Stacey Karchner, a Family Recovery Life Coach through the BALM (Be A Loving Mirror) Institute, will be teaching a free seven-week Family Recovery Course for residents of Indiana/Armstrong/ Clarion counties affected by another’s addiction/substance use. The course is sponsored by the Indiana/Armstrong/Clarion Drug & Alcohol Commission.

BALM evolved around the fact that those with substance use disorder are human beings and deserving of love just as any other person is. Families learn to become the chief supporter rather than the obstacle, just as they would with any other illness or disease. As a family member it’s important to be a model of recovery, regain peace and calm, believe that the loved one can get well, and learn only to contribute to recovery.

The family role is crucial, and the family can often turn the tide. Research shows when the family gets well, the loved one has a much better chance at getting and staying well. The brains of those with addiction are hijacked by a drug (believing it is needed to survive) and in turn the family’s brains are hijacked into believing they can control or fix, and they can be obsessed with the outcome. The family needs just as much, if not more, recovery than the loved one. The course is a component of the BALM program consisting of 12 lessons.

Lessons include topics such as The Family Plays a Crucial Role, How to Set Boundaries and Use Leverage, Motivational Interviewing, Brief Interventions, Enabling vs Helping, Responding vs. Reacting, Self-Care, Mindfulness and more. Karchner has been a BALM Family Recovery Life coach for nearly five years and has been teaching the course in multiple counties for four years with success.

Enrollment is free and the course will be held from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. every Saturday starting May 1 (excluding May 22 and 29) for seven weeks at the Indiana County Recovery Center, 574 Philadelphia St., second floor, Indiana.

For every person that abuses drugs, four to 10 others can be impacted. As long as there is life, there is hope. To find out more information or to enroll call Karchner at (814) 360-7590.