On the third Tuesday of each month, from 7- 8:30 p.m., family-members and friends who have had their lives upended by a loved one’s addiction will find refuge in the Family Addiction Network (FAN). Based in Long Branch, FAN provides a setting for attendees to give voice to their feelings and fears with people who understand all too well what they are going through.
FAN depends on Unity Place of Monmouth as a vital resource to assist those trying to find treatment for a loved one. In return, Unity Place refers family members to FAN, emphasizing that addiction is a disease affecting and afflicting the entire family, and therefore support and counseling are needed for all in the addicted person’s circle of family and friends.
Susan Marco, the co-founder of FAN, began the group after her step-son developed a drug problem. Through her own experience and that of her husband, she understood that parents and family members often do not know where to turn when a loved one becomes addicted.
Fan is peer-based, volunteer organization. Its meetings open with a presenter followed by a sharing session. That sharing portion is guided by a mental health therapist, whose professional experience benefits the group, Ms. Marco said.
Ms. Marco is a great believer in taking service-oriented approach to counter the chaos that generally accompanies addiction. She is currently working to establish a grass-roots effort to promote recovery.
To learn more about FAN, go to: www.familyaddictionnetwork.org/