Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare Tayfour Campus. (Photo by Mike Vlasveld)

HDGH Launching Family Addiction Program

Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare is beginning a new pilot program designed to assist loved ones of those dealing with addictions to gambling, gaming and internet use.

The Residential Family-Friend Program, the first of its kind in North America, will launch on April 3. The program will consist of three separate six-day sessions scheduled throughout the remainder of 2016. Program coordinator Shawn Rumble said the program is specifically geared toward loved ones.

“The focus is on them developing their own skill sets and their own coping mechanisms, and dealing with past hurts that subject them to take on ownership of another person’s lifestyle choices,” said Rumble.

Participants in the program would reside on the HDGH campus in the Emara building. The facility will be open to both men and women with each participant being housed in their own quarters.

Rumble said that while addiction to gambling, the internet and gaming are different from addiction to substance, families and friends have the same symptoms as far as coping is concerned.

“Perhaps they’re no longer going to family functions or socializing with friends, due in part to fear and shame and embarrassment in not wanting to reveal the family secrets, not wanting to air that dirty laundry,” said Rumble.

The program is open to those 16 and older and will include individual and group counselling, fitness activities, meditation and cinema therapy.