The Centre County community is vigorously addressing the growing heroin and opioid crisis through education, prevention and collaboration among service providers. Many community members have firsthand experience or know someone whose family is affected by this epidemic, which led to 56 drug-related overdose deaths in Centre County from 2013-June 2016, according to the coroner’s office.
In response to mounting concerns about substance abuse and its destructive effects on individuals and families, Community Help Centre is offering a program that provides education and support to parents struggling with the substance abuse of a child. Parents of Addicted Children Coming Together is a four-week course that incorporates group discussion and opportunities for participants to interact, with an emphasis on self-care, personal well-being and decreasing feelings of isolation. Education and discussion will be facilitated by certified instructors in a supportive, confidential, non-judgmental environment. Topics include: substance abuse, addiction, recovery and relapse; impacts on the family; healthy behaviors and coping skills; how to reduce enabling behaviors; how to encourage sobriety in the home; and treatment options and local resource information. This program has been made possible through the support of Centre Foundation.
Community Help Centre has long provided emotional support and information regarding substance abuse to people living with the problem as well as the families affected by it. Recognizing the need in our community for a program that specifically addresses the challenges faced by parents, we welcome your inquiries and registration by calling 234-8222.
The PACCT program is just one of the many resources available to individuals and families reaching out for support. The Centre County Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education Initiative is comprised of various community agencies working in collaboration to eliminate substance abuse, drug overdoses and drug overdose deaths. Visit www.centrecountyhope.org to learn more about other local resources, helpful websites and how to become involved.
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Bonnie Tatterson is executive director of Community Help Centre in State College.