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Addiction course supports families

Beginning today, a “family recovery life coach” will teach a free, eight-week course in Altoona for people who have been affected by someone with a substance use disorder, so that course-takers can better deal with such a problem.

Taught by State College-based Stacey Karchner as part of the BALM (Be A Loving Mentor) Family Recovery Program, the course will be offered from 5:45 to 8:15 p.m. weekly at the Blair County Drug and Alcohol Partnerships office, 3001 Fairway Drive, Altoona.

“BALM evolved around the fact that those with substance use disorder are human beings and deserving of love,” Karchner wrote in a news release. “At the core of BALM is loving kindness.”

The course will show students that family members need to be models of recovery, to regain peace and calm, to believe that the loved one can get well and to learn ONLY to contribute to recovery, the news release states.

Too often, those who love an addict are “obsessed with trying to control or fix (their loved one and are) obsessed with the outcome,” the release states.

Topics include the role the family plays, leverage and boundaries, motivational interviewing, enabling vs. helping, responding vs. reacting, self-care, mindfulness and brief interventions.

Family members can learn to speak and act “without anger and judgment,” and to become supporters, rather than obstacles, according to the news release.

For more information, call Stacey Karchner at 814-360-7590 or email her at skarchner9@gmail.com.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 814-949-7038.

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