Family members and loved ones of those going through addiction recovery are on journeys of their own, dealing with feelings of helplessness and guilt, in need of both practical and emotional tools for healing. To aid them Children’s Aid and Family Services has recently added a Family Support Specialist to their staff who will offer help in recovery navigation.
Thanks to funding from the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, the Family Support Specialist joins the agency’s Center for Alcohol and Drug Resources’ Recovery Support Program. “Addiction can tear families and lives apart,” says Taleesa Cline-Moultrie, Family Support Specialist. “It’s all so unfamiliar and scary watching a family member go through something so difficult, so we’re here to take their calls and help them get through the process both emotionally and practically.”
Family Support Specialists, who often have personal experience dealing with substance misuse in their own families’ lives, will provide education and find resources. “Loved ones of those going through recovery are in a place even they don’t recognize,” says Taleesa. “In that position, you may say the wrong thing or lose your cool. Talking with someone who has been there and can be both a shoulder to cry on as well as pointing them in the right direction for more resources, is a much-needed source of support.”
“Without Taleesa’s guidance and advice I think I would have been in a very, very bad place. She is my angel.”
A concerned mother gets help
Edith is a mom who has connected with Taleesa. Her son, whom she found after he overdosed about a year and a half ago, has been in and out of recovery ever since. “When you see someone who you love very much in such a bad place you suffer as much as they do,” Edith says. “I was completely lost and had no idea what to do, so having the support of Taleesa to guide me through the process has been amazing.”
Edith appreciated the support in making decisions and offering resources for recovery options for her son, but also the focus on loved ones like herself who are left feeling guilty and often, alone. “You wonder how did this happen, what did I do wrong?” says Edith. “Talking it through with someone who has been through a similar situation and who tells you it’s not your fault and that you deserve to be happy really saved me.” Making a nearly impossible situation less burdensome has made a big difference in her life and in her outlook for her son’s future. “Without Taleesa’s guidance and advice I think I would have been in a very, very bad place,” says Edith. “She is my angel.”