also greatly concerned about the spouses and families of those suffering from pornography addiction,” said Sister Linda S. Reeves, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency. “Know that you are not alone. There is help.”
While the Addiction Recovery Program provides a 12-step recovery program for those struggling with addictions, this guide for spouses and family members is split into 12 sections focused on healing, increasing hope and finding strength through Jesus Christ.
The guide explains that just as those who have addictions need the Savior Jesus Christ to find freedom from addiction, spouses and family members also need His healing power to be free from despair and to be strengthened to bear their trials.
“Using this new guide and the gospel principles within as a foundation, those whose loved ones struggle with addiction will find practical suggestions on how to deal with their situation and find healing through the Savior and His Atonement,” said Sister Reeves, who also encourages participation in local support-group meetings for spouses and families.
“Complete healing does not take place until spouses and family members apply the healing power of the Atonement to their experience,” said Sister Carol F. McConkie, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency. “This guide will help those struggling with a spouse’s addictive behaviors place their burdens upon the Savior and learn to trust His grace and the power of His word.”
Spouses and family members are encouraged to use the information to help navigate the many difficult situations they may face. Many practical suggestions are provided, such as how to set limits and rules, how to discuss addiction and recovery with a loved one and how to appropriately respond to a relapse.
Rooted in scripture and built upon the doctrine of the Savior and His Atonement, the guide helps families apply gospel principles and learn important fundamentals, such as drawing closer to God and supporting one another through afflictions and the healing process.
Each section includes information for additional gospel study and personal learning and application. These segments incorporate scriptures, conference talks and spiritually uplifting activities and encourage the participant to record emotions and impressions in his or her journal. These activities allow the spouse or family member time for personal contemplation and spiritual learning.
The guide is used for discussion in spouse and family support group meetings. It can also be used as stand-alone material for personal study or for Church leaders to use when counseling.