By Marcy Julian for the Daily Hampshire Gazette

Senior Western Regional Manager

A group of people gather in a room at Providence Hospital in Holyoke on a Thursday night, chatting as if they are old friends. Someone new enters, a woman clutching a coffee cup, looking around the room as if she is wondering whether she wants to be here. I know that look.

A facilitator greets her, shows her to a seat and she listens to others talk. After a while, she tentatively raises her hand to say it took her son’s recent heroin overdose to get her to the meeting. She says she’s been meaning to come to one for a long time, but was afraid to admit what was going on. Tearfully, she says Narcan saved him.

A woman sitting beside her reaches over, squeezes her hand, and says, “What matters is that you are here now and we are glad that your son is OK. Welcome.”

After the woman tells her story, others share similar experiences, offer kind words and reassurance that she’s done nothing wrong, her feelings are understandable and she’s not alone. She leaves with more Narcan and a renewed sense of hope that, in this group, Learn to Cope, she has finally found people who understand.   Read Full Article