The Family Restored support groups help families of those in addiction recovery

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) – Addiction affects more than just the user. Families and loved ones bear the brunt of the disease as well.

That’s why a support group to help families of those in recovery is working to make their services more accessible.

After their loved one in active addiction entered into recovery three years ago, Jack Myers and his wife found support in The Family Restored organization

“Those meetings have just been super valuable, for us as a family, in terms of just learning about the disease and how to deal with it,” said Myers.

The Family Restored offers multiple services for those close to individuals facing addiction, from meetings with guest speakers, to support groups with others going through the same experience.

The organization recently moved their 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday evening family support group meeting from Essex to Turning Point in Burlington to increase accessibility.

“A lot of the families that we had coming, it seemed to be an inconvenient location for them, and we just thought that there would be more people, more opportunity in Burlington,” said group facilitator Corey Owen.

Staff say being housed inside the Turning Point building, a center already focused on recovery, aids in the mission.

“We just figured that that would be good exposure and we could work together, and bring something a little different with what The Family Restored does to the Turning Point,” said group facilitator Andrew Juhasz.

Juhasz says there’s a need for it given the substance use crisis in the area.

“The people who are having the issue have loved ones that are also dealing with that, so knowing they have a place to come where can offer some sort of assistance, to us and to them, is beneficial,” said Juhasz.

And for Myers, it’s made all the difference.

“You can feel really isolated and alone, and there’s a certain amount of shame with having someone in your family who’s struggling like that, and then you can go to these meetings, low and behold there are a lot of people who are going through the exact same thing. And where you may have felt isolated before, all of sudden you have the ability to talk to other families, and either draw strength off of them or help provide support to them as well,” said Myers.

Myers says support groups like this one help increase education about substance use and teach families to set boundaries, bringing them peace throughout the recovery process.