BOSTON (CBS) – The WBZ Cares Campaign continues for the month of October.
Each month, WBZ Newsradio 1030 highlights a worthy non-profit organization, and tells the story of what it does for the community.
For the month of October, WBZ profiles “Learn to Cope”, a support organization, based in Taunton, offering education, resources, and peer support for families coping with a loved one addicted to opiates or other drugs.
Every day, 78 people in the U.S. die from an opiate overdose – 29 from heroin alone. “Learn to Cope” Founder and CEO Joanne Peterson never thought addiction would affect her immediate family, but then her son’s experimentation with prescription drugs, led to a heroin addiction.
“I had lived with addiction as a kid with an older brother who suffered from addiction, so I was a sibling first, and I really believed this would never happen to any of my children, said Peterson. ” I thought I knew so much about addiction that I thought I could educate more than we were in the 70’s, and it still happened anyway.”
So Peterson looked for answers to her family’s problem. “I was just looking for help and resources, but there really wasn’t much,” she said. “And I needed to know what to do, where to go, how to pay for it. So for about three-years our family suffered alone, trying to figure this out, and hitting brick walls.”
So Peterson formed a family support network to join with others facing a common challenge. “I had an e-mail address called Learn to Cope, where I’d go on websites trying to educate myself, and I didn’t want to use my name, so I was learning to cope,” said Peterson. ” It was the year 2001 when I was searching for these resources, so that’s how it ended up with the name, “Learn to Cope.”
Today Joanne Peterson’s son is in long-term recovery.
If you’d like to know more about Learn to Cope, or wish to make a donation, go to their website at learn2cope.org.