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. Mark, himself a recovering addict, now leads support group meetings, and found help for his own family through “Learn to Cope”. His 25-year-old son is an addict as well, and his family was facing a tough situation.
“We were at a complete loss about what to do with my son, after his third suicide attempt, we were lost,” said Mark. “We were going to Al-Anon, which was teaching us how to take care of ourselves, but my kid was living in a tent behind us in the woods.”
But then they found help. “I went to my first Learn to Cope group and felt it was like Al-Anon on steroids,” Mark said. “It had a little more oomph to it, because they taught us how to take care of ourselves, so we then had the resources through “Learn to Cope”, to help him when he really needed it.”
Thanks to the support his family received, Mark’s son is now clean, and helping others.
“He stayed sober for three-and-a-half-years, had one relapse, and he’s been sober over a year now,” said Mark about his son. “I’m opening a sober home, he joined me. I’ve got three 12-step practitioners in a sober home now – with my son. So with “Learn to Cope”, (we’ve come) all the way full-circle, a few years later, with a kid who was basically dead on the streets.”
Now Mark is a facilitator, giving back, and leading “Learn to Cope” support group meetings around the state. “If your kid’s doing good, go to your Al-Anon group, go to your ‘Learn to Cope’ group, and help the next person coming through the door,” Mark said. “That’s how people help each other. That’s how ‘Learn to Cope’ gets bigger and bigger all the time, because people want to help each other, and they want to fight this epidemic, and beat it.”
If you’d like to know more about Learn to Cope, or wish to make a donation, go to their website at learn2cope.org.