Family Members Discussion Board Registration

There is hope... You are not alone

All of those we loved and lost will never be forgotten

I founded Learn to Cope in 2004 out of desperation to help my son. 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. I designed Learn to Cope to offer others the support and resources that I would have benefited from when my family was in crisis. Today my son is in long-term recovery so there is hope, and I want families to have the support I struggled to find in the beginning of my family’s journey.

Learn to Cope members are people who loved their children deeply, yet still found their families damaged by addiction. Learn to Cope has chapters throughout Massachusetts that meet weekly and are constantly working on prevention and awareness efforts throughout their communities. Meetings feature guest speakers including professionals in the field of addiction who educate us as well as people who have been successful in long-term recovery who offer us hope. Please visit the “Meetings” tab of this website for more information on days, times and locations of Learn to Cope chapters.

Learn to Cope also has a free private online family discussion board forum where members can get confidential support 24/7. This website and forum were formed to support families and educate them on addiction and resources, as well as a place to go when feeling desperate or alone. With over 5,200 members and growing every day, this forum allows a safe places for people who have been there to communicate with one another. Our mission is to support with kindness, care, compassion and empathy. You are not alone in this and where there is life, there is hope. The opinions expressed on this online message forum are those of the writer, Learn to Cope is not responsible for advice given or taken by a member. Learn to Cope is not a substitute for counseling. We are family members, not professionals. It is not recommended to use your full name or the name or personal information of others. We are an anonymous and safe group.

After advocating that family members are many times “first responders” to an overdose, Learn to Cope, supported by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Bureau of Substance Abuse Services, became the first peer-led family support network in the country to train family members in overdose prevention and certify them in the administration of intranasal naloxone (Narcan). Training and enrollment in Narcan administration is available at every Learn to Cope meeting throughout the state of Massachusetts. Overdose prevention and Narcan administration has reversed thousands of potentially fatal overdoses in Massachusetts, keeping the hope for recovery alive for many families.

Young people and communities need to be educated on opioid and prescription drug use. It doesn’t matter what your zip code, education level, or income is; addiction knows no boundaries, it does not discriminate. Addiction can begin with a legitimate prescription or an experiment. No matter how well you parented your kids, they can make terrible decisions at times that can ultimately ruin their future, many of them didn't realize what they were dealing with when they tried it, they know now. Learn to Cope collaborates with many schools, hospitals, community coalitions, law enforcement and fire departments, as well as district attorneys and politicians to plan and facilitate local forums to address the public health crisis of opioid addiction that our country is facing today. Addiction is no longer only a family crisis, it is a community crisis as well.

Stay Strong,
Joanne Peterson
Founder, Executive Director
Learn to Cope

Regional Managers - Contact Information

  • Merielle Paul • 774-256-4268 • Covers the Chapters of Brockton, Quincy, Yarmouth, New Bedford, Taunton and Norwell
  • Marcy Julian • 508-404-3539 • Covers the Chapters of Pittsfield and Holyoke
  • Ry-ann Bonilla • 508-738-5148 • Covers the Chapters of Gardner, Framingham and Worcester
  • Kathy Day • 508-245-1050 • Covers the Chapters of Cambridge, Tewksbury, Lowell, Gloucester and Salem