We all know that an addiction doesn’t just affect one person. It can cause great devastation to their inner circle as well. This includes close friends, co-workers, siblings and, very often, parents. With the opioid epidemic wreaking havoc across the country, you can imagine how much “collateral damage” occurs when a young person overdoses, gets jailed or (worst of all) loses their life. Because of these instances more and more family support groups are emerging, particularly ones that focus on women and mothers.
TheFix.com recently published an article that covered this trend and the healing powers of groups such as these. One in particular is based in Plainville, Massachusetts and calls itself Unconditional Love. These are moms who meet every Saturday to discuss just how painful coping with the opioid crisis can be.
Since forming four years ago, Unconditional Love has become one of the most well regarded female family support systems on the east coast. Hundreds of strong women have passed through its halls, with stories that cover every stage of the crisis.
Founder Robin Hamlin made it her personal mission to organize this type of outlet, particularly because she experienced the devastation of addicted child firsthand. Her son Brian ultimately became a casualty of the crisis, passing away back in 2014.
“Families that are battling this disease, we suffer in silence,” Hamlin explained on the site. “The fact that we can have love and kindness from somebody makes a world of difference.”
Her story mirrors so many other mothers across the country. Brian had not been drawn to drugs or alcohol during his youth. He lived a very clean life until a college sports injury led to a powerful painkiller subscription. Hamlin chronicled the ups and downs of that experience, making a point to honestly share her story with all members of the group.
A common trait that many of the mothers have is self blame. Though they had no hand in their children’s addiction, the fact that it occurred (and for some, led to death) leaves them with an overwhelming sense of guilt. And though the support group can’t always relinquish those feelings, most attendees have found it extremely therapeutic and a way to talk through their emotions.
“We all have our own journey and our own ways of dealing, and I got something from each and every one,” group member Linda Irvin added. “It helped me get up in the morning and do something, even if it was just get up.”
At inneractions, we too offer support for the families of those caught up in addiction (as well as people battling dependencies). In our opinion, it is a crucial step in the healing process because no one deserves to deal with this pain alone.