Family Services

How to Cope – Help For Families Impacted By Addiction

  • Next group starts on April 2oth at 6pm

  • 38 Old Ridgebury Rd, Danbury

  • The groups are small, private and confidential and meet in the evenings

For Danbury groups, contact Irene Sherlock by email at isherlock@mccaonline or call at 203 792-4515 ext. 1219.

Substance use disorders affect individuals and families regardless of race, gender or economic status.

The first step towards positive change often comes when family members begin to take charge of their own lives. How to Cope provides the support and tools to help participants start to make those changes.


When one family member has a problem with drugs or alcohol, it creates tremendous stress on the entire family.

Adults can feel like they are living on an emotional roller coaster, compensating and covering for the addicted family member. Often they experience symptoms that mirror the addict, including weight loss or gain, mood swings, insomnia and isolation.

When family members and friends begin to take charge and reconstruct their own lives, often the addicted person begins to seek help.

How to Cope offers support and direction for change. Through the process of understanding addiction and constructing a personal plan of action, participants begin to restore balance to their lives.

Children and Teens

Children living in a home impacted by drug and alcohol addiction are especially vulnerable. Often they feel shame, anxiety and guilt – that they are somehow to blame.

Children of addicts and alcoholics are more likely to become dependent on substances themselves.

How to Cope provides children and teens with the coping skills to overcome the negative effects of living with an addicted family member.

In a supportive environment, children are given the opportunity to express and validate their feelings. As they learn about the disease of addiction and how to communicate in a healthy way, they become emotionally stronger.

Seven Sessions to Strength and Hope

Session 1 – The Disease of Addiction: understanding the factors of addiction (recognized by the American Medical Association).

Session 2 – How Enabling Behavior Supports Addiction: learning how to identify enabling and codependent behaviors and how they support addiction.

Session 3 – How Addiction Affects the Family: how addiction affects family roles and relationships

Session 4 – How Addiction Affects You: learning to identify symptoms and results of codependent behavior.

Session 5 – You Have Choices: beginning to develop a personal recovery plan.

Session 6 – You Can Make Decisions: learning how to develop and begin setting personal boundaries.

Session 7 – You Really Can Cope: committing to a plan for bringing balance into your own life.

How to Cope has three distinct programs for adults, teens and children living in families impacted by addiction. While the goals are the same for all three groups, the curriculum is modified to address the specific needs of each age group.

  • Children (age 6-12)

  • Teens (age 13-18)

  • Adults (19 and older)

Sessions for all three groups are ongoing and are generally held in the evening.


  • $295 per person
  • $395 per couples
  • $150 per child or teen

Need-based financial assistance is available. Our Director of Family Services will be happy to answer your questions and help determine if How to Cope is right for you and your family members.


How to Cope is held in Danbury. Click here, for contact information and directions.

How to Cope is recognized by the National Association of State Alcohol/Drug Abuse directors as an evidence-based program proven to reduce co-dependency and increase resiliency. In 2008 the program received a National Exemplary Award for Innovative Substance Abuse Prevention Programs, Practices, and Policies.

Join Our Email List

Enter your email to receive our newsletter and updates.