Nar-Anon Family Group can help families find peace of mind

BRATTLEBORO — In his youth, in 1979, a young man decided, along with a schoolmate, to try marijuana. In our state, it was illegal to possess pot, which only added to the mystique of the drug.

The young man and his friend continued to smoke throughout middle school and into high school, eventually moving on to the more sophisticated forms of dope, such as using bongs and pipes of hashish.

At the end of his senior year, following graduation, he sought higher education, college. It wasn't too long afterward that his use of marijuana was, in his mind, not enough "stimulation," so he escalated into a different drug arena - cocaine. This brought excitement and pleasure to the young man; still, illegal and alluring.

One drug followed the next, and now eight years had passed by. Unable to find his peace, the young man confessed his overwhelming and undermining full-blown addiction.

His parents were blindsided by this admission. "Not our son."

Wanting help, he found a detox bed within an inpatient rehabilitation program, where he begin his chosen road to recovery.

All the while, the parents, baffled and unknowing, did not know where to turn. They started to ask questions, to make frantic phone calls to try to help their son with his recovery.

Little did they know, they had become as "sick" as their son.

By now, emotionally exhausted, they were in the encompassing throes of the family disease of addiction. It was then that they read a notice, an advertisement for Nar-Anon Family Group, a local support group for relatives and friends of drug abusers.

The parents began attending Nar-Anon. But at first they found it difficult to speak about their family's difficult "problem." It was just too embarrassing, yet they knew they had found a place for release and support from this very troubling issue.

They made a commitment to the group, attending meetings as often as possible and eventually they opened up about their son.

If this story sounds all too familiar to you, do not despair: Help and support exists in our community, and you, too, can find peace of mind in the company of others who understand your situation.

Nar-Anon Family Group may be able to help you by attending their ongoing support meetings:

When: 7 p.m.; every other Monday. Next meeting: Monday, Nov. 20.

Where: Arch Clinic of Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine, 8 University Way, Suite 11, Brattleboro.

Facilitator: Susan Avery, FMI. Cell: 802-345-4145. Email: [email protected].

This Voices Letters from readers was submitted to The Commons.