"The meeting starts at seven-thirty, but it’s 6 pm and it’s already packed!” The children and family members are excited to join the KIDS Support Groups, where they are able to spend time among peers and counsellors who understand their situation at home and the daily struggle of living with an addict.
The family is fundamental to the success of treatment. When addiction takes hold on a person’s life, “it takes a village.” Addiction destroys families - It causes shame, embarrassment and pain. But with the help of the KIDS Support Groups, there is hope for children who live in a family where one or more parent is addicted to alcohol or drugs. They are able to gain a better understanding of their loved one’s addiction and learn how to support the recovery process. Most importantly, they develop a network of support for their own suffering and learn how to deal with all the negative consequences of addiction.
One mother told us of her daughter’s participation: "One thing I noticed is that she was very afraid of being alone. She could not be alone in a room in the house. Even to go to the bathroom, someone needed to go along. If not one came along she would wet her pants. But after she started attending KIDS Support Groups, this changed. Today she goes to the bathroom alone and is in other rooms in the house alone with tranquillity."
The groups in Southern Brazil continue to thrive and we are pleased that participation is so strong. E. Ristow, Coordinator of the Support Groups for Blue Cross Brazil told us “I realize more and more the importance of offering KIDS Support groups for family and children of drug addicts who come to our meetings. They need a proper place, where they can use their own language, where they will be respected and cared for. Also, I feel very satisfied when I see children who are in orphanages or shelters participating in the KIDS Groups. That to me is very special because I'm sure the KIDS Groups will do well for them."
We also wanted to share with you that this summer the Blue Cross of Brazil celebrated 20 years of heartfelt, dedicated service to helping families and individuals who suffer from addiction-related harm. The network in Brazil is growing and strong and we look forward to another 20 years to come!!
Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to sharing more news with you in our next update!