What we're about

Addiction to alcohol, street drugs and prescription drugs is an epidemic in our society. Thousands of our children from teenagers to adults, spouses, siblings, and other loved family members are struggling with substance abuse and many are dying. Parents and family members do their best to seek help which is difficult to find. This disease takes a strong hold on the person and it changes who they are. Sadly, due to lack of funds, services and resources, parents and family are left feeling helpless. It can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, religion, culture, education, upbringing or social status.

Addiction can be a fatal disease. The bereaved parents and family have usually spent years desperately trying to seek help for their loved one and once their loved one has succumbed to an overdose or health breakdown they are left with the most painful void imaginable. They need to find some solace with other parents and family who have had a similar loss. They need people they can connect with who can totally understand their journey. Going to a “normal” bereavement group can help somewhat, but these parents and family really need to have a support group that will welcome them with complete empathy and no judgment about the way their family member died. There is still a stigma for addiction and mental health deaths, it is a ‘disenfranchised’ grief for many parents and family members.

For this reason, GRASP (Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing) a support community of peer to peer interaction, has been started in Toronto. Unfortunately, such a group is needed in Toronto. (There are no other such specific groups in Toronto.) Toronto GRASP is a chapter of GRASP USA, originally founded by a set of parents who lost their daughter to drug addiction in California. There are GRASP chapters throughout the USA. Vancouver, BC and Waterloo, ON have recently started chapters. The three Canadian chapters are listed on the US web site, http://grasphelp.org/ .

The intent is not to provide professional therapy or psychotherapy, and parents and family will be encouraged to seek professional assistance if their issues and needs require more support and aid than the peer to peer group can provide. No chapters are professionally facilitated.

Anyone who has lost a child or loved one of any age to substance abuse is welcome to attend GRASP meetings. There is no fee. For many, meeting other parents and family who have shared the same devastating loss due to substance abuse brings comfort, understanding and new, supportive friendships. We bereaved parents and family members will do our best to support our fellow community members as they mourn their lost loved one. Please join us for support and fellowship to allow us to help you with your loss and grief. You are not alone.

Please email grasptoronto@gmail.com . We will contact you to set up a time for an intake phone call so we can explain how the group functions and give you the opportunity to ask questions. The group is active and meets twice a month.

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