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Parents of substance abusers get support from Community Help Centre program

Parents of people struggling with substance abuse will have a place to learn about addiction and share with each other starting later this month.

The Community Help Centre announced a new program Tuesday called Parents of Addicted Children Come Together, with the first session planned for Jan. 22. The center has implemented programs to help people deal with substance abuse issues since its inception, but this is the first one tailored for parents, Executive Director Bonnie Tatterson said.

“This is something for them to come together and learn what their child is going through,” she said.

Sessions are for parents only, Tatterson said. Age and residence of the child are not factors and any parent is welcome.

Groups will be composed of eight to 12 participants guided by trained facilitators and will meet for two hours weekly over the course of four weeks. Topics such as addiction, recovery, relapse, coping skills, treatment options and services available locally will be covered during sessions, followed by group discussions, Tatterson said.

The program is designed to educate parents and provide support among people going through the same things, she said.

New groups are planned to start every month until summer, Tatterson said, but if there is enough interest the center would consider extending the program.

The center got some assistance from other agencies in making the program, Tatterson said. The curriculum was developed by Bethanne Woodhouse, executive director of local counseling service Journey to You.

A counseling service grant from the Centre Foundation helped fund the program, said Sarah Sciabica, grant coordinator with the foundation.

A fee of $75 or $100 per couple is due a week before. Anyone interested can register online at www.communityhelpcentre.com or call the center at 234-8222.

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