Easing the burden of addiction, one person at a time

BRATTLEBORO — With the 2022 Vermont rate of 37 opioid deaths per 100,000 people, who among us is asking themselves this question: “Why does Windham County have the distinction of having the highest rate in the state at 56.4 deaths per 100,000?”

No stranger to the long-term effects of the family disease of addiction, we escaped death by opioid overdose - barely.

I am writing today not because I have the answer or even an answer. I am, however, writing because I have the experience to say that one way to work toward that “why” is to consider the family as a whole.

One certain way families can help a loved one challenged by a substance-use disorder is by taking care of one's self. Only then can you learn how to set the boundaries to love them from afar if that is the best healthy option. Always let them know you love them and that you care; be angry at the disease, but not at your loved one.

It's hard, but you can do this.

If you are a family member or a friend of someone struggling with a substance-use disorder, consider reaching out for that support for yourself.

Our Brattleboro community is compassionate and amazing and has supported NarAnon Family Groups locally since 1998. I know this to be true as my commitment to facilitating these meetings continues today. Even through Covid, we have continued to meet via Zoom every other Thursday at 7 p.m.

You only need to reach out and contact me for further information: [email protected] or 802-345-4145.

Communities are responsible to supporting their own, and awareness is essential. People, consider this by asking, “What can I do to ease the burden of addiction in the town I love, one person at a time?”

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