The group’s organizer, Pamela Wade, knows what it is like to have a family member struggling with addiction. Although rehabilitation was able to help her family to overcome the addiction, she remembers how lonely, frightening, upsetting and embarrassing that time was for her and the rest of the family.
“For the past three years I have felt led in my heart to start a support group for families going through what I went through,” Wade said. “There are programs for the addicts and for the addicts and family members combined, but none for the families only. I wanted to be as far away from a drug addict as possible during that time, and I know that’s the way others feel also.”
After the initial meeting, the group will continue to meet on Tuesdays at Dora Church of God on Sharon Boulevard. Wade said that she hopes the families of addicts in the county will come, whether the addict is still using or trying to get clean. She cited a Drug Enforcement Agency statistic that said there were 900 deaths last year in Walker County alone due to prescription drugs.
“Drug addiction seems to be an epidemic in our area and it doesn’t just effect the addict, it effects the whole family,” Wade said. “It can leave a spouse alone and dealing with the loss of everything, or parents feeling scared and betrayed, children neglected or sometimes abused. In a lot of cases, grandparents are raising their grandchildren.”
Wade said the group will be an open program with handouts and an occasional speaker. She encouraged anyone who has a family member addicted to alcohol or drugs to come see what the group is about and fellowship with others in similar situations.
“Everyone needs someone to talk to, cry with or scream with, and that’s what we’re here for. Please come,” Wade said.
For more information, call (205) 648-5525.