What started as a closed, Facebook support group for parents whose children struggle with addiction, has opened up to host 20 people a week in-person, and a hundred more on its live stream.
Embrace ND Inc., has grown quite a bit in the past three years and helps a lot more than parents these days.
“It’s nice to hear other people talk about their struggles and how they get through it, ” said 15-year-old Addyson Leier, a mentor and member of Embrace ND, “and it helps me get through mine.”
Simply put, that’s the whole idea behind Embrace.
It’s an addiction support group, but it differs from others like NA or AA for a few reasons.
First, it’s not anonymous. People can talk – or just listen – with confidence and comfort.
“I feel that if we’re open about our struggles, we’re also going to help stop the stigma and get the conversations going,” said Heather Leier.
It’s a safe place for more than just the person struggling with addiction.
It has every side of the story, like the mother-daughter pair Heather and Addyson, who aren’t in recovery themselves, but love and have lost people to the disease that is addiction.
Addyson said, “It’s given me a lot of opportunities to grow closer with the people in the group and help them with their struggles and be there for them when they need it.”
Heather started Embrace on Facebook three years ago.
Now, the group has obtained non-profit status and Heather says that opens up more funding opportunities, which ultimately will help the group expand its reach.
Right now, they meet at a church, but the goal is to get their own space and means to be able to hold meetings every night of the week.
And while Embrace is faith-based, if you’re not a spiritual person, that’s OK too.
“That’s fine, bring it on in,” said Embrace’s board president, Donald Jessen. “We’re going to love on you whether you believe or not, and we’re here to help whether you believe or not.”
Because no matter what position you’re in, the message of Embrace ND is that you are more — More than an addict and more than the addiction.
“It takes some work, it takes some time,” Jessen said. “But praise God, it’s so worth it.”
Embrace is also in the process of becoming a Free Through Recovery provider.
The group meets on Monday nights at 7, at the Church of Christ in Minot and the doors are always open to newcomers.