Concerned Persons Group-Supporting Family and Friends of Persons with a Substance Abuse Disorder

Friday, February 8th, 2013
Patricia Schneeman

Patricia Schneeman
Clinical Director at Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic

If you are helping someone who is struggling with a substance abuse disorder and you feel alone and hopeless or you feel you need support we strongly encourage you to participate in the Concerned Persons Group program at Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic.

The program offers free support and education about substance abuse to families and friends of persons dealing with drugs or alcohol problems. Participants get a real understanding of what to expect during and after substance abuse treatment, and of how addiction affects family members, friends and other individuals close to the person in recovery. They also share experiences and advice, and have the opportunity to talk with other people who are in the same boat.

Experienced treatment professionals such as George Knoerlein, Director of Clinical Operations, and Patricia Schneeman, Clinical Director at Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic facilitate these sessions.

“The goal of the program is to help family and friends understand what treatment is like which enables them to allow the change process to occur,” said Schneeman, “Families are less likely to remove clients from program prematurely if they understand early on that recovery is difficult.”

We asked a relative of one of our clients a few questions about her personal experience in the program.

1)When did you start attending the Concerned Persons Group Sessions?

I started attending Concerned Persons Group about more than a year ago, when my loved one was admitted to Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic, and have been going ever since.

2)What is most rewarding about the experience of participating in these weekly sessions? Did they help you and your loved one?

The most rewarding things about the experience are:

a) The education about the disease and recovery

b) The information about resources available to loved ones and families

c) The hope for recovery the counselors have.

These weekly sessions helped my loved one and me very much! Thank you for all the tremendous lessons that we have learned at Phoenix House about how to live healthy, happy lives! We are deeply grateful.

3) What can you offer as advice to loved ones of someone who suffers from addiction and substance abuse?

I would recommend learning as much as possible about the neurological disease of substance addiction. Surround yourself with positive people. Practice your spiritual faith. Get help for your loved one and for you. Celebrate small victories. Take care of yourself.

Concerned Persons Group Sessions are held every Wednesday from 6 pm to 7 pm at the Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic Counseling Center, and are free to all persons connected to a Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic client.

If you are interested in participating in the Concerned Persons Group program please contact Patricia Schneeman at or at 1 888 671 9392, or George Knoerlein at or at 1 888 671 9392.

 Learn more about programs and services at Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic or call us today at 1 888 671 9392.

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