Court Program Helps Parents and Guardians of Drug Addicts
In an effort to provide support for parents and guardians whose loved ones are addicted to opiates, one Lyndhurst Municipal Court judge offers a place of compassion.
Judge Mary Kaye Bozza and her staff organized Parent’s “Make the Right Choice.” It’s a program designed to make resources available for parents of drug-addicted teens 18 and over and young adults.
The Parent’s “Make the Right Choice” program started January 2013 with 50 attendees. The program is an extension of her Men’s and Women’s “Make the Right Choice Program,” where, for the last 12 years, Judge Bozza has offered support for convicted drunk drivers who go before her in court.
After a light dinner and social time, the meeting and education program offers resources for rehabilitation and counseling. There are guest speakers consisting of substance abuse counselors, who focus on grief, guilt, and enabling, as well as doctors, police officers, county prosecutors, attorneys, parents, and recovering addicts.
The parents and guardians bond over their similar stories. They talk to each other about their families’ struggles and find support among the attendees.
“It won’t cure it, but it’s a place to feel understood and comforted, and that’s all I can offer them,” Judge Bozza said. “The parents gain support from other parents who are facing these issues at different stages. This problem is a roller coaster – sobriety comes and goes and some parents have been experiencing this for 7 to 10 years with more than one adult child.”
Judge Bozza said she knows there are few success stories across Ohio for those who use opiates, but said she is doing the best she can while also preparing parents for worst-case scenarios.
“I’m loving what I’m doing,” Judge Bozza said. “The parents are emotionally grateful for having been invited and always want to know when the next program will be scheduled. Most parents express their appreciation for this opportunity.”
The next Parent’s “Make the Right Choice” will be February 26, 2015. Those interested in attending or learning more about the program should contact Tina Slunski at 440.461.6500, extension 166.