By Mary Blake, WBZ NewsRadio 1030

BOSTON (CBS) – Since its inception ten years ago, a Raynham group called ‘Learn to Cope’ has grown statewide, from one chapter to twelve. In part four of her week long series, “Heroin: from Prescription to Addiction” WBZ’s Mary Blake looks at the reasons behind “Learn to Cope’s” expansion.

“It’s very difficult to walk through those doors. As a parent doing it myself, that was my final admission, acceptance of I had a addict in my family.” Sharon Mathews is a facilitator with the ‘Learn to Cope’ Yarmouth Chapter. Learn to Cope is a peer led support group created by parents, for parents, whose families struggle with addiction.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mary Blake reports

Mathews’ daughter has now been in recovery for two years but prior to that, Mathews’ life was a nightmare. “We were trapped in our house for two years in denial; didn’t want anybody to know what was going on. We were trying to babysit our daughter 24 hours a day and that’s the message I’m trying to pass… that’s my experience of if the longer you hide it, the harder it gets,” says Mathews.

Read More: Heroin From Prescription To Addiction

Jessie C. of Braintree was guest speaker at one of the weekly meetings. At 31, Jesse has been sober now for three years. “You know, I started with drinking and smoking pot. I would take like a muscle relaxer, a painkiller every once and awhile at a party and then I started taking more and more prescription pills,” he recalled.

Jesse credits twelve step fellowships for his success and told the ‘Learn to Cope’ attendees that earning his parents’ trust has been one of his greatest gifts. “Like, I have a key to their front door again, things that I destroyed, you know? All they wanted ever was for me to do well,” he said.

‘Invaluable’ is how several moms describe their Tuesday nights now. “I don’t talk about my son’s addiction in my work life or with most of my friends, you know, you just suck it up and you do your job, but coming here you see people are in the same boat,” said one mom.

Another mom has two sons who have been addicted to prescription pain meds for ten years and confesses it was tough to discover she was an enabler.

“I had a good job. I made good money and I handed them money and I realized I was doing a lot of the wrong things,” she said.

Mathews says parents often ask question questions about navigating the system—details on that coming up.

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