MANSFIELD — Two new addiction support groups, including an intervention group, are meant to give loved ones of addicts the tools to help get them into recovery.
Family Life Counseling and Psychiatric Services is offering the groups, the Addiction Intervention Program and Addict's Family and Friends.
The Addiction Intervention Program, which started in Mansfield earlier this month, is based on a nationally recognized eight-step program that's proven successful 80 to 85 percent of the time, according to a Family Life Counseling press release.
"It's based on having that family reach out in a supportive and loving way to the addicted individual," said Traci Willis, intervention program and community networking coordinator with Family Life Counseling.
Willis compared the program to a toned-down version of the A&E television show "Intervention."
"That's a little more dramatic," she said. "This is more family-based, and you're pretty much saying the reasons why you love somebody and the memories to try to get them to refer back and talk to the person underneath the addiction."
In step one, a family member schedules assessment, talks about their relationship with the addicted person and determines who the intervention team will be.
The intervention team is made up of three to eight loved ones of the addict, including family members, friends, coworkers, employers, clergy, teachers or medical professionals.
Step two is the orientation to the intervention, with the team learning how to write the letters they will read at the intervention.
Step three is planning, determining where the meeting will be held and what will happen afterward, including the steps if the addict accepts treatment.
Step four is a rehearsal, and step five is the actual intervention.
If the intervention is unsuccessful and the addict refuses treatment, the team reads their "bottom lines," the things they will no longer give the addict, like not giving them money or support.
Step six is the treatment process, step seven is making sure treatment is continuing and step eight is creating a relapse intervention team made up of a few members of the original intervention team in case the recovering addict were to relapse.
The program is open to all addictions, including gambling.
Willis said the program is good for any stage of addiction and any demographic, from teenagers to adults.
Willis said this is the only program of its kind in Richland County.
"It's going to fill a big void," she said.
The Richland County Mental Health and Addiction Services Board committed $47,500 to fund the program, which will cover 100 interventions at $475 each. The program is free for participants.
Joe Trolian, executive director of Richland County Mental Health and Addiction Services, said the board chose to support the program to empower families to take an active role in engaging their loved ones n effective treatment.
"Many families have felt helpless as they have watched their loved ones destroy their lives," Trolian said in a press release. "This will allow the treatment community to tap into one of the most effective resources in helping someone to find recovery, and that is family support."
Family Life will have 14 interventionists working with the cases.
The Addiction Intervention Program is starting in Mansfield, but will expand over the next few months into Family Life's offices in Shelby, Galion, Loudonville, Norwalk, Willard, Danville, Millersburg and Bellevue, although the $47,500 allocation is only for the Richland County locations.
The Addict's Family and Friends is meant to brainstorm ideas about how to get people into recovery, Willis said.
"It's meant to bring together people who care about the addict and who are supportive of getting them back into the community and into recovery," she said.
The group, which Willis calls a "concerned action group," is open to family members, friends, neighbors, first responders, service providers, concerned citizens and advocates.
Willis said it's different from a traditional support group.
"The epidemic touches more people than anyone's probably familiar with," she said. "Bringing all those strengths together to see what we can do."
The group, which is free, meets monthly to highlight successful programs and share advice, personal testimonies and educational opportunities and provide members with action steps to take to get addicted loved ones into recovery.
The group meets at 5 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month beginning this Thursday, Oct. 19, in Conference Room A of Family Life's main campus at 151 Marion Ave. in Mansfield.
For more information on either program, call 419-774-9969.
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