From opioids to meth, many communities are seeing the negative effects of drug abuse. A local support group said this problem not only impacts drug users but their families as well.
Parents and Families of Addicts in the Eau Claire area is a support group aimed at fighting the negative impact of drugs.
“I became a parent of an addict the same way everyone else does. I raised my child to follow all rules. I raised him right, we were brought up in a great family in the community and he made the choice to try and use drugs,” said Tammy Hoppe, Group Co-founder.
On Sunday, the organization hosted its first annual summer picnic in Carson Park.
“We’re here to celebrate that we have each other for support and also we’re to mourn some that we’ve lost to addiction,” said Hoppe.
Tammy said she co-founded this support group after seeing her son suffer from drug addiction.
“When he went down that road, he started out small and graduated to the heavier stuff and heroin became his choice,” she said.
With a growing drug epidemic in many local communities, organizers said it’s important that families impacted know that they’re not alone.
“There’s people sitting in their house today probably crying their eyes out or wondering where their missing loved one is. Waiting for that phone call that no parent wants to get. no parent wants to get that final phone call and that’s what we’re here for,” said Hoppe.
“We really feel that there’s more and more of this any people need to be aware that they don’t have to go through it alone. I went through it alone,” said Melissa Kent of Rock Falls.
Kent said she discovered the group after her daughter beat drug addiction but still participates in group activities because she wants to help raise awareness.
Hoppe said many families are seeking help as group membership is growing.
“We have quite a few members. We’ve grown to 377 members. We’ve grown over 60 members in the last 2 weeks,” Hoppe said.