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FA meetings beginning at Oxford House

Do you struggle because someone you love or care about is addicted to drugs? Do you feel alone in your daily mix of anger, anxiety, pain, shame, self-pity and/or fear because that person is caught in the clutches of substance abuse, those disruptive, destructive episodes that affects everyone in the family? Do you ask yourself how one person with an addiction can cause so much trouble for the entire family? Do you ever wish there was someone you could talk to, someone who would understand what you are living every day, someone who has been there?

There are others who understand because they have been there, or they are there now, trying to find their way, too. The group is called Families Anonymous (FA). The new FA support group came about because retired Pastor Doug George saw some of his parishioners struggling with the addiction of someone in their families. He spoke to Fred K., Marie H. and several other parishioners who have been associated with such support groups for many years.

“Al-anon just didn’t seem to fit,” said Fred K. who has worked with Family Recovery Center’s drug-free workplace program, as well as helping to get anonymous support groups up and running. So he started to look for a better fit. FA is a place to go and talk and know that what is said there stays there, making the environment a safe place to talk and help each other to deal with the problems of addiction that affect the entire family. Fred K. said some who attend will be people who have been addicted and are open to questions, to explain why they did what they did.

“Together we help each other,” Fred K. said. “You can’t tell an addict anything. He, or she, has to make the decision.” He added that it is difficult, trying not to enable them, trying to rescue them, to fix everything. Parents have the most difficult time with tough love.

FA is faith-based and focuses on two things: the three Cs of Addiction and the three Cs of Recovery. The three Cs of Addiction are:

We didn’t causeit.

We can’t control it.

We can’t cure it.

The three Cs of Recovery are:

Choice.Each person is responsible for his or her own choices and should face the consequences of their actions.

Change.It begins with self, the one who keeps trying to change the person with the addiction, but each person should be responsible for self and doing what is best for self. If something isn’t working, try something else. When you change yourself, the addicted person will change, too.

Courage is the third C. A full commitment is required for recovery of yourself because you have been affected by the addicted person’s behaviors. It takes courage to stop being a victim and say no, FA advises. It takes courage to stop enabling their addiction and let go.

The first meeting of FA will be 1 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 2 at Family Recovery Center’s Oxford House, 320 Benton Road, Salem. Ohio’s latest COVID-19 guidelines for safety will be observed. For more information, contact Marie H., 330-277-7611 or Fred K., 330-501-7461. You may also visit the website, www.familiesanonymous.org.

Addiction has no address, but Family Recovery Center does. For more information about the education, prevention and treatment programs for substance abuse and related behavioral issues, contact the agency at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468; or e-mail, info@familyrecovery.org. Visit the web site at www.familyrecovery.org. Family Recovery Center is funded in part by United Way of Northern Columbiana County.

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