The holiday season is upon us and although for many people that means joyous gatherings, festive dinners, family, food and fun for many others throughout America there is a quiet, underlying tension that accompanies the holiday season. For the millions of people in the United States who have a person in their family or close to them that suffers from addiction or alcoholism, the holiday season often is one of sadness, frustration, disappointment and fear. Ruined holiday parties, no shows, missed appointments, missing or stolen presents, family blowups and arguments, car accidents, overdoses and even death will impact many during this holiday season and the culprit will be the substance use disorder of a loved one. While this is a heavy and depressing topic, and certainly not your typical festive hopeful holiday blog, the resulting 166 overdose deaths in America each day make it a topic we need to talk about.
Another reason we need to talk about it is because for those millions of family members and loved ones that are affected by their loved one’s addiction this holiday season, the behavior most often associated with that addiction is shame. Possibly guilt. Or fear of what friends or neighbors may say and think. The stigma of addiction is still strong in this country and addiction often walks hand-in-hand with silence and shame. Parents and loved ones keep the addiction behind closed doors. Hush hush. No one needs to know what goes on here. They will judge us, ostracize us or ridicule us. The addict also prays to his family to keep the addiction secret. The alcoholic pleads with her husband and children that she’s sorry and it won’t happen again.
The bottom line is, if you are the family or a loved one of someone suffering from addiction, you are not alone and you too are suffering. Addiction is absolutely a family disease and the entire family unit is impacted. The addiction causes stress, anger, grief, trauma, resentment, insomnia, anxiety, depression and a host of other issues and symptoms. If you are the family or a loved one of someone suffering from addiction, you need to seek help for yourself, regardless of what your loved one chooses to do with their addiction and their life. You absolutely need to find help and support, to truly understand you are not alone, that others are dealing with the same issues and that there is hope.
In order to help support those local families in the Baltimore, Maryland, Washington DC and surrounding areas, we have composed a small list a support resources that can be used by anyone that is dealing with a loved one’s addiction. Please see below:
Resource List For Families And Loved Ones Affected By Addiction:
Maryland Addiction Recovery Center (MARC)/Caron Treatment Centers Parent Support Group
For: Parents and Loved Ones of Addicted Children
When: Meets the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month
Where: Maryland Addiction Recovery Center
8600 LaSalle Road
Carroll Building, Suite 212
Towson, MD 21286
Contact: Sharon O.
410-459-9017 or firstname.lastname@example.org
About: This is a free meeting open to the community, not just parents or loved ones of patients of MARC or Caron. It is a non-professionally facilitated meeting and instead is based on parents-helping-parents through shared experiences. The group is designed to meet the needs of those with loved ones who are either in active addiction, currently in treatment or are living a life in recovery from addiction.
When: Meets 3rd Wednesday of each month
Where: Camp Chapel United Methodist Church
5000 E. Joppa Road
Perry Hall, MD 21128
Contact: Toni Torsch
About: GRASP (Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing) was founded to help provide sources of help, compassion and most of all, understanding, for families or individuals who have had a loved one die as a result of substance abuse or addiction. There is no charge for GRASP groups although pre-registration is required for new attendees.
Web Site: www.grasphelp.org
Dick Prodey Lecture Series
For: Families of a loved one with an addiction
When: Every Wednesday Evening
Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Where: The Conference Center at Sheppard Pratt
6501 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21285
About: Free and open to the public, this weekly lecture series features Dick Prodey, M.A., M.Ed. and is a sponsored jointly by the Kolmac Outpatient Recovery Centers, Sheppard Pratt Hospital and the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of Maryland (NCADD-Maryland). Each lecture series session is designed to be independent of each other and are meant to educate families on a multitude of topics surrounding alcoholism and addiction.
Nikki Perlow Foundation Speaker Series
For: Any and all community members, parents, families.
When: Held throughout the year at different locations with different partnering professional organizations. Please check the NPF web site for information. Admission is free but seating is often limited and need to be reserved through the NPF web site.
About: The Nikki Perlow Foundation Speaker Series is a series of free community events held around the state in conjunction with professional organizations like Ashley Addiction Treatment and Maryland Addiction Recovery Center. The purpose of the speaker series is to educate parents, families and the community about drug addiction, signs and symptoms, resources, drug education and prevention techniques and a number of other topics that are important to parents of children of all ages.
Contact: Gary Perlow, Director
Web Site: www.nikkiperlowfoundation.org
Family Recovery Coaching (BALM Program)
Facilitator: Jill Prevas, BSN, FRC
For Who: Any family member with a loved on suffering from a substance use disorder that is looking for help, support and coaching in order to learn to support their addict in a healthy, loving way and also get on their own recovery path
About: Jill Prevas is a certified family coach that offers a family program of recovery that includes “Be a Loving Mirror” (BALMSM) family recovery coaching AND a BALM Comprehensive Education. Addiction impacts the entire family, so family members of the addict or alcoholic suffer from anxiety, depression, being a “nervous wreck” and live life waiting for the other shoe to drop. Jill’s coaching enables family members to transform themselves from that state of being into a calm, compassionate, objective listener and teaches them how to suspend judgement and let go of fears so they will ultimately be able to effectively communicate and be more authentic with their addicted loved one.
Fee: First consultation is free. Recovery coaching fees can be discussed with Jill directly
Contact: Jill Prevas, BSN, FRC
410-458-9919 or email@example.com
Web Site: www.familyrecoverysupport.com
Annapolis Resources for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
For: Parents, families or loved ones in need of assistance, direction or support in regards to finding addiction and/or mental health treatment resources for someone suffering from addiction, substance abuse or a mental health disorder
When: Wednesday nights
Where: Mariner Bay Apartments
Conference Room, 11th Floor
1910 Towne Center Boulevard
Annapolis, MD 21401
Contact: Joani Gammill, Interventionist
443-926-4519 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Site: www.interventionrn.com
Addiction Connections Resource of Harford County Parent Support Group
For: Family members or loved ones suffering through alcohol/drug addiction
When: Every Thursday evening
Time: Begins at 6:30pm
Where: Harford County St. Matthew’s Church
1200 Churchville Road
Bel Air, MD 21014
Contact: Doe Ladd
443-417-6406 or email@example.com
Web Site: http://acr-helps.org/support.html
Compassionate Friends Online/In Person
For: Anyone who has lost a child, grandchild and/or sibling. This is a safe place for anyone who has lost someone to a substance use disorder of any age or any cause. There are several locations around Maryland and over 700 throughout the United States.
What: The mission of The Compassionate Friends: When a child dies, at any age, the family suffers intense pain and may feel hopeless and isolated. The Compassionate Friends provides highly personal comfort, hope and support to every family experiencing the death of a son or a daughter, a brother or a sister, or a grandchild, and helps others better assist the grieving process.
Contact: Local contact Barbara Allen moderates two local meetings
Barbara is the Executive Director of non-profit organization James’ Place Inc. (www.jamesplaceinc.org)
410-480-2334 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Magnolia New Beginnings Online Support Groups
For: Parents and families of a loved one suffering from a substance use disorder
What: An online resource and 24/7 online meeting platform
About: Magnolia New Beginnings, a non-profit entity offers family of loves ones the ability to speak with other family members who are going through the same pain on a 24-7 basis on our Facebook pages. In addition to having 21 state chapter groups, we also offer a grandparent’s group, a grieving families group, a spiritual group and a health and wellness group. We have done extensive research and have comprehensive files in each group to help guide members to resources for help. If you love someone affected by substance use disorder and want to talk to other’s that are feeling the same, please reach out to us.
Web Site: The main page on Facebook can be accessed by the following link: www.facebook.com/groups/beforethepetalsfall/
Maryland Coalition of Families
About: The Maryland Coalition of Families (MCF) is the statewide family voice for families of children and adolescents with mental health, substance use and/or other behavioral health needs. MCF advocate for improving services in all systems of care for children, youth and families. MCF provides information and resources, one-to-one family support, trainings, support group and advocacy.
What: MCF recently hired “Family Peer Support Specialists” throughout the state of Maryland. The main purpose of the FPSS is to help families navigate the substance use disorder system, lead them in the right direction and provide possible resources for family members and loved ones in need of treatment and support services.
Contact: 10632 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 234
Columbia, MD 21044
Main Office: 410-730-8267
Maryland Youth Crisis Hotline: 800-422-0009
Web Site: www.mdcoalition.com
If you or someone you know is in need of help because of drug and/or alcohol abuse or addiction, please give us a call. Maryland Addiction Recovery Center offers the most comprehensive dual diagnosis addiction treatment in the Baltimore, Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or your loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (410) 773-0500 or email our team at email@example.com. For more information on all of our drug addiction and alcohol addiction services and recovery resources, please visit our web site at www.marylandaddictionrecovery.com.