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Helping the family of the addicted

Loved Ones Group starts sessions tonight

A group designed to help those whose family members are in the thrall of drugs or alcohol will start meeting tonight and go for six weeks. It meets at 7 p.m. at the First Church of the Nazarene in Ironton.

Called the Loved Ones Group, the sessions were designed by Dr. Ed Hughes and The Counseling Center in Portsmouth. It focuses on educating loved ones on how to recognize addiction and develop effective approaches to help the person with a drinking or drug problem

Rob Hale, pastor of the Ironton First Church of the Nazarene and president of the Ironton Area Ministerial Association, said the group is not for the addict, rather it is for the mother, the father, the grandparents who are raising the children of the addict.

He explained that the meetings are different than an Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meeting. It is geared towards teaching families the do’s and don’ts when it comes to appropriate behavior and how to cope.

“The people that have come to this group have found out that they are going to meet people just like them. So, they will feel comfortable. They will find that they are not the only ones out there in a situation like they are in,” Hale said.

The meetings are free. No enrollment or personal information is required. The group is confidential.

Ronnie Nunley, a certified prevention specialist, moderates the group.

“She has been doing this for 25 years,” Hale said. “This is really a big deal.”

Hale said that the meetings are purposely scheduled for Wednesdays while the church is having service so that people attending the meeting can send their kids or grandkids to child care.

“A lot of grandparents are raising their grandchildren because their kids are incarcerated or in trouble. One of the reasons they give for not coming is ‘What do I do with my grandkids?’ Well, we have that covered” Hale said.

The church is located at 2318 S. Fourth St., Ironton. For more information, call 740-532-3413.