Bucks County Herald

Community program supports family, friends of individuals with addiction

When someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol, the disease not only affects their life, it impacts their family and friends, resulting in a profound sense of fear, hopelessness, sadness and oftentimes anger.

The Addiction Awareness Initiative, a new venture developed in 2016 by family members and friends of those suffering addiction, is a community-based program that provides an educational experience within a safe environment and a community of grace for families and friends of those who suffer addiction. Program participants develop tools to better understand the disease, the impact it’s having on their lives, and the concrete steps they can take to begin their own process of healing and recovery.

“It is important that family members of those struggling with addiction in this community have a safe and comfortable place to go and learn and share information about their struggles with addiction issues in their homes” said Heather Walton, spokesperson for The Addiction Awareness Initiative. “It is such a tough topic and it is at epidemic levels in this country. It cannot be ignored or brushed under the carpet any longer.”

At the core of the Addiction Awareness Initiative is the Family Education Program. The free three-part program, developed by PRO-ACT (The Pennsylvania Recovering Organization—Achieving Community Together), is offered at three locations in Bucks County: Doylestown Presbyterian Church, The Presbyterian Church of Deep Run and at Thompson Memorial Presbyterian Church.

Facilitated by trained volunteers who may have been on similar journeys, the program is divided into three distinct sessions and takes place over a three-week period.

PRO-ACT is a program of The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania, Inc., a nonprofit organization. For information on the disease of alcoholism and addiction, call 800-221-6333.

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