Free virtual addiction support program helps families navigate the holiday season

TULSA, Okla. — While the holiday season brings joy for many, those struggling with addiction are entering a particularly difficult time of year. With increased stressors such as family conflict, financial strain and loneliness, many turn to drugs or alcohol. When this occurs, family and friends may feel helpless, scared and unsure of how to help or where to find information.

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To help, OSU’s National Center for Wellness & Recovery is offering a free, 12-week virtual support program that spans the holiday season. Beginning Monday, November 8, Hope Network will help participants better understand addiction, learn coping skills and become a healthier resource for their loved one.

“Too often, family members are told their loved ones have to hit “rock bottom” before true change can occur,” said Dr. Kelly Dunn, NCWR executive director of treatment. “We are here to tell you that is not true. There is hope.”

The group, led by an expert from NCWR, meets virtually each Monday from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. for 12 weeks total. Participants can join at any point in the 12-week program and are not required to attend all sessions.

“When you have a family member or loved one who is suffering from substance use addiction, it can take a toll on everyone involved and their relationships,” said Melissa Baker, counselor at the NCWR Addiction Recovery Clinic. “We offer new approaches that can provide different perspectives on how people are impacted by addiction and how changing your way of thinking and interacting can make a positive change.”

Hope Network empowers family members with strategies that encourage loved ones to seek recovery and creates a space for healing and wellness for them during a challenging journey. Professional family support can assist in mending relationships, encouraging forgiveness and improving communication skills.

With guidance in addressing past conflicts, NCWR professionals can help participants through feelings of grief, guilt, anger and mistrust. These skills set a foundation for preventing relapse for loved ones in recovery and building trust between family and friends.

To register, or for more information about Hope Network, contact the NCWR Addiction Recovery Clinic at 918-561-1890 or HopeNetwork@okstate.edu.