Sinclair group provides outlet for addiction discussion

An addiction to substances or behaviors can have a devastating impact on an individual’s ability to function, and often an open discussion about the problem can be the first step toward getting help.
Sinclair’s Addiction Discussion Group started meeting six years ago, when Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Cocaine Anonymous (CA) stopped coming on campus to lead support groups.
“We needed to have some type of discussion about drugs and alcohol,” said Anthony Webb, the program’s coordinator for Counseling Services and one of its founders. “We decided to talk about addiction period, which incorporated everything from drugs… [to] computers.”
Webb, who also runs Sinclair’s COPE student success workshops, was a Mental Health Technology student at Sinclair himself and studied substance abuse.
Group meetings focus on topics the members are interested in discussing that day. Recently, the group has been talking about texting and the Internet, as well as drinking, eating disorders and cigarettes. Prescription drug abuse is also a frequent topic of discussion.
The groups are usually small (fewer than 15 people), and anyone is welcome to attend, said Webb. Some students are referred to the group, some have attended before and some are just curious about the topic.
“You don’t have to have a personal problem, you could have a family member or a friend or a colleague. I’ve had some instructors come in, I’ve had some staff come in,” said Webb. “You may know somebody or want to discuss addiction period.”
Webb said that he tries to connect students to helpful resources on campus that they may not know exist. Even if a student can’t attend the group, he encourages him or her to visit his office and take home a folder of information.
“I hope they come. What I know about addiction is that a lot of students are in denial that they have a problem until they get in trouble, or when they’re forced to come,” said Webb. “But those who come, come because they really want to, because they recognize they have a problem and they can get some help.”
The addiction discussion group meets on select Tuesdays (April 10, 17, 24; May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; June 5, 12) in Building 10 Room 423 from noon until 1 p.m.

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