Ad­dicted to the ad­dict

Burin sup­port group helps folks with loved ones suf­fer­ing from ad­dic­tions

The Southern Gazette - - Front Page - BY MAR­TINE BLUE BURIN, N.L.

Liv­ing with an ad­dic­tion is chal­leng­ing and heart­break­ing. Watch­ing a loved one live with an ad­dic­tion adds an ex­tra strain be­cause the fam­ily mem­ber or friend of­ten feels pow­er­less to stop the detri­men­tal be­hav­ior.

That’s where Sup­port Group for Loved Ones Im­pacted by Ad­dic­tions comes in. The group meets once a week to of­fer in­for­ma­tion on lo­cal ser­vices, cop­ing strate­gies and peer sup­port. It is an anony­mous group that was started in May 2017 by a woman who said she needed sup­port to help a fam­ily mem­ber deal with an ad­dic­tion. She re­quested that her name not be re­leased.

The group or­ga­nizer said the most com­mon ad­dic­tions on the Burin Penin­sula seem to be al­co­holism, drugs and gam­bling. She said deal­ing with an ad­dict of­ten af­fects peo­ple in un­ex­pected ways.

“We try to tell peo­ple, when you are liv­ing with some­one with an ad­dic­tion, you can ac­tu­ally be­come ad­dicted to the ad­dict, be­cause you be­come ob­sessed with try­ing to get them clean and sober,” she ex­plained.

“You get ob­sessed with their life­style and you don’t worry about your­self no more, or your fam­ily. We try to give each per­son tools, like, you have to take care of your­self, you can’t en­able the ad­dict. De­tach­ment is a big one, you have to de­tach your­self from the ad­dict and worry about your­self.”

A clas­sic slo­gan for deal­ing with ad­dic­tions is “one day at a time.” This is also the mantra for the loved ones of ad­dicts.

“I find a lot of peo­ple who fo­cus on dif­fer­ent events, like Christ­mas is a big one or sum­mer hol­i­days but we tell them, no you’ve got to fo­cus on to­day and not worry about the fu­ture,” she said.

Not alone

It also helps for folks to know they don’t have to deal with their strug­gles in iso­la­tion.

“We had a few peo­ple to our last meet­ing who thought they were alone,” the group or­ga­nizer com­mented. “When they came to our group and no­ticed so many peo­ple in the same sit­u­a­tion, they said they are go­ing to keep com­ing back be­cause it’s so good to know peo­ple are in the same sit­u­a­tion and it helps each per­son in the group.”

The group also helps to in­form its mem­bers of lo­cal ser­vices that can get their loved ones on the path to re­cov­ery.

“A lot of peo­ple with ad­dic­tions go to the hos­pi­tal in Burin be­cause they think that’s go­ing to help them, but re­ally but that’s not the best place for them,” the group or­ga­nizer said.

“They re­ally need to go into the walk-in clinic, lo­cated in Marys­town’s Com­mu­nity Ser­vices Build­ing, 10 Harris Dr., open Mon­day to Fri­day, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m, be­cause they can go in and sit down with a drug coun­sel­lor that day, within an hour.”

The towns of Grand Bank and St. Lawrence also of­fer walk-in men­tal health and ad­dic­tions ser­vices in their health care cen­tres.

We try to tell peo­ple, when you are liv­ing with some­one with an ad­dic­tion, you ac­tu­ally be­come ad­dicted to the ad­dict, be­cause you be­come ob­sessed with try­ing to get them clean and sober.

— Anony­mous Ad­dic­tions Sup­port Leader

The group or­ga­nizer makes her­self avail­able to the group’s mem­bers for emer­gency as­sis­tance.

“We give out our phone num­bers and tell peo­ple to call us any time of the day or night,” she con­cluded.

The group meets ev­ery Sun­day night from 8 to 9 p.m. in the Burin Health Care Cen­tre’s con­fer­ence room, two doors down from the chapel.

SOUTH­ERN GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Sup­port Group for Loved Ones Im­pacted by Ad­dic­tions meets ev­ery Sun­day at the Burin Health Care Cen­tre.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.