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Daytop Family Association was created in the early days of Daytop when a pioneer group of loving parents took it upon themselves to form a group to support each other and learn to show “responsible love and concern” without denial, enabling or the other pitfalls of parenting a substance abuser. Before long, Daytop staff and counselors began to recognize that the children whose parents attended groups were more successful in their recovery than those who didn’t. Families were learning new ways to deal with their children, family, and/or significant others that both empowered them and made their loved ones take responsibility for themselves. And it paved the way to heal relationships and reunite families. Today, Daytop considers family participation in support groups to be a mandatory part of successful treatment.

Hi to all my fellow Daytopeans. I have been part of this club for almost 6 years. Unfortunately it is a club you really don’t want to be part of when you get here. That’s how it was for me. I didn’t want to share in group. It was always a hassle to get there. I didn’t see how this could help… after all it was my kid who had the problem, not me. Little by little I began to change, and that’s when I noticed my kid was changing, too. Believe me he is not perfect, but there has been a lot of change. Over the years I’ve met a lot of wonderful people who have helped me tremendously in understanding addiction and behavior issues. I feel one of the most powerful statements I heard here was that I was able to give someone hope through change. That’s why I have been coming back over the years.” – John

The main activity of Family Association is to provide a supportive environment, through groups and informational seminars to all family members struggling with their loved ones addiction. When we hear others share their difficulties, our own emotions are validated and we realize that we are not alone. Gradually we take back our serenity, gain new insights, and learn more successful ways of responding to our children’s behavior.

It’s been over 4 years since I first came to Daytop. Looking back today just makes me feel so grateful for Daytop Family Association. I was able to share what was going on with my son, with families that truly understood, without judgment, and who really cared about my family. We have shared so much the pain of not being able to make their changes for them, but making changes for ourselves so we can live a healthy life. Today I live a life full of joys. Daytop helped me get my life back on track. I will be opening up my own business in a matter of a short time …a lifelong dream. My family is well. Daytop Family Association is family that cares!” – Gladys

When family members first ask how long they must come to support groups, we sometimes joke, “Until you want to.” By the time our loved one comes for treatment we are weary from worry, angry over the disruptions to our lives, and resentful of giving up any more of ourselves to invest in their recovery. After participating in support groups, many discover new-found peace and understanding, and find themselves looking forward to their weekly support group meetings. “You are not alone…”

The Daytop parent support groups have been a million dollar education. The groups gave me the courage to make hard decisions, to say no and to have rules and consequences. I learned how to do nice things for myself, not to obsess on my daughter’s behavior but rather live my own life and detach myself from her negative choices. Without the support of the wonderful facilitators and family members, I don’t think I could have survived the nightmare of drug addiction.” – Pat