Families with loved ones dealing with addiction have a new group to rely on for support. Started by 2 mothers whose sons were struggling with substance abuse, "The 4:12 Group" as it is now known was formed. "We started just the 2 of us as a "Naranon" support group and slowly added a few members here and there", Stacey (whose last name has been withheld to ensure her anonymity), one of the original founders said. "We've grown to about 6 regulars and changed the name from Naranon to the 4:12 Group. We found ourselves saying that we would pray for a family and how much stronger we felt as a group. The name "The 4:12 Group" was chosen by members based on Ecclesiastics Chapter 4 verse 12: "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."
"We have a whole list of books and resources to help others." Stacey says that the group itself has a wealth of information to share from their own experiences, which range from what signs to look for if you suspect that someone is using, to where to go for help.
"It's very difficult to navigate when you're in the throes of it. Our group should be much larger, with all of the drug activity in Johnstown in recent years. We just want to be a support for other parents and family members. Drugs and alcohol don't discriminate and it is a very lonely place. You become a pariah among your community. No one bakes you a casserole when your child goes to rehab. More often than not, they pretend you don't exist. We want families dealing with this to know that they aren't alone. I think one of the biggest reasons that people don't seek support is the old myth that if you care about your child they won't do drugs. We have some very caring parents in our group and I can tell you that genetic predisposition, bullying, over medication by doctors and peer pressure are all reasons that kids succumb", she said.
The group meets every Monday night at 7:00 at Bethel United Methodist Church 215 Whistler Street, Hollsopple, Pennsylvania.
All are welcome.
Stacey can be reached for comment or questions at 814-659-0021