An evidence-based recovery program based out of Washington DC is helping families around the country.
We hear time and time again how the disease of addiction affects families, but the Families Strong program is making it possible for relationships to be restored.
Families Strong is a support group developed to help families impacted by substance abuse.
The program helps family members to focus on things like self-care and social support.
First Lady Kathryn Burgum is making it her mission to help families get connected again by partnering with the program.
She says, “They have this program that is evidence based. What that means is, this is tried and true approches to helping families with things like self support, resources, group support.”
So far, there are five Families Strong groups across North Dakota led by trained volunteers. These groups not only help people in North Dakota but all over the U.S.
Audrey, an active participant says, “Living with someone that you know dealing with addictions, simply put for me I’m speaking, it’s like being on a crazy train.”
She says at the height of the pandemic, she was meeting with a volunteer weekly, then zooming once a month. She needed support because her son was in active addiction. She says she was so focused on trying to take care of her son, she lost who she was.
Audrey adds, “So Families Strong helped me to re-focus on myself, to do self-care. Very importantly to learn triggers. What triggers them. What triggers me and how to deal with them, and how to set boundaries, healthy boundaries.”
Today, her son is celebrating 14 months of being clean and sober and their relationship has been restored.
But some people just don’t know how to help their loved ones.
First Lady Burgum says, “Sometimes we can love people to death. That’s the sad part about this disease is that you want to help, you want to provide support and you want to provide places to live and money and all those things which may not help. There is sadly a term out there you can love someone to death.”
And she says, the program is a free approach that helps families stay strong while supporting their loved ones. The First Lady says she encourages anyone to take these classes to learn more about the disease of addiction. Classes are available starting May 25th.
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