By Ali Renckens
Watching a loved one struggle with an addiction is heartbreaking as Dan and Sharron Cosby know; their son was addicted to drugs and alcohol. “Having an addict in the family is isolating. It’s embarrassing for people to know your family has problems. That’s how I felt for many years,” Sharron said. On Saturday, February 22, she and her husband will be hosting a free workshop entitled, Understanding Addiction: What Every Family Should Know. “We want to educate and inform parents about addiction before it becomes a problem for their family and will address concerns for adult children with parents suffering from addiction issues.” The free workshop will provide an understanding of the key elements of addiction: genetics, environment and the widespread availability of addictive substances. “The workshop is focused on a general understanding of addiction, prevention and intervention. We want people to understand addiction and how it affects the family and community. We feel more emphasis should be placed on preventing a problem than solving one,” said Sharron. “We will show a video of brain scans showing how drugs, alcohol and behaviors affect the brain. The longer the usage, whether chemical or behavior, the greater the chance for the brain to be permanently impaired and changed.”
“Dan and I became involved [in helping addiction-related issues] by necessity, not by choice because of our son’s addiction. I looked for books to help our family but didn’t find anything, so I decided to write my own book in which I shared our strength, experience and hope for other families going through similar struggles in a 90-day devotional format, suitable for group study.” Sharron’s book, Praying for Your Addicted Loved One: 90 in 90, is available on Amazon.com and at BarnesandNoble.com.
Leaving a 20-year corporate career, Dan is now a Certified Addiction Professional at LifeBuilders Christian Counseling Center in Brandon. Sharron speaks both one-on-one with parents and to groups and posts reflections and advice on her blog www.efamilyrecovery.com. The couple started Recovery Church to support recovering addicts. The free seminar will be held at FishHawk Fellowship Church located at 15326 FishHawk Blvd. in Lithia from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Light snacks and lunch will be provided. To register, or if you have any questions, call 690-3021.