FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – What started as a dream to help others find healing has now become a reality. It’s been several months in the making, but the first public meeting of “The Mom of an Addict” support group is here.
Starting Tuesday, June 18, the group will meet every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Chapel, 2505 W. Hamilton Road, Fort Wayne. And it’s not just for moms. The group is designed for any parent or grandparent of someone suffering from addiction.
Jen Hope is the driving force behind the effort.
Like man other parents of addicts, Hope felt isolated and helpless while her son battled addiction.
As she worked to learn more about treatment options and find support, she realized there weren’t any local groups designed specifically for the parents and families of addicts.
“There are some 12-step groups in town, but their focus is not directly on the parent and child relationship,” The Mom of an Addict co-founder Jen Hope said.
It wasn’t long before she decided she wanted to change that.
In the following months Hope met Jeni Streeter, whose son is a recovering addict, and Donna Wray who lost her daughter to addiction earlier this year.
You can watch their stories below:
Together, and with the help of a few others, the moms developed a plan to make a special support group for people like them a reality.
“Our meetings are focused on [the parent-child relationship], because it’s unique,” Hope said. “We just want everyone to know that we’re here. We’ll educate them a little bit about the disease, but the main thing is that we’ll just love them through it.”
Meetings will offer education, resources, time to share personal experiences, and hopefully healing for moms, dads, and grandparents of those struggling with addiction – many of which never thought they’d be in this situation.
“You can parent and do all the things and check off all of the boxes of volunteering at school, taking them to church, being at their sporting events. You can do all those things that everyone tells you is a good parent, but addiction can still take a hold of your child, and it’s not your fault,” Hope said.
Hope said she also hopes raising awareness about how common addiction is will help eliminate the negative stigma.
“The more people talk about it, the more people will start to understand how many people this is affecting and how many lives are being lost,” Hope said. “Hopefully if we just keep talking, more parents will feel comfortable doing the same, and over time the stigma can be dropped.”
You can learn more about The Mom of an Addict and its meetings here.
You can also follow the group’s progress and keep up with any changes through its Facebook page.