The effects of opioid misuse have risen to epidemic proportions, not just affecting people struggling with addiction but their family and loved ones as well. In response to this epidemic, local agencies and community members including, Insight Human Services, Stokes Citizens for Safe and Healthy Communities, Stokes Concerned Citizens and Cardinal Innovations Healthcare have partnered to create a place where families can come to receive support. While this group is informal and is not therapy, it’s purpose is to provide a safe and confidential place where families can connect with others and feel supported. The group, Loved Ones Affected by Addiction meets on the second and fourth Tuesday’s of the month from 6 – 7 p.m. at the Stokes Wellness Center in Walnut Cove.
On August 28, Gail Bennet, community advocate, who lost who son to an opioid overdose in 2011 will be present to provide support. Bennet’s son had been to rehab and treatment over the years that he struggled with addiction to first marijuana and then opioids after being injured in an accident. Bennet hopes to reach families that have loved ones struggling with addiction. She believes that by sharing her experiences this will assist them in working through issues that not only affect the person struggling with addiction but their family and loved ones as well. Bennet is a strong advocate who wants communities to understand addiction is a disease that needs treatment and recovery as any chronic disease does. Bennet also hopes she can link families to resources to help a person address addiction and promote long term recovery.