On Wednesday, September 11, the sixth support group for the charity DrugFAM opens at 7pm.
The venue is the Upper Room at Gosbrook Road Methodist Church in Caversham.
DrugFAM is the trading name of the Nicholas Mills Foundation, formed in 2006 in honour of one of the identical twin sons of Elizabeth Burton-Phillips. Nicholas died in 2004; he and his twin brother, Simon, were heroin addicts.
Simon, who gave up drugs at his brother’s funeral, survives and thrives and devotes much of his life, with Elizabeth, to supporting families of addicts to cope with the troubles caused by such situations.
The support groups run to help the families, friends and carers of people with substance-misuse (including alcohol) addictions to reclaim their own lives.
When people arrive at group meetings for the first time, they are in a needy and often desperate state. Many are recommended the services of DrugFAM by churches, GPs and pharmacists.
Others come via Frank and other confidential drugs-information services.
Yet others find the DrugFAM website and turn up pro-actively.
Feedback includes such words as “lifeline”, “strengthening”, “honest” and “realistic”.
The other five groups are in High Wycombe, Swallowfield, Slough, Chesham and Central London (Harley Street); at the time of writing the charity has also been offered a seventh venue in south Reading.
Elizabeth has been interviewed by television, radio, newspapers and magazines since the publication of her
2007 book Mum, Can You Lend Me Twenty Quid? – What Drugs Did to My Family.
Local libraries hold copies of it and the book is now also a hard-hitting educational play.
The whole DrugFAM team receives regular expert training.
The charity also offers other services:
• Telephone support lines
• Specialist counselling
• Practical support
• Annual Bereaved by Addiction conference
In May, the DrugFAM team and the charity’s supporters were privileged to be invited by Samantha Cameron to a reception at 10 Downing Street, with a view to promoting its services.
To contact DrugFAM’s free confidential helpline, call 0845 388 3853.