Learn To Cope Provides Support and Resources for Families With Loved Ones Suffering From Addiction

Joanne Peterson, Founder and Executive Director of Learn to Cope

Learn to Cope, a support group for families who have loved ones suffering from drug addiction, was founded in 2004 by Joanne Peterson and consisted of about 30 members. Currently, there are 12 chapters of Learn to Cope across the state of Massachusetts and over 4,000 website members. This organization offers education, resources, support, and hope to members whose children or siblings are active in their addiction.

Learn to Cope does all it can to provide members with the information they need to best handle their current situation. Members at meetings share personal experiences and offer advice and support to other families who are attending. The organization also has both professionals and individuals who are in long-term recovery come to speak at meetings to help members better understand addiction.

For the past several years, Learn to Cope has been offering Narcan training at all their meetings, and distributing the overdose reversal medication to family members who attend.  Narcan training became available to Learn to Cope members in 2010 after Joanne Peterson learned about how it had been available for people on the streets to use when witnessing an opioid overdose. Currently, 35 parents who belong to the organization are certified to train others in how to use Narcan. This training is available at every chapter of Learn to Cope, every week. Having Narcan available has had a huge impact on the lives of many of the members. Since 2011, 16 parents who are members of Learn to Cope have saved their children by administering Narcan during an overdose. This demonstrates that Narcan is an extremely valuable tool to have for individuals and families suffering from an opioid addiction. It is clear that having access to Narcan is not only of great importance but, at times, a necessity.