Celebrating Families program offers a new fight against substance abuse


12 step programs, peer counseling and therapy is much of what to do to try and stop addiction is one-on-one based.

And too often, the rest of an addict’s family can fall through the cracks, or are left out of the loop.

We’re introducing you to a new program showing great results, by including the whole family from the start.      

A group of volunteer facilitators are learning, and preparing to celebrate families.

They will work out of the Hillcrest Bruce Mission, serving an Ashland neighborhood with two housing complexes.

Once a week for 16 weeks, they will meet with families where drugs or alcohol have disrupted any positive structure.

They will start with a family meal, and then break into groups.

Director Linda Firebaugh told 13 News, “We put little kids in one place, teens in another, adults in another place.

We’ll talk about nutrition, communication, how to get along with others, how not to be bullied.”

A key goal of the program is to break the generational cycle of dependency.

“Kids who might not realize they are part of the whole problem will get the help they need to break the cycle,” Volunteer Sean Daniels told us. 

The program leaders know the families in the neighborhood, and that’s how they will begin friendly recruiting.

Down the road, they may recruit through drug court.

That way, they say they will know that family has to be at the meetings.

The last half hour, the facilitators and families come back together.

They hope the programs great successes in California and other states will happen here. 

The “Celebrating Families” program is setting up shop in Ashland, Greenup and Grayson.

Family meetings begin August first.

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