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” continues to grow, with more and more chapters forming across Massachusetts, and in other states. Founder and CEO Joanne Peterson says that’s because the need continues to grow as well. “We have 24 chapters across the state – Hudson is the next one starting – that’s the 25th,” said Peterson. “We’ve had people from other states, like Florida, come to Massachusetts, and ask us to train them on how they can start something like this in their community.”
Peterson says the support group meetings held by each chapter are the backbone of helping people deal with the opioid and addiction crisis. “We offer really solid education, it’s not just a room where we complain in a big circle,” Peterson said. “We’re being educated by experts than come as guest speakers. We’ve had legislators talk to us about different bills and laws that are out there, we’ve had probation officials come and talk to us about the probation process.”
The group meetings often provide vital information, right from the source. “Our favorite guest speakers are people in recovery,” said Peterson. “We learn so much from them. Every manipulation, that we might fall for, we’ll hear them talk about it. And you see people shaking their heads – and now we know that maybe we shouldn’t give them that $40 because they owed someone money. They just need that $40 to get another bag of heroin.”
If you’d like to know more about Learn to Cope, or wish to make a donation, go to their website at www.learntocope.org