• Fri. Aug 5th, 2022

Family support group providing safe haven in Binghamton

ByJulie J. Helfer

Jul 11, 2022

Names are painted on cardboard headstones to remember the lives lost to addiction in the past year alone. It’s not an easy project to pull off, but it’s a way for the “rainmakers” at Truth Pharm to honor the faces you see.

Just a room away, families gather with Truth Pharm staff to discuss ways to better support their loved ones with addictions and how to deal with them themselves.

“Trying to support someone and love someone while they have a substance abuse disorder isn’t always easy. It’s not always ideal and it’s really difficult. And so while you’re trying to help them, you don’t know how to help yourself,” said Family Support Coach Kathy Staples.

The group opens its doors twice a month to anyone who might need their support. It’s a safe place to share stories and find ways to better live with the challenge of addiction.

Many family support coaches have been directly affected. Laurie Saeman has lost her son.

“My feeling is, not one more. I want to help others understand their children and what they are going through, and let them know that I understand what they are going through. It’s extremely important to me,” Saeman said.

So far, the groups have been cohesive, as the stigma begins to fade for families. And if there are still challenges to be met, these meetings are already going a long way.

“Our hope is that they know they are not alone, that they can share their emotions and experiences, what they are going through and sit in the same room with other family members who share their experiences,” the Truth Pharm family said. support coach Diane Semo.

“Now they have a place to come where they can talk openly. They don’t have to worry about who’s going to judge them,” added support coach Susan Link. “Judging, I think, is one of the hardest things for family members, and we’re here to support them in whatever they need.”

Truth Pharm Family Support Groups are open to everyone and meet on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month.