Free Course Available for Families Affected by Substance Use Disorder, Addiction

DUBOIS – Stacey Karchner, a family recovery life coach through the BALM (Be A Loving Mirror) Family Recovery Program, is offering a free course in DuBois for family members affected by another’s substance use disorder/addiction.

According to a press release issued by Karchner, BALM evolved around the fact that those with substance use disorder are human beings and deserving of love just as any other person is.

“At the core of BALM is loving kindness. Being the loved one’s chief supporter rather than the obstacle, just as a family would with any other disease the loved one had,” the release stated.”

“As a family member it’s important to be a model of recovery and to regain peace and calm, believe that the loved one can get well and learn only to contribute to recovery.”

According to the release, the family role is crucial and can often turn the tide. Research shows that when the family gets well, the loved one has a much better chance at getting and staying well.

“The brains of those with SUD/addiction are hijacked by a drug (believing it is needed to survive) and in turn the families’ brains are hijacked and addicted to the loved one, obsessed with trying to control or fix and obsessed with the outcome,” the release states. “The family needs just as much if not more recovery than the loved one.”

This course will be led by Karchner, BFRLC.  Because of the profound effect the BALM had on her journey with her children, she took intense training to become a BALM Family Recovery Life Coach and to help other families get to the BALM sooner than she got to it.

She calls the BALM Al-Anon on steroids.  The course she will be teaching in the community is a component of the BALM program consisting of 12 lessons.

Lessons include topics such as “The Crucial Role the Family Plays,” “Leverage and how to use it,”  “Stages of Change,” “How to Help Motivate (motivational interviewing),” “Enabling Versus Helping,” “Responding and Not Reacting,” “Letting Go Without Giving Up or Giving In,” “You Can Be Your Loved One’s Best Chance at Recovery,” “Self-care,” “Mindfulness Practices,” “Being Loving versus Being Nice,” “Healthy and Unhealthy Boundaries,” “Sticking to Boundaries,” “Getting Support,” “Exploring Relationships with Spirituality,” “Yourself and Others,” “Developing a Calming Practice,” “Brief Interventions” and more.

Karchner has been a Family Recovery Life coach for three years and has been teaching the course for over 1.5 years in multiple counties with success.

She stated that through the course, she sees family members find a new perspective and learn new ways of being, acting and speaking without anger and judgement.  “[They’re] becoming that chief supporter rather than the obstacle.”

The course will be held at Clearfield Jefferson Drug & Alcohol Commission, located at 480 Jeffers St., in DuBois on Thursday evenings, from 5:45 p.m. – 8:15 p.m., once a week for seven weeks.

Enrollment is free and the course will begin when it fills with 10 people.  The course will be offered and ongoing as long as there are family members enrolled.   For every one person that abuses drugs, 4-10 others can be impacted.

To find out more information or enroll, please call Stacey Karchner at 814-360-7590 or e-mail her at

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