Learn to Cope Support Groups
Joanne Peterson founded Learn to Cope in 2004, with a small group of parents, when her own son became addicted to opiates. Her son is in long-term recovery today. What started then, as a single peer-to-peer support group in Randolph, Massachusetts, has grown to include nearly 3,000 members registered nationally. There are chapters in Brockton, Gloucester, Lowell, and Salem. New chapters are planned for Quincy and at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, starting in Fall 2011.
While the cornerstone of Learn to Cope remains these weekly support meetings, the non-profit has become a national model for addiction treatment and prevention programming. Mrs. Peterson and the highly-credentialed Board of Directors are leaders in the field: advising towns on Overdose Prevention, organizing speakers for Awareness Presentations in schools throughout the region, advocating for improved access to treatment for adolescents, among many other education efforts.
Mrs. Peterson has testified at the Massachusetts State House, at the United States Congress, the FDA, and was one of only 19 to testify at the Purdue Pharma federal sentencing in 2007. Her work in the community has been recognized through numerous awards and by two official citations from the Massachusetts Senate and Governor Deval Patrick. She also serves on The Brandeis Center of Excellence Team’s Prescription Pill Monitoring Program.