‘Be part of the conversation’

New support group forms for parents of children suffering from substance abuse

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A new support group that aims to help parents, grandparents and guardians whose child has struggled with substance abuse or addiction has been launched in central New Jersey.

The “Parent Partnership” support group, which serves all of central New Jersey, meets in person every Monday at 7 p.m. in the basement of St. Paul’s Church at 218 Nassau St. in Princeton, said Michelle King, who leads the group.

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There is no charge to attend, and it is not necessary to register in advance, King said. The Parent Partnership support group is not affiliated with the church, which allows it to meet in the basement.

The support group was launched last month and has attracted attendees from Pennington and South Brunswick Township, but it is open to anyone who lives in central New Jersey – from Hightstown to the Hopewell Valley and points in between, King said.

“The Parent Partnership wants to help alleviate parents’ stress and the impact on their daily lives as a result of their child’s addiction,” said King, who lives in Lawrence Township.

“The goal of the group, which is parent-led, is to help parents in managing their own daily challenges. They hear from parents who have also faced similar challenges,” she said.

The parent leaders of the group do not have the skills or expertise in addiction recovery, King said. Occasionally, guest speakers attend the meetings and offer information based on their skills or expertise.

The central New Jersey Parent Partnership support group is part of the “Be a Part of the Conversation” non-profit group, which is based in Ardmore, Pa. It is one of 21 Parent Partnership support groups that meet in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

“These meetings help parents to find support and connect with others whose loved ones have either struggled with substance abuse or addiction, or who are currently in recovery,” said Kim Porter, the executive director of Be a Part of the Conversation.

Through the weekly meetings, parents become informed, empowered and find resources and outside help when needed, Porter said. The support group helps navigate a healthier path forward for families, she said.

More information about the Parent Partnership meetings is available at https://conversation.zone/partnership.

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