Awareness

Parent Support Network Available

The people at the national non-profit Partnership for Drug-Free Kids have created programs that may help you, and help you help your family. These programs are available free of charge. 

The Partnership's Parents Toll-Free Helpline (1-855-DRUGFREE or 1-855-378-4373) is a nationwide, non-crisis, support service that offers assistance to parents and other primary caregivers of children who want to talk to someone about their child's drug use and drinking. 

The Partnership has also developed a peer-to-peer Parent Coaching program. All volunteer Parent Coaches have been personally affected by substance abuse. Their experience vary widely: some have children in recovery; some ave lost loved ones; some are in recovery themselves. What they have in common is deep compassion for anyone who is trying to deal with a loved one's substance use. 

Parent Coaching through the Partnership happens by phone. Typically, coaches and parents seeking support talk once a week over the course of five to six weeks. Coaching is not psychotheraphy. Coaches are fellow parents who have "been there" and want to make others' lives a little easier. 

Both the Helpline and the Parent Coaching program use concepts based in CRAFT - Community Reinforcement and Family Training. Both the Helpline and Parent Coaching program use the 20 Minute Guide which was developed by Center for Motivation and Change, to make CRAFT and motivational interviewing techniques understandable and useful to all kinds of families. 

To talk to a Helpline parent specialist, please call 1-855-DRUGFREE or visit drugfree.org/helpline. The Helpline is open Monday through Friday, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm ET. Outside those hours, please leave a message or use the Contact Us form to identify a time when you can talk. 

If you are interested in coaching, please speak with your Helpline specialist, or indicate your interest by completing the Contact Us form. 

 

I Wish I Had Known - An exploration of addiction and its impact on our community

Previous Event
Tue, Sep 29 - 7:00pm

Willowbrook High School - Villa Park, IL

Open to the Public

Please join us at this important event that is focused on sharing information and tools on dealing with addiction. Sponsors include DuPage High School District 88, the Villa Park Police Department, State Representative Deb Conroy, St Paul Lutheran Church in Villa Park, Christian Church of Villa Park and Christ Church of Oak Brook.  LTM team member and resource table will be present.

Find more information in the attached flier.

Sending A Message About Drug Use With A Fake Graveyard

  Faux tombstones line a lawn in Medinah, Ill. It's a campaign to heighten awareness about an epidemic of heroin and pain pill overdoses — a prelude to International Overdose Awareness Day on Aug. 31. Cheryl Corley/NPR

In the suburbs of Chicago, a stark reminder of the toll of heroin and prescription-pill addiction is making the rounds as a lawn exhibit. One hundred fake tombstones and banners are set up at a new location every week as a precursor to International Overdose Awareness Day.

In Medinah, a suburb northwest of Chicago, the houses are swanky and the lots are large. The country club has long been home to headline golf tournaments. On a recent day, across the street from a neighborhood park, Felicia Micelli stands next to a long line of painted mock tombstones that she and others have placed on her expansive lawn.

"What we have out here are a visual of how many people die in America a day from overdose," Micelli says.

Felicia and her husband, Lou Micelli, started a foundation named for their son after his death two years ago. Louis Theodore Micelli was popular and an athlete who got hooked on painkillers and later heroin. He was 24 years old when he died. Micelli says people need to pay attention to what she calls an overdose epidemic.

"It just angers me and it makes me want to cry," she says, "because maybe my son would still be here if people were talking about it and doing something about it."

The heroin trade on Chicago's West Side is strong. It is especially booming after Mexican drug cartels made the city a Midwestern hub, and it's been a silent scourge for many suburban areas. Kathie Kane-Willis, the director of Roosevelt University's Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy, says the traveling tombstone idea was inspired by the Names Quilt Project that activists started long ago to fight AIDS.

"During the 1980s and 1990s, there was so much shame associated with it, people didn't want to initially own that," Kane-Willis says. "[And] that was this community; that was happening to these people. And the idea about this was to say, 'No, this is happening all around you. You just might not see it.' "

So advocacy groups, like the one led by Chelsea Laliberte, have worked to bring the display to different neighborhoods. Laliberte says when her younger brother, Alex, died from an overdose at age 20, it devastated her family.

"Of course there are areas where other drugs are more prominent than heroin, but here in Chicagoland, heroin is our issue right now and so are prescription pills," Laliberte says. "Because it's happening. It's taking lives all the time."

The tombstones, she says, are meant to shock people. Marian Huhman, a University of Illinois professor who specializes in public health social marketing campaigns, says it can be difficult to measure the effectiveness of such programs.

"But I want to emphasize that [it] doesn't detract from the importance of these kinds of grass-roots efforts that are a very inexpensive way to get an important public health message out there," Huhman says.

Back at Felicia Micelli's, cars do slow down as drivers take a look at the lawn exhibit.

"Well, sorry that you find yourself having to display this, but good to create awareness [because] problems are everywhere," says Mike Gilley, a neighbor walking by who stopped to talk.

The last stop for the traveling tombstones will come at the end of the month, at a park where activists and families will give out resources and commemorate those who have died from an overdose.

Originaly posted at www.npr.org

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