Red Legacy to offer support groups for families, friends of addicts

Published 9:28 am Thursday, October 22, 2015

Red Legacy Recovery will host Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous support groups for families or friends of addicts. Groups will meet at 6 p.m. on Mondays beginning on October 26 at 713 E. Elk Ave.
“Addiction impacts the whole family; they suffer as well, and a lot of times they don’t deal with their own issues,” said Executive Director Angelee Murray. “This helps them so that they can be a better support to those that are suffering with addiction.”
Classes are free, anonymous and open to all regardless of faith or absence of faith, Murray said.
The twelve step programs focus on turning issues over to a higher power, whatever that may be.
According to the Nar-Anon website, “We only ask for the wisdom and courage to see ourselves as we really are, to do something about ourselves with the help of a Higher Power as we understand this, and for the grace to release our addicts with love and cease trying to change them.”
Murray believes this forum will help support those that are affected by addiction that statistics do not represent.
“Upper East Tennessee and Appalachia is No. 2 in nation behind Alabama for opioid abuse,” said Murray. “So if we’re No. 2, imagine the number of families that are affected. The effect multiplies exponentially. It’s not just a family problem; its a community problem.”
The friends and families of addicts have witnessed the downward spiral of loved ones into the prison of substance abuse, and while support groups are increasing for addicts, those for their relatives are not as common, Murray said. Witnessing a loved one, especially a spouse or child or parent, spiral into the prison of substance abuse can make people feel helpless, depressed, angry and resentful, she added.
“This is a way to get with other people going through the same thing and helps them identify how it’s affected them emotionally, spiritually or physically,” Murray said. “You can never be a service to your friend who is an addict unless you take care of yourself first, which is especially true for close relationships. It impacts the entire family.”
Murray said they wanted to have a combined and open Al-Anon and Nar-Anon class because the two addictions often overlap. She said the situations are often the same and the twelve steps are the same for both.
“This is in a central location that serves the general population and also serves the families of our clients,” said Murray. “I believe we are the right spot for these groups to exist and grow.”

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