Support group forming to help families of addicts

Staff Writer

As a way to help families and friends of individuals battling addiction, a new support group is forming and set to hold its first meeting Wednesday evening.
The inaugural session of the Family Recovery Peer Group Meetings will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 8, from 6-7:30 p.m. at the St. Marys Public Library. The group is being started by Messengers Supporting Recovery and will meet in the library’s downstairs meeting room.
According to Patty Greene, who is one of the individuals coordinating the group, the intent is to make sure that family members and friends of those who are battling addiction know that there is somewhere they can turn for support.
“When you have an addict in your family – and it doesn’t matter if it’s drugs or alcohol, we’ll take either one – you just kind of feel you need someone to talk to and that’s why we’re staring these groups, so families can come together and talk and we can have families supporting each other,” Greene said.
Anyone who attends will be able to share as much or as little information about themselves as they choose.
“We’re not going to make anybody say anything they don’t want to. They don’t even have to tell us their name. They can give us a first name, a fake first name, I don’t care,” Greene said. “People are very ashamed that their kids are doing that, but they’ve got to understand that addiction hits everybody. There is no discrimination with addiction. It can happy to anybody.”
The group, Greene remarked, is something that is needed.
“It’s nice to have the support,” Greene said. “I know when I was going through it (as a parent), I felt like I had no one to talk to that really understood it, so it will be nice to be able to have people come together and they can talk to each other.”
Greene explained that a portion of the meetings will focus on teaching attendees about issues such as enabling and codependency.
“A lot of people don’t know the exact definition of codependency. I didn’t even know it,” Greene said.
The hope is that two meetings will be held each month, one in St. Marys and the other in Ridgway. The group will meet at the St. Marys Public Library on the second Wednesday of each month, then at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ridgway on the fourth Wednesday. Interested individuals are able to attend one or both meetings and can come as often as they want.