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Grief Recovery After Substance Passing Group Available in Portage

Joey, Debby Smith’s only son died of an accidental heroin overdose 7 years ago on October 2, 2014. Devasted, Debby sought counseling, but realized she was looking for something more to help her through her grief. She then discovered GRASP - Grief Recovery After Substance Passing. GRASP is a support group for those who have lost a loved one to substance abuse. This group offers a stigma-free safe-space that allows participants to be open about their losses without any judgement.

“Unfortunately, there is a stigma that people who die from substance abuse are bad people and had bad parents, partners, and friends,” stated Debby. “This is simply not true.”

GRASP works to eliminate those beliefs and help those affected understand that no one is to blame, and everyone does their best. This group offers understanding, compassion, and support for those who have been affected by addiction and overdose. Others in the support group understand the pain because they have suffered a similar kind of loss but have found love and connection through others who have experienced the same.

“It is really helpful for me to be around people who had been through similar situations and who understand,” Debby said.

Debby found GRASP online, but since there wasn’t a local group, she decided to start one here in Portage County. The group meets every first and third Monday of each month at 6pm

Debby also recommends the Families Anonymous Program for those struggling with family members addicted to drugs or alcohol or those with behavior-related issues. Addiction is an illness that affects every member of the family. She is one of the facilitators for this 12-step fellowship program. In these meetings individuals can learn how to become part of the solution rather than the problem. Any concerned individual is welcome to attend these meetings and learn more. Families Anonymous also suggests attending five meetings before making the decision of whether the program is right for you. Meetings are held every first and third Wednesday of each month at 6pm at United Methodist Church of Kent at 1435 E Main St Kent, OH 44240.

There is no cost to attend either of these meetings. Contact Debby Smith at 330-296-7071 for the GRASP meeting location and additional information.


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