Philadelphia, PA-NJ - The start of a new year is a time for reflection, for making plans and setting goals, for looking with hope toward what the future may bring.
But for millions of Americans, a new year often brings anxiety that life as they know it may never improve.
That is the reality of addiction.
The Family Resource Center, a free, online resource, exists to provide hope that 2017 won't be another year filled with anguish, regret and the devastating fear of loss for people struggling to assist a child suffering from drug and alcohol addiction.
The center's message is simple: Help is available, and there is no shame in reaching out.
The Family Resource Center (http://www.familyresourcectr.org) was created by the Treatment Research Institute, a nonprofit translational research and policy organization based in Philadelphia, that champions substance use and abuse research. Since 1992, TRI has worked to develop, incorporate and transform research into proven results for combating addiction and its social stigma, and educating the public about all stages of addiction - prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery.
It is a known fact that addiction is a treatable, medical illness. Yet, across the U.S., one in 10 adolescent children who experiment with drugs and alcohol still become addicted.
That illness often breeds confusion, anger and a feeling of hopelessness in the lives of anyone trying to help course-correct the child's destructive spiral - whether a parent, sibling, relative, legal guardian, educator, counselor or friend.
Beating the illness often is as much about addressing the personal toll that such a fight takes on the mental and physical well-being of the individuals providing support.
"Addiction is not a private disease. It touches everyone who interacts with a young person struggling with addiction," said Abigail Woodworth, TRI's vice president of public affairs. "We strive to give those people the knowledge they need so they know that hope is not lost and that this is a fight that can be won."
Sometimes it's as simple as making sure that the information received is accurate and on point.
While technology today means that caregivers and loved ones can instantly access a wealth of advice online, there remains the danger of misinformation and the damage it can cause.
The Family Resource Center is a directory of verified and vetted resources supported by scientific data and research and authored by national experts that can provide valuable information about a wealth of critical topics:
• How to prevent drug or alcohol use;
• How to intervene early if you suspect a loved one is becoming addicted;
• How to locate treatment facilities and find the right treatment approach;
• How to best support adolescents undergoing addiction recovery.
More so, the website provides encouragement, reassurance and access to toll-free helplines and local support agencies to ensure individuals take better care of themselves while they fight to save someone they love.
If someone you love is suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, please contact the Treatment Research Institute and the Family Resource Center for assistance, support and the resources needed to help you prepare to assist them on the journey to recovery.