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OxyContin vs. Heroin.

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OxyContin vs. Heroin:
“Substance abuse is like a balloon:
If you press in one spot, it bulges in another.”

OxyContin_Vs_Heroin

Changing Lives is sadly all-too-aware of the huge increase in our kids using, becoming addicted to and dying from Heroin use. This “once taboo” drug has become commonplace among suburban teens—your kids, neighbors and friends. Here’s one reason why.

This post reprinted from Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
A new study finds that OxyContin abuse has decreased now that the painkiller has been reformulated to make it more difficult to misuse. Many people who abused the drug have switched to heroin, the researchers report in the New England Journal of Medicine.

OxyContin vs. Heroin
The study included more than 2,500 people who were dependent on opioids, who were followed between July 2009 and March 2012. During that time, there was a 17 percent decrease in OxyContin abuse. In 2010, the company that makes OxyContin introduced a new version of the drug that is more difficult to inhale or inject.

During the same period, heroin abuse doubled, ABC News reports.

“I think the message we have to take away from this is that there are both anticipated consequences and unanticipated consequences to these new formulas,” lead researcher Theodore Cicero of Washington University in St. Louis said. “Substance abuse is like a balloon: If you press in one spot, it bulges in another.”

OxyContin users switching to Heroin
The study found almost one-fourth of participants were able to abuse OxyContin despite the reformulation, and 66 percent switched to heroin. The article notes that a small bag of heroin can cost as little as $5, compared with an 80-milligram dose of OxyContin, which can cost up to $80 on the street.

“Our data show that an abuse-deterrent formulation successfully reduced abuse of a specific drug but also generated an unanticipated outcome: replacement of the abuse-deterrent formulation with alternative opioid medications and heroin, a drug that may pose a much greater overall risk to public health than OxyContin,” the researchers wrote. “Thus, abuse-deterrent formulations may not be the ‘magic bullets’ that many hoped they would be in solving the growing problem of opioid abuse.”

RELATED:
> Suburban Teens Hooked on Drugs
> Addiction to Prescription Medications
> Monthly Review: Addicted Child, Suburban Teens Hooked on Drugs, Siblings
> Heroin Abuse and Addiction
> Addiction to Prescription Medications



RESOURCES:
>
Recommended Books and DVDs for families of substance abusers and addicts
> Low cost, No cost Alcohol and Drug Treatment Directory
> Drug Addiction and Alcoholism Recovery Resources for Friends, Families and Employers

Why Don't They Just Quit? What families and friends need to know about addiction and recovery." by Joe Herzanek
Get the help you need today.
Why Don’t They Just Quit?
What families and friends need to know
about addiction and recovery

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Utah Heroin, Utah Opiate, Opiate Addicts, Utah Heroin, Utah Opiate, Opiate Addicts
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YES!!! I am an Addicts Mom.

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Yes!!! I am an addict’s mom.

Yes! I am an Addict's Mom.
~written by one of the Moms online who has such wisdom to share with us all. If you are that woman and would like to “make yourself known” please contact us at ChangingLivesFoundation@gmail.com. Thank you and God Bless!

I am an addict’s mom
I stand before you able to state without hesitation that Yes, I am an addicts mom. I have learned to look past those judgmental stares, sensing what you are thinking, that I must be “one of those Moms.” That somewhere, somehow, I made some horrific choices that sent my child into the depths of hell. I am here to tell you that the choices my child made are his own and his alone. This nightmare is far from what I wanted for my child. Just like everyone with children, there were big dreams and hopes for my child.

Yes, I am an addict’s mom,
I have held it in for too long, hiding my pain, hiding the truths, trying to hide the the hell that is addiction from a society that is very quick to judge before they understand the disease. Hiding from a Society that will, look past that dirty strung-out child sitting out in the cold, shaking their heads, mumbling words of disgust under their breath. A society that would sooner sweep them “under the rug” and pretend that it’s not an epidemic, that can and will eventually affect every family in one way or another.

YES!!! I am an addict’s mom
Do not pass judgement on me and do not label me a “bad mom.” Before you pass judgement on me Know the hell I am living, know the pain I endure. Nothing you say, or the beliefs you may feel about my addict or of the mom that raised him, can hurt me more then the pain I have already put myself through. I have spent many sleepless nights
wondering where I went wrong, what could I have done differently. I am here to say, I did nothing wrong and I
couldn’t have done anything better. I gave as much as I could. This war we fight reaches out to every depth of society, It can be felt among the poor and the rich, the nameless and the famous, this country and that country. Addiction pays no mind to color, race, creed or financial status. Rich or poor, it holds no prejudice toward who it affects.

Society needs to open its eyes. Know that every day, OUR children are dying. Every day more and more children are being lost.

Yes I am an addict’s mom,
I have come to terms with the choices my child has made, can you?

I cry, I grieve, I yell, I hate, I love, I care, but most of all I HOPE.

AND I WILL FOREVER LOVE

Some of us already walk the line.
_________________________________

Share

The Addict's Mom
Changing Lives is proud to partner with The Addict’s Mom
to bring our readers even more support, hope and friendship.

MORE from The Addict’s Mom:
-The Addict’s Mom. She just couldn’t do it anymore.
-Overcoming difficulties living with an addict
-Expectations for our loved one’s recovery vs. reality
-Visit The Addict’s Mom Website

RELATED ARTICLES:
> Read about Al-Anon: The Critical Role of Al-Anon in Family Addiction Recovery
> Addiction: “I had NO idea what was happening to my daughter in-law”

RESOURCES:
>
Recommended Books and DVDs for families of substance abusers and addicts
> Low cost, No cost Alcohol and Drug Treatment Directory

> Drug Addiction and Alcoholism Recovery Resources for Friends, Families and Employers

Why Don't They Just Quit? What families and friends need to know about addiction and recovery." by Joe Herzanek
Get the help you need today.
Why Don’t They Just Quit?
What families and friends need to know
about addiction and recovery

> Paperback
>
Kindle
> Audio Book CD (6 hrs. 54 min.) (LISTEN TO SAMPLE)
> Audible Audio (6 hrs. 54 min.) Download


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Monthly Review: Addicts Don’t Want to Die, Grandparents as Parents & more

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Monthly Review: May – June 2014
Addicts Don’t Want to Die, Grandparents as Parents, Drug Abuse in Older People, Set free from Addiction? and more.

Addicts don't want to die
 

We’ve gathered some recent posts for you to enjoy (Addicts Don’t Want to Die, Grandparents as Parents, Drug Abuse in Older People and a popular “Ask Joe: Can someone be totally set free from alcohol or drug addiction?). Thanks for being part of our Changing Lives Foundation Community.

Addicts Don’t Want to Die

~ Written by an “anonymous addict’s mom,” posted to the “I Hate Heroin” Facebook Community Page the day following the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman (reprinted with permission). This post was extremely popular—with one reader commenting that it was the best post she had ever read! In case you missed it, here is the link below.

It’s easier to think that drug addiction happens to other people, to them, over there. Reality tells us that it happens far more often than we want to believe. It’s a false sense of security.  READ MORE
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Grandparents as Parents,
Fifth Child:
The Turbulent Path That Led to Parenting Our Child’s Child

Fifth Child: grandparents as parents

~By Lynne R. Gassel

Parents don’t plan on their children becoming meth addicts. They don’t plan on burying their children and parents don’t plan on raising their children’s children. Lynne and her husband Stu have experienced the intense heartache and ultimately, the satisfaction of such life experiences.  READ MORE
~Reviewed by Judy Herzanek, Changing Lives Foundation

Lynne Gassel

“God made a good decision.” The true story of a mother’s love for her family,
her sacrifice and selfless journey into parenting—again.


____________________________________________________________________________

Drug Abuse in Older People

Drug Abuse in Older People

Drug Abuse in Older People


Recognizing the signs of alcoholism or other addictions in ourselves, or others, is always difficult, but there is one segment of the population in which the signs may be particularly easy to overlook.
Older people are increasingly likely to be affected by addiction, but their needs are often missed because of the assumption that addiction is something that only affects younger people. READ MORE



_________________________________________________________________________________

Can someone be totally set free from alcohol
or drug addiction?

Can Someone Be Totally Set Free From Addiction?

First let’s define the problem. Alcohol or drug dependency shows up as a loss of control over the ability to use socially. It’s been called a chronic relapsing disease that gets progressively worse over time if not arrested. It is fatal.  READ MORE

__________________________________________________
Our latest addiction resource:

Help for Families Battling ANY ADDICTION.

Why Don't They Just Quit METH? 2 DVD Set

Why Don’t They Just Quit METH? Families need help too.
(Roundtable Discussion 2-Disc Set includes bonus feature)

Answers for families facing addiction for the first time!
Yes, meth addicts DO recover and families can and do get better.

This DVD is for families dealing with ANY drug or alcohol addiction (not just meth).
TO PURCHASE OR LEARN MORE

ALSO AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

With appreciation to our Changing Lives Supporters who made this filming possible,
and to the following for your excellent contribution:
> Tonya Wheeler (Executive Dir: Advocates for Recovery)
> Trish Frye (Program Dir: Rise Recovery)
> Michael Connely: (Dir: Odyssey Training Center)
> Dr. Nicolas Taylor: (Taylor Behavioral Health)
> Warren and Colleen
> Brandon Stiller, Ann Theis, Josh Stanton: (Open Media Foundation)
> Karen Steenekamp: (Open Design, LLC)
____________________________________________________________________________________________

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RETURN:
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Addicts Don’t Want to Die, Grandparents as Parents, Drug Abuse in Older People

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Addicts Don’t Want to Die

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Addicts don't want to die

 

I don’t know about you, but lately I feel simply overwhelmed with information—specifically information and misinformation, opinions and conflicting opinions regarding drug addiction.

Everyone seems to have their personal  judgements and answers to the problem.

Following a number of recent deaths of high-profile celebrities due to overdose, there has been a deluge of blog posts, newscasts and articles. Many of these have been judgmental, hurtful and hateful. They have also generated some very well-written, passionate comments from family members who have “been there” and speak from the heart. We reprint one of our favorites (with permission), so eloquently written by an anonymous addict’s mom on the “I Hate Heroin” Facebook Community page.

This post reinforces the universal truth that we strongly support in our book “Why Don’t They Just Quit?” —that addiction is a disease which affects the mind, body and soul. Successful recovery needs to address all three. There is no quick or easy solution. But recovery IS possible and families DO get better. Never give up hope!
~Judy Herzanek/Changing Lives Foundation
__________________________________________________

Addicts Don’t Want To Die

~ Written by an “anonymous addict’s mom,” posted to the “I Hate Heroin” Facebook Community Page the day following the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman (reprinted with permission).

It’s easier to think that drug addiction happens to other people, to them, over there. Reality tells us that it happens far more often than we want to believe. It’s a false sense of security.

Chances are that someone you know is addicted to drugs right now, you just may not realize it.

Or you do know, but you hide their addiction because of the social stigma.

Or you don’t hide it, but you shame them instead.

Or you don’t shame them, but you slowly phase them out of your life because you don’t want to be around them anymore or because you just can’t do it anymore.

Or you keep them around, but talk about them behind their backs, discuss how sad it is that they refuse to get help, vow to be better than they are.

Or they do try to get help and sometimes they get better for a while.

Or they relapse and die just like he did yesterday.

The trouble with drug addiction is that it really isn’t about the drugs, no matter how much most people seem to believe that. Drug addiction is a means to an end. It begins usually as a way to try something new, to try to get high, to try and transport yourself somewhere else, to try and just feel better for a minute.

Most drug use is self medication for the things that people either can’t or won’t cope with in real life. The root of most of all that? Mental health conditions, the huge piece of this issue that we find ourselves ignoring all too often every time drugs are involved.

Nancy Reagan taught us all that drugs are bad. D.A.R.E. programs taught us that users are criminals, they are bad people. No one ever bothered to tell us that the vast majority of them were in need of help from a mental health system that largely doesn’t exist.

And you know what happened?

People believed them. I can’t even begin to tell you all the things I saw flying through my newsfeed yesterday in the wake of his death. Proclamations that he was selfish, that he was a waste, that he should have been happy because he was rich and famous. People who decreed from the mountaintops that if he would have just tried harder, he would have been better. That it’s his fault that he died.

In reality, he struggled with depression most of his life. He got clean. He was recently in rehab.

Addicts don’t want to be addicts.

Addicts don’t want to die.

Addicts don’t want to throw their lives away.

Addicts don’t want their children to grow up without parents.

They just want to feel better. They just want to feel normal. They just want to stop feeling everything else for a little while.

Addicts are people, just like you and me.

Addicts come in all forms, dependent on many different things, drugs just being one version of dependence.

The problem is that our system is limited, laboring under the illusion that drug addiction is a criminal issue, a medical issue on the fringes that can be fixed with proper rehab. That all ignores the fact that drugs aren’t the problem…what led that person to drugs in the first place is the problem. The drugs are just a means to an end.

Rehab doesn’t fix addicts. It treats the physical symptoms of withdrawal.

Prison doesn’t fix addicts. It just puts them in a cage for a while.

Even death doesn’t fix addicts. It just leaves the people who love them here, forever wondering how different things might have been.

“Addicts don’t want their children
to grow up without parents.”

The only way to really deal with addiction is one that is multi-faceted, one that makes us uncomfortable. It is messy and complicated and takes a lifetime of effort. It involves relapses and second chances and third chances. It involves support, sometimes sponsors. It involves therapy and counseling until whatever the root cause is has been revealed and addressed. It involves consideration of not just the physical withdrawal, but the emotional withdrawal, the social withdrawal, the psychological withdrawal. It involves a mental health system with adequate resources. It requires support instead of judgement.

And sometimes, even when all those things exist, it fails. It fails because addiction can take people and swallow them whole. It can rob them of everything they value, everyone they love. It can strip them of everything they care about, rob them of reason and logic. It can convince them that they aren’t worthy, that they have failed not just themselves, but everyone else. It tells them that they are broken and irreparable. Then it shoves them back down and does it again.

Our society says it failed because they didn’t try hard enough, because they were selfish, because they were stupid.

How exactly is saying things like this going to help anyone?

The short answer—it isn’t. It just allows us to believe that if we try hard enough, if we care about other people enough, if we are smart enough, we can avoid addiction. Our false sense of security hurts those who need help the most.

Never mind the damage done to the people they leave behind.

To those who claim Philip’s death isn’t tragic, I ask you to think about his children. I’m sure they would disagree with you.

Until you’ve been there, you can’t know what it is like.

Until you’ve watched someone you love try and claw their way out only to be dragged back in again, you can’t know what it is like.

Until you’ve seen someone throw everything away just to feel better for a moment, you can’t know what it is like.

Until you’ve dealt with someone desperately in need of help who turned to self-medicating, you can’t know what it is like.

Until you’ve had to tease out where the line between believing in someone and enabling them is, you can’t know what it is like.

Until you’ve had to make choices no one should ever have to make, you can’t know what it is like.

“Until you’ve been there, you can’t know what it is like.”

Until you’ve done all you can to help someone who doesn’t want it, you can’t know what it is like.

We all have our demons. We all have our issues.

Many of us are closer to being addicts than we would ever admit out loud.

Some of us know how easy it would be to turn.

Some of us are addicts already. Some of us already walk the line.
_________________________________

Help is Available
Those who are suffering from an addiction to heroin or any other drug do have options, as do their family members. Rehab facilities around the country offer outstanding care that can help these individuals to regain control of their lives.

For example, those who need help in the Seattle area have a number of different facilities that offer opiate rehab in Washington state from which to choose and the same can be said for other areas of the country. If you or someone you love is suffering from an addiction, click here for a list of locations where help can be found.

RELATED ARTICLES:
>
Read about Al-Anon: The Critical Role of Al-Anon in Family Addiction Recovery
> Addiction: “I had NO idea what was happening to my daughter in-law”

CHANGING LIVES FOUNDATION SUGGESTED RESOURCES:
>
Recommended Books and DVDs for families of substance abusers and addicts
>
Low cost, No cost Alcohol and Drug Treatment Directory
> Drug Addiction and Alcoholism Recovery Resources for Friends, Families and Employers

Why Don't They Just Quit? What families and friends need to know about addiction and recovery." by Joe Herzanek
Get the help you need today.
Why Don’t They Just Quit?
What families and friends need to know
about addiction and recovery

> Paperback
> Kindle
> Audio Book CD (6 hrs. 54 min.) (LISTEN TO SAMPLE)
> Audible Audio (6 hrs. 54 min.) Download


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RETURN:
___________________________________________don’t want to die, want to die, addicts die
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Surviving Holidays with Dysfunctional Family

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Surviving Holidays with Dysfunctional Family
This article “10 Tips for Surviving Holidays
with the Dysfunctional Family”

is one of our favorite articles. It never grows old!

~By Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.

Holiday gathering? Do some pre-event strategizing
For some families, holidays are just another excuse to get together to eat good food and to have a good time. They’re not looking for articles like this one because they’ve somehow figured out the formula for successful family togetherness with minimum stress. If you have a challenging family, it’s only human to be a bit incredulous and then more than a bit jealous to see other folks living out the holiday fantasy when you’re just trying to live through it.

Just because it’s always been that way doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a lifetime of holiday gatherings where you just grin and go to your happy place until, thank goodness, it’s over! You can make a difference. You may even be able to start to enjoy your personal dysfunctional crowd. With a little planning and some social engineering, you can take control of the situation and make this holiday feel better.

First, make an honest appraisal of the family. It’s not new information that your mother doesn’t like your sister’s husband or your grandmother is going to want attention for her latest ache and pain. It’s not news to anyone that so-and-so has to be the center of attention or so-and-so somehow gets her feelings hurt every year. Instead of denying these realities, plan for them. (You get extra credit if you can find a way to have a sense of humor about them too.) Then consider using the following tips to begin to avoid at least some of the usual family drama.


1. Line up some co-conspirators. Chances are you’re not the only one who is irked by your family’s dysfunctional routines. Figure out who you can call on to help make things different. Then do some pre-event strategizing. Agree to tag-team each other with the folks you all find particularly difficult. Set up a signal you’ll use to call in a replacement. Brainstorm ways to steer a certain individual’s most tiresome and troublesome antics in a different direction.

2. Ask your co-conspirators to brainstorm ways to give challenging relatives an assignment: Is someone always critical of the menu? Ask her if she would please bring that complicated dish that is her trademark so she’ll have a place to shine. Is there a teenager who mopes about, bringing everyone down? Maybe offer to pay him to entertain the younger set for a couple hours after dinner so the adults can talk.

3. Invite “buffers. Most people’s manners improve when outsiders enter the scene. If you can count on your family to put their best feet forward for company, invite some. (If not, don’t.) There are always people who would love a place to go on holidays. Think about elderly people in your church or community whose grown children live far away, or divorced friends whose kids are with the other parent this year, or foreign exchange students from your local high school or college.

4. Nowhere is it written that there shall be alcohol whenever a family gets together.
If there are problem drinkers in the family, let everyone know ahead of time that you are holding an alcohol-free party. Serve sparkling cider and an interesting non-alcoholic punch. People in your family who can’t stand being at a gathering without an alcoholic haze will probably leave early or decline the invitation. Everyone else will be spared another holiday ruined by someone’s inability to handle their drinking.

5. Take charge of seating. Have some of the younger kids make place cards and assign seats. Folks are less likely to switch places when admiring kids’ handiwork. Put people who rub each other the wrong way at opposite ends of the table. Seat the most troublesome person right next to you or one of your co-conspirators so that you can head off unfortunate conversation topics as soon as they start.


6. Guide the conversation. If your family doesn’t seem to know how to talk without getting into arguments or if you’re not the most socially adept person yourself, give yourself some help by introducing The Conversation Game (see below). Announce at the beginning of the meal that you want to use the gathering as a time to get to know each other better. Ask everyone to indulge you by playing the game for at least part of the meal. Hopefully, people will like this change in family dynamics enough to want to keep it going.

7. Give kids a way to be included. Then set them free. Kids are simply not going to enjoy being trapped at a table with adults (especially dysfunctional adults) for extended periods of time. They get restless. They get whiny. They slump in their chairs. Yes, they should be expected to behave with at least a minimum of decorum during the meal but head off complaints and tantrums by planning something for them to do while the adults linger at the table. Have the materials for a simple craft project set up and ready to go. Remember that teenager in #4? Perhaps this is when she plays a game outside with the younger kids while older ones watch a movie.

8. No willing teens? Set up a childcare schedule ahead of time so the adults spell each other. Auntie oversees a kid project while the rest of the adults finish their meal. Uncle takes the kids out to run around between dinner and desert. Plan ahead to share the load and nobody feels martyred and everybody has a better time.

9. Provide escape routes. Togetherness is not for everyone. Make sure there are ways for the shyer or more intimidated to get away from the crowd. If most people will be watching football, set up a movie in another room for those who want out. Ask for help in the kitchen to give the overwhelmed person a graceful way to withdraw from the bore who is boring her. Set up a jigsaw puzzle on a card table in a corner so that people who don’t want to be part of the conversation have a way to occupy themselves and still be part of the party. Arrange with one of your co-conspirators to suggest a before, or after-dinner walk for people who need a breather.

10. After everyone leaves, reward yourself. Sink into your favorite chair and give yourself credit (and an extra piece of pie?) for trying to make a difference. It takes a lot of time and a lot of effort to make significant change in the habits and attitudes of a dysfunctional family. Any small step in the right direction is something to be thankful for. Good for you!

The Conversation Game

This is a game the entire family can play. Make up a stack of cards with discussion starters on them. Brainstorm “starters” that will make people reminisce or laugh. Make sure to include cards that appeal to all ages. Some ideas are listed below.

To play the game, ask the person to your right to pick a card and read it. Each person at the table gets to answer. It’s fine for someone to “pass” if they don’t have something to say. After everyone has had a turn to respond, the deck gets passed to the next person to choose a card. And so on.

Sample starters:

• What song brings up the happiest memories for you?
• If you were a car, what kind would you be?
• If you were given a thousand dollars with the rule that you couldn’t spend it on yourself, what would you do with it?
• What was the best day of your life so far?
• If you could change places with a celebrity, who would it be and why?
• If you could go to a fancy restaurant and price were no object, where would you go and what would you order?
• What is the best way to cheer you up when you’re down?
• What is the one thing you’ve done in your life that you are proudest of?
• What was your favorite childhood game or toy? (For kids, what is it now?)
• If you formed a band, what would you name it? What kind of music would you play?
• If you had the choice of a day: Would you rather choose a day 10 years ago or a day 10 years from now?
• If you could have 1 superpower, what would it be?
• If you could live somewhere else for a year, where would you go?
• If you knew you were going to spend a year in a science station in Antarctica, what 3 things would you most want to take with you to do when you weren’t working?
• What do you think is the secret to staying young at heart?
• When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Do you remember why? (For kids: What do you think you’d like to be and why?)
• What bargain would you love to find on eBay or at a garage sale?
• What do you really, really hope someone will invent soon?
• If someone gave you a gift certificate for a tattoo, what would you get and where would you put it?
• Which would you rather be: A famous athlete, a great singer, or an important politician?

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY
FROM YOUR FRIENDS AT CHANGING LIVES FOUNDATION!
Changing Lives Foundation Logo

 

RELATED ARTICLES:
Siblings: The Forgotten Ones, by Joe Herzanek
Dysfunctional Families, Validating Their Children

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Please consider joining us. Ask to join and a group member will sign you in!

____________________________________________________________

Dysfunctional Family Dysfunctional Family

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