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Opioid Addiction Resources for Families

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Statistical Brief indicates that Massachusetts leads the country in opioid-related ER visits. The Department of Public Health 2016 Data Brief: An Assessment of Opioid-Related Deaths in Massachusetts includes the following statistics:

    • Overdose kills 5x more MA residents than car accidents;
    • Almost 2000 died from opioid overdose in MA in 2016;
    • 75% of these deaths were from heroin or illicit fentanyl, not prescribed painkillers, yet they often served as the gateway.

When families are first impacted by a loved one’s addiction to opioids, it often comes as a shock. You try to make sense of it and wonder how you could have missed the signs and behaviors. It can be a time of guilt and fear, not knowing where to turn for help. Families who have seen their loved one go through one or more treatment programs still struggle with hope, and question how much they can actually do to prevent a relapse. This Massachusetts mother talks about her experience with her son’s addiction: A Mother's Story

Sometimes, your most important resource – your own health and emotional wellbeing – is neglected through worry and thinking only about your family member.

The resources below can provide support to relieve the fear that you and your family are alone with heroin addiction. You can learn more about how to cope, to discover strategies to stay well yourself, and to nurture your relationships with other family members as you face this challenge together. If you would like assistance and support, give us a call and one of our EAP consultants will be glad to help.

Families Anonymous Recovery Fellowship is a 12 Step fellowship for the families and friends who have known a feeling of desperation concerning the destructive behavior of someone very near to them, whether caused by drugs, alcohol, or related behavioral problems.

Tel: 800-736-9805

Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing (GRASP) was founded to help provide help, compassion and understanding for families or individuals who have had a loved one die as a result of substance abuse or addiction.
Meeting List

Information for Families of Individuals At Risk of Opioid Overdose is supported by the Department of Public Health, MA Executive Office of Health and Human Services with links to peer support and a Help Line, and information about family intervention programs.

Learn to Cope is a support organization that offers education, resources, peer support and hope for parents and family members coping with a loved one addicted to opioids or other drugs. Family Support Meetings take place in Brockton, Cambridge, Cape Cod Yarmouth, Framingham, Gardner, Gloucester, Holyoke, Lowell, New Bedford, Norwell, Pittsfield, Salem, Taunton, Tewksbury, Quincy, Warwick RI, and Worcester.

Massachusetts Al-Anon and Alateen is a 12 Step fellowship to help families and friends of alcoholics. Alateen is part of Al-Anon and is for young people affected by another's drinking. Al-Anon Parents Meetings (Bedford, Bourne, Burlington, Framingham, Revere, Westport, Westwood, Weymouth) Meeting List
Tel:508-366-0556  or Email:

Massachusetts Substance Abuse Information and Education Helpline provides free and confidential information and referral for alcohol and other drug abuse problems and related concerns. This service helps people of all ages, and assistance is available in multiple languages.
Tel: 800-327-5050 or TTY 888-448-8321

Nar-Anon Family Groups is a 12 Step fellowship primarily for those who have known a feeling of desperation concerning the addiction problem of someone very near to you.
Tel: 800-477-6291 or Email:

Parents Helpline - Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, closed on weekends and holidays. 
Tel: 1-855-DRUGFREE (1-855-378-4373)

SOAR Natick is a peer support group, formed in Natick, Massachusetts in 2014. Bi-weekly meetings are held at the Morse Institute Library in Natick. “Our hope is to help one another deal with the agony of a child ill with Substance Use Disorder, to raise awareness of addiction, reduce stigma, support recovery, and sponsor community outreach initiatives.” Meeting dates and times

Boston Public Health Commission

Tel: 617-534-5395 or TTY 617-534-9799 or Email:

  • Connect to Services (PAATHS)
    Providing Access to Addictions Treatment and Hope (PAATHS) is a one-stop shop for anyone looking for information about, or access to, substance abuse treatment services.    
  • Community Prevention Initiatives
    Offers a wealth of resources such as Overdose Prevention Training.

Opioid Addiction Stigma
Information on the State Without Stigma initiative from the Massachusetts Department of Health

Opioid Overdose Prevention and Reversal Fact sheet from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution 
Opioid Overdose is the leading cause of injury death in Massachusetts. In order to save lives, the Department of Public Health operates a pilot program to distribute a medication called Naloxone that can reverse an opioid overdose.

Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing teen substance abuse and helping families impacted by addiction. Valuable information such as Guides and Resources and fact sheet From Rx to Heroin that details progress from abusing prescription drugs to injecting heroin. 

Rx to Heroin is a fact sheet that details one teen's progression from prescription drug to heroin use, and offers information and a resource.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Federal agency whose mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities. Helpful articles include:

Addiction Recovery Management Service (ARMS) Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA

Tel: 617-643-4699 or Email:
ARMS specializes in supporting teenagers and young adults between the ages of 14 and 26, and their parents, as they deal with their substance use and related problems. ARMS for Parents: Coaching, Coping, & Communication is a support program for parents whose teen/young adult (age 14-26) is struggling with substance abuse. This group is free of charge and parents may join at any time.

Charlestown Family Support Circle, provided by the Charlestown Substance Abuse Coalition, Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Community Health Improvement, assists Charlestown youth and families by connecting them to resources and supports in and around their community.

Children of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, a program of the Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps, supports children of alcoholism and substance abuse by advocating for them in community forums and developing appropriate supportive educational groups for them throughout Boston.

Family Support and Education Group
Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Program, McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA

Monthly support to families, second Saturday of every month, 1:00-5:00 pm, free: Room G17, Proctor Building
Monthly support to siblings, second Saturday of every month, 1:00-3:00 pm, free: Room G17, Proctor Building
Contact Joe Scholl, LICSW Tel: 781-799-3974

Recovery Research Institute (RRI) Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
RRI presents evidence about addiction recovery for those seeking treatment and others. Watch videos at the bottom of the home page: “A Mother’s Story: the struggle of facing her child’s opiate use” and “Beautiful Boy: More Than an Addict”, and visit the page Are you a relative?


For more information or to discuss addiction concerns please contact Partners Employee Assistance Program at 1-866-724-4EAP. 

In case of emergency, please call 911 or your local hospital emergency service.

This content was last modified on: 09/22/2017

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In case of emergency, please call 911 or your local hospital emergency service.

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