Someone you know may be an addict; in fact you might love an addict yourself.

Addiction to illegal substances — yes drugs — destroys families. Using is personal to each individual, often believing their actions affect only themselves. This is not surprising because addiction to drugs is often described as an egocentric disease.

As the user destroys his life, those people around him or her are drawn into the insanity. Thus, they become “sick” too.

For the addict, hope is on the horizon. More services are becoming available and while stigma still exists, I believe people in our community are becoming educated, more knowledgeable and interested in making a difference by helping others who find themselves ready to take the plunge into recovery.

That said, I want to focus on hope for family and friends, who need just as much support as the people they love suffering from the disease of addiction.

Many years ago, when addiction crossed over my threshold and entered into my family, I had no clue. I expected it to be a minor inconvenience interrupting our lives. I was sadly mistaken.

After several years of feeling broken and exhausted, I learned about a support group for myself called Nar-Anon Family Group, and when I discovered not one chapter existed within a 50 mile radius of Brattleboro, I learned more about bringing a chapter to our community — one that has actually been in existence for over 20 years now.

You should also be aware of Nar-Anon in Keene, a chapter of which has been in existence for over five years now.

If you are damaged and suffering behind closed doors, not knowing where to turn, all as the result of a loved one with the disease of addiction: please consider attending our support group.

Make a commitment to attend at least six meetings and draw from the experience of those of us who can offer education, support and hope (and most importantly a listening ear). Although nothing can cure addiction, simply stated, you can develop tools for survival from this insidious disease.

Nar-Anon Family Group meets each Tuesday at 7 p.m., Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Meeting Room B.

Nar-Anon Family Group also meets each Thursday at 7 p.m., St. James Church; enter through the back entryway.

For more information call Susan: 802-345-4145.

SUSAN AVERY

59 Whetstone Drive

Brattleboro