My Recovery Day also offers a family resource to treatment centers, sober living facilities and other recovery organizations called the ME-WE Program. This program supports the individual in recovery by providing education to family members and loved ones along with a group support forum that is online.
WHO: Parents, spouses, other family members or significant others who are concerned about a loved one’s use of alcohol, other drugs and substances.
WHAT: The Education Session provides information covering a variety of topics to help family members understand addiction as a brain disorder, how addictive behaviors impact the family, and healthy ways for family members/concerned others to respond to their addicted loved one’s behaviors without taking responsibility for them. To receive the greatest benefit from the program it is recommended that you attend all 12 sessions presented, along with The Support Group.
The Support Group provides a caring environment for those seeking insight and support for making healthier choices for themselves and those they love in response to the negative impact of a loved one’s substance use disorder.
It’s estimated that there are 46.3 million Americans ages12 and older who meet the criteria for substance use disorder. Addiction is a disorder which has no racial, ethnic, geographic, economic, religious or educational boundaries. It is truly an equal opportunity disease. The progressive negative impact that addiction can have on the person who suffers from the disorder is life changing. Eventually, those behaviors are recognized by their family members and other people around them. What’s not so visible or always understood are the subtle yet profound effects the substance use disordered person’s behaviors can have on those who love them and the systems of which they are a part. Studies suggest that for each person who suffers from substance use disorder at least 5 to 6 other individuals who are primarily their family members are significantly impacted by the consequences and related issues of their loved one’s addiction related behaviors. That means there could be approximately 246 million individuals whose lives have been impacted.
In 2019 a Gallop Poll survey reported that 46% of adults in the United States have had to deal with substance use disorder in their family. Untreated substance use disorder in America contributes to divorce, child abuse and neglect, increased health care costs, crime and hundreds of thousands of premature deaths annually. The current annual economic loss due to substance use disorder is estimated to be well over $850 billion dollars in the United States. Years ago, the medical community reached a consensus that addiction is a complex chronic brain disorder, yet people who suffer from addiction continue to be blamed for their disease. Well intended professionals continue to view those individuals as being morally bankrupt or as having made a conscience choice to become addicted.
This is the primary contributing factor that those who suffer from addiction are more likely to be arrested or to die prematurely then to receive adequate treatment. Only 1 out of 10 persons who need treatment for their addiction receive treatment.
Very little progress has been made in removing the stigma projected on those who suffer from substance use disorders. Thoughts like, “it can’t happen in my family” or “it’s just a phase they’re going through” can and do fuel years of denial, during which time overwhelming emotional and financial difficulties take their toll on the family members. Without help, family members can continue to be traumatized by the physical and emotional disruption and their unhealthy attempts to stay connected to their loved one by trying to manage his or her addiction related consequences.
Family members, especially the parents of the addicted person can be pulled into their own dysfunctional behaviors in their attempts to stay connected with their loved one. They often believe that their loved one’s disorder/addiction is their fault, that they therefore must be able to fix it, and if they fight long enough and hard enough, they can control their behaviors which only further distorts and reinforces a very unhealthy enmeshed relationship. The ME WE Family Education and Support Group Program is designed to meet the needs of the family members and concerned others who are troubled by their loved one's addictive use of alcohol, other drugs and substances.
THE ME WE FAMILY EDUCATION AND SUPPORT GROUP PROGRAM
The ME WE Family Education and Support Group Program offers an opened ended twelve session group resource for family members and others who are concerned about a loved one’s alcohol or other drug use. Each two-hour weekly meeting consists of an Education Group and a facilitator lead Self-Help Support Group.
The Education Group offers a different topic each week intended to assist the participants in their understanding of substance use disorder/addiction and its impact on the family. This information helps the family members and concerned others reestablish healthy boundaries, positive communication, behavioral responses and support with their loved one by teaching them appropriate tools and skills.
The facilitator lead Self-Help Support Group is not a therapy group although what participants gain can be very therapeutic and restorative. It is not a12 step community-based support group. Nor is it connected with such groups. It offers the opportunity for participants to engage and connect with their peers in a safe and supportive forum where they recognize that they are not alone. It encourages self- care and reinforces the understanding and acceptance of those things they can and cannot change.
Although participants are encouraged to participate in one full round of the 12-week rotation they are not limited to 12 sessions. Participants are welcome to use the program as an ongoing part of their individual support program.
The program is currently conducted online using the Zoom meeting format. Participants can join the meeting via their computer, I-Pad or smartphone. Registration is done via email. Once registered the participant will receive weekly zoom invitations which they will use to connect to the weekly meeting. Following each meeting those who participated receive an online evaluation which they are requested to complete. Participant will remain on the invite list until they request by phone or email to be removed from the registration list.