The addictive behavior of a loved one can profoundly impact others. Whether it is a child, spouse, significant other, parent or sibling, the addiction of a loved one can be a painful and isolating issue for loved ones, and may even cause them personal and health problems.

Many community members know that Walden provides help for addiction and other behavioral health concerns. However, most are not aware that Walden’s help also now includes free support for families and others who have a loved one struggling with addiction. Through Walden’s Recovery Support program, support meetings are available twice weekly at the recovery and wellness centers of Walden.

Family and Friends SMART Recovery Meetings, held twice weekly, offer a science-based program based on SMART (Self Management and Recovery Training) Recovery and CRAFT (Community Reinforcement Approach and Family Training), offering help and support with:

  • Dealing with emotional upsets
  • Effective, positive communication
  • Personal change and self-care
  • Modeling communication, change, and self-care to inform and inspire significant others

They are designed to offer self-help and mutual support for those concerned about a significant other’s use of alcohol or drugs. Each meeting is facilitated by a trained SMART Recovery facilitator working at Walden. Parents, spouses, siblings, children and boyfriends/girlfriends come to these meetings.

One parent who participates in meetings notes, “The Family and Friends SMART Recovery program has given me a better understanding of what addiction can really do to a person and has allowed me to cope with the situation better than I could have done before.” Another parent with an adult child who is struggling explains, “SMART Recovery Family and Friends has helped me deal with the pain, anger, helplessness of my daughter’s addiction. I have learned that focusing on one’s self-health and happiness prepares you to deal in a more effective way with your loved one’s addiction. Family and Friends SMART Recovery provides you with useful tools to enhance communication, boundary setting, safety, support to name a few. These tools are clearly articulated in an easy to read handbook for people affected by the addictive behavior of a loved one, which I now consider my primary resource for dealing with my loved one’s addiction. There is also a website ( that provides additional resources in coping. Dealing with my loved one’s addiction has been the hardest challenge in my life; the information and the tools offered by SMART is helping me move in a more positive direction.” Another participant explains “SMART Recovery provides a venue for open dialogue and do-able applications to support your loved one struggling with addiction.”

Laura Webb, Recovery Support Services Director at Walden, notes that anyone is welcome to attend a Family and Friends meeting. Meetings are confidential, and Family and Friends SMART Recovery handbooks are available at meetings. Meetings are held weekly at the following times and locations:

– Tuesdays, 5-6:30 p.m. at Beacon of Hope of Walden

– Thursdays, 7-8:30 p.m. at The Cove of Walden

For more information about Family and Friends meetings, please contact Laura at (301) 997-1300 or [email protected]