ADDICTED: Support for families of those addicted - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

ADDICTED: Support for families of those addicted

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Like babies born addicted, there are many people being dragged into this World of addiction without a choice. 

 In part 5 of our series "Addicted," 21 News investigates how this opiate and heroin epidemic can tear a family apart, and how some are getting support to keep it all together.

Anna Howells of Boardman says, "It is a family disease. When somebody has that addiction, the whole family becomes sick. We do become sick. We become consumed with the addict, and then all the family members suffer."

Howells says she was devastated when she first learned her son Dennis was using Oxycontin and then Heroin. She describes shock, anger and confusion. But says it was Alanon, a group more commonly known for helping families of alcoholics in the past, now also helping families of opiate users that saved her life -- counseling her, and helping her understand what Dennis was going through before he died.

"It taught me to set my boundaries. It taught me to detach in a loving way, and then our relationship changed, and we sat down, I put my anger aside, and I was able to sit down and listen to him," Howells said.

Not matter how you are pulled into this epidemic of addiction, the first step is acknowledging it isn't something to be ashamed of according to Howells.

"It's a disease. And we need to stop treating it like a disgrace. We need to change the stigma of drug addiction. People need to not be ashamed of it -- because that's why people don't reach out and go get help."

Howells is now joining others like Kimberly Webb of Howland to form the group S.O.L.A.C.E. Of the Valley, which stands for "Surviving Our Losses And Continuing With Everything." The group gives family members support and guidance on how to best help those addicted.

Kimberly Webb of Howland is a member, "That pretty much sums it all up because a lot of us have lost people and our passion is to get the word out so we can help our addicts -- or it's educating people how if they don't have insurance there's places for them to go. My son hasn't had no insurance, and he's at the Absolute House, and he's doing real well."

Pam Eastman of Warren is also a member of the S.O.L.A.C.E. Group., "The support system teaches you how to take care of yourself. How to set your boundaries with your addict, and you have someone to turn to."

One major step forward the families say, has been lawmakers stepping in and recognizing it's a public health crisis, and people are dying.

 Approving the use of Narcan for families, first responders and others will now help save lives in the event of a heroin or opiate overdose, and Kimberly Webb who already lost one loved one to an overdose says she's thankful another family member has been saved.

"I think it's a wonderful thing. If it wasn't for Narcan I wouldn't have my son today."

Here are several resources you can contact:

"SOLACE of the Valley" (Mahoning and Trumbull County)
Next scheduled meeting:
Sunday, May 18th, 6:00pm
At the Coalition for Drug-Free Mahoning County
755 Boardman-Canfield Road
Unit B-2
Boardman, Ohio 44512

"Meridian Community Care"
(330) 797-0070

"Neil Kennedy Recovery Clinic"
(330) 744-1181

* There are also numerous other resources in the valley to help those addicted and to help give support to families of those addicted.

  • More From wfmj.comMore>>

  • 6 hurt when truck hits Dairy Queen near Pittsburgh

    6 hurt when truck hits Dairy Queen near Pittsburgh

    Friday, July 25 2014 1:01 AM EDT2014-07-25 05:01:26 GMT
    PITTSBURGH (AP) - Authorities say six people were injured and a gas line was damaged after a truck crashed into a Dairy Queen in suburban Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said the incident occurred shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday in Penn Hills. A witness tells the newspaper that she was able to help an employee get out through a window after a cash register fell onto her. That employee, the manager and four men in the truck were taken to hospitals. The newspaper says firefighters secur...More >>
    PITTSBURGH (AP) - Authorities say six people were injured and a gas line was damaged after a truck crashed into a Dairy Queen in suburban Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said the incident occurred shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday in Penn Hills. A witness tells the newspaper that she was able to help an employee get out through a window after a cash register fell onto her. That employee, the manager and four men in the truck were taken to hospitals. The newspaper says firefighters secur...More >>
  • UPDATED

    Ohio State marching band director fired

    Ohio State marching band director fired

    Thursday, July 24 2014 8:49 PM EDT2014-07-25 00:49:54 GMT
    Ohio State University fired the director of its celebrated marching band on Thursday amid allegations he knew about and ignored "serious cultural issues," some involving rituals where students were pressured to march in their underwear or participate in sexually themed stunts.More >>
    Ohio State University fired the director of its celebrated marching band on Thursday amid allegations he knew about and ignored "serious cultural issues," some involving rituals where students were pressured to march in their underwear or participate in sexually themed stunts.More >>
  • Witness: Teen's plane didn't show obvious distress

    Witness: Teen's plane didn't show obvious distress

    Thursday, July 24 2014 7:38 PM EDT2014-07-24 23:38:16 GMT
    The family of an Indiana teenager who crashed in the Pacific Ocean during an around-the-world flight says he knew the risks and had prepared for them.More >>
    A man who saw a plane flown by an Indiana teen who was killed during an around-the-world flight attempt says the aircraft was flying low but didn't show any obvious signs of distress before diving into the ocean off...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms