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Addiction support available locally

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Those with loved ones suffering from addictions can find support, encouragement and hope through groups that meet throughout the area.

Loved Ones Group meets 6:30 p.m. each Thursday at Blessed Sacrament Church, 305 E. St. in South Charleston.

Parents Against Addiction meets 7 p.m. each Tuesday at Faith Christian Fellowship, 4589 Buffalo Road near Buffalo.

Groups are led by those who have been through the trauma of helping loved ones battle addictions.

Rob Grishaber organizes Loved Ones Group with its ongoing seven-part sessions. As one series ends, the sessions start over using materials by Thurman Edward Hughes, author of "Baffled by Addiction?" Sessions include watching DVDs as well as discussions.

Sessions show how to stop enabling those with addictions while helping them put their lives back together, Grishaber said.

Grishaber attended similar sessions in other areas and found them so helpful that he decided to organize some in the Kanawha Valley.

"It helped me tremendously," he said. "I am the father of an addict who is in treatment right now."

While his son is doing well, it took some tough love to get him this far, he said.

Grishaber also recommends the Parents Against Addiction group organized by Sheila Martin of Eleanor.

Martin said her son was once addicted to prescription pain pills and she searched various places to get him help as she educated herself. He is now 24 with a good job and even talks to others about his previous struggles and the hurdles he faced.

"He has been clean for two years and two months," she said. "It's a God thing."

Martin said she keeps the group going because so many young people have addiction issues.

She said many teenagers are taking prescription drugs instead of drinking alcohol.

"It's a huge epidemic now," she said.

She is also part of a group that goes to see those who are incarcerated due to drug issues and tells them about a 12-step program called New Beginnings.

When a loved one has an addiction issue, the entire family is affected, she said.

"Going through my son's addiction, I had to look at my life as well," she said. "We all have hurts and hang-ups. It's a long process. It's a family problem. The first thing people need to do is educate themselves."

  Aside from working with Parents Against Addiction, Martin is working to get a rehabilitation facility built in West Virginia. It is quite expensive to travel out of state for treatment, she said. Treating those with addictions would also slash the cost of keeping people in jail, she said.

"We need money and we need more people involved," she said. "Parents Against Addiction is a nonprofit organization. We have board members trying to open a rehabilitation center."

To reach Grishaber, call 304-546-8839. To reach Martin, call 304-437-2625.


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