Addiction in the family: We are increasing community support

Last night’s “Addiction in the Family” event at the B.A.R.N. was a remarkable success. The turnout and participation were incredible. It was amazing to see so many new faces and old friends. Tons of existing support groups were represented. It was so cool to see people in long term recovery sharing their experience, strength, and hope with family members of those still active in addiction.

We shared from different perspectives and found common ground –  nearly all of us are in recovery from something: addiction, being an affected other, mental illness, trauma, eating disorders, and other forms of hell.

Take aways from the night:

  • 78 People attended the very first gathering of this group
  • More than 2/3 of those present indicated they would love for this to be a monthly get together
  • Folks asked about expanding existing programs (including the amazing people of Nar Anon), starting new ones and having them hosted at the B.A.R.N. (Speaking on behalf of the B.A.R.N., we welcome this!)
  • The benefits of yoga and meditation and how they bolster recovery in all forms were discussed and interest is high.
  • The successes of Young People in Recovery were shared and opportunities to be a part of this mission are many (Folks of all ages are welcome to join – the name indicates the mission of bringing young people into recovery).
  • The need for support and programs for children whose family members are in active addiction were highlighted and this is an obvious unmet need. All ideas and input welcomed!
  • We’re hearing that Al-Ateen facilitation trainings are coming to the area and this is absolutely a huge unmet need statewide.
  • The need for greater treatment resources were discussed as were opportunities for advocacy at the state and federal level.
  • The basics needs of early recovery were discussed and challenges like attaining housing were identified.
  • The benefits of Harm Reduction and health services were discussed and the resources of Health Equity Alliance were highlighted

Important Stuff we didn’t get to:

  • B. A.R.N.’s education and advocacy committee – the Bangor Area Recovery Community Coalition (BARCC) is open for all to join/attend. We are local people who seek to increase awareness, reduce stigma, and expand recovery. Meetings are the 4th Monday of every month at the B.A.R.N. at 5:30. Please join us!
  • Recovery coaching is an amazing grass roots movement that the B.A.R.N. is very actively supporting. We have been busy training local volunteers to do outreach and help those in addiction and/or those recently incarcerated to get basic life needs fulfilled and to begin their journey into recovery. All those interested should call the B.A.R.N. 561-9444 and speak with our coordinator, Bob Fickett
  • Volunteer opportunities at the B.A.R.N. are many! We welcome your personal talents and professional expertise! Our volunteer coordinator Sharon Field-Fickett would love to hear from you 561-9444

We need your input, suggestions, concerns and ideas! This is grass roots at its finest. Addiction is a community problem and it takes all of us to support recovery in all of its forms.

Contact: Jim LaPierre Counseling@roadrunner.com

Jim LaPierre

About Jim LaPierre

Jim LaPierre LCSW CCS is the Executive Director of Higher Ground Services in Brewer, Maine. He is a Recovery Ally, mental health therapist and addictions counselor. He specializes in facilitating recovery (whether from addiction, trauma, depression, anxiety, or past abuse) overcome obstacles, and improve their quality of life. Jim offers a limited amount of online therapy to those with very flexible schedules.