An educational support program for families impacted by addiction has been launched in Greater New Milford.

The Midwestern Connecticut Council of Alcoholism is starting "How To Cope."

The first session will be offered Wednesday, Jan. 28, at 6 p.m. at MCCA's office at 50 Bridge Street in New Milford.

To register, call 203-456-0528, the How To Cope Line.

The program is recognized by the National Association of State Alcohol/Drug Abuse Directors.

MCCA has offered How To Cope at its Ridgefield and Danbury facilities. More than 300 families have experienced the program.

"The program differs from AL-ANON in that it is a focused course run by a trained facilitator," said Lee Bodkin, MCCA's director of communications.

"Its seven sessions each have a specific direction providing support and education about addiction," Bodkin said. "It gives concrete ways for families to support themselves. They come out with a road map of how to go about recovery."

Alisa Hoadley of MCCA will lead the sessions. She notes there is a "whole dance" around the issue of addiction, protecting the addicted person and keeping neighbors from finding out.

"We begin to develop personal recovery plans for family members," Hoadley said. "Families need to go through the recovery process themselves."

When families begin to understand addiction is a disease, Bodkin said, they are able to start the recovery process for themselves.

Whether parents of a child addicted to opiates or a spouse or an adult child of a family member with an addiction, the program is open to anyone.

Groups are small and confidential, meeting Wednesdays from 6 to 8 p.m.

Topics of sessions will include understanding the factors of addiction; understanding how addiction affects the family; and learning how to set boundaries.

For more information about MCCA, visit www.mccaonline.com.

stuz@newstimes.com; 203-731-3352