Parent Testimonials

Project COPE enables Hanley Foundation to fulfill our mission of aiding everyone affected by addiction.

The opioid epidemic is the defining health crisis of a generation. Its toll on society is nearly immeasurable. Its toll on those suffering from it directly is immense. It robs people of everything, including their lives. But amidst all this, there are those victims who are overlooked: the parents who have upended their lives and finances to save their children; the husbands and wives who have had to become first responders capable of administering overdose reversal medications; the children left without parents and in the care of grandparents.

Parent Testimonial – Deborah 

I lost my son, John, at 34 years old to a heroin overdose on June 22, 2017.  I was totally devastated by his death.  I thought he could stop using anytime.  I didn’t understand the power of addiction. Thousands of other families think the same way I did, but there is so much more to addiction – anger and frustration were all I knew.

I met Barbara Shafer one week after his death at my first Compassionate Friends meeting. Shortly after, Barbara invited me to attend a Project COPE meeting. COPE is a very informative program for families and friends who have lost a loved one or who live in fear of losing someone very close to them to addiction. My son went through hell but I didn’t know the seriousness of his situation. All I knew was the shame, the stigma, the lies, and the hurt.

COPE offers assistance in many ways, but I have been helped immensely by the many great speakers who attend. They shared their expertise on the illness of addiction, ways for those affected to cope with everyday life and major life changes. In my grief, the last thing I thought about was taking care of myself, but COPE connected us with a professional nutritionist to discuss what our bodies need to survive and thrive. They have even demonstrated and explained how to administer Narcan to save the life of someone who has overdosed.  They have helped get me through the darkest time of my life with their suggestions and care.  I need this program.  I look forward to attending.  I know that there is so much more to learn. Thank you for considering Project COPE for your marketing support giveaway – education is key! The more people who know about this program, the more who can be helped.


Parent Testimonial – Linda

My name is Linda.   I am the mother of a heroin addict who is now 35 years old.  I have attended Al-Anon for over 20 years.  Project COPE has given me a different perspective on addressing my son’s addiction.

I was impressed with the enthusiasm of Barbara Shafer to help others even after the pain and suffering she endured with the death of her own daughter.  Barbara is there to lift us up – no one can begin to know what another person goes through after the death of a child unless it happens to them. Barbara understands.

Project COPE meetings allow me to vent. I always feel better after speaking with Barbara, the other participants, and listening to the guest speakers. COPE’s educational component has helped me with anxiety and depression.  Suggestions from Ellaine Peck, MAET, ATR, regarding art and music therapy were so encouraging.  Wynne Stallings, LMHC, CAP, spoke about co-dependency and the effects it has on all members of the family.  Mike Lewis, CPA, spoke to COPE  members regarding financial advice.  One speaker suggested we read “Dreamland” by Sam Quinones about the history of drugs and drug trafficking in the United States and other countries.

COPE is a meeting where I have learned to do just that – COPE.  It is through this program that I was able to network and reach out to get help for my son.  I was able to pass on what I have learned to help others.  COPE is a place where we can go and not be ashamed, embarrassed or judged.  We can all learn about the disease of addiction and how not to let it ruin our lives.   It has changed my life, and I hope you will consider sharing your marketing support expertise with this invaluable program!


Parent Testimonial – Phillip 

My name is Phillip I am a recovering alcoholic and drug addict and the father of two alcoholic daughters and two heroin-addicted sons. My own journey to sobriety was a long, often frustrating, disappointing, sometimes scary and a very expensive one. When I finally got “it” with a few sober and clean years, I suddenly realized, my family was a mess. One child was in prison, one was in jail, another was in treatment and I didn’t know where my youngest daughter lived.

I desperately needed HELP! It’s a family disease and everyone in my family was infected. My alcoholic father had provided well for our family – there was no violence, no anger but also no emotional support. My research trying to help my own family revealed Project COPE. I felt a great deal of relief, hoping the program would provide the emotional support I had sought all these years. I just wanted someone to understand how I felt. I was so grateful to find a place where suffering families and parents and individuals hadn’t been forgotten.

Other programs, especially 12-step ones, were not enough for me. I needed emotional acceptance, not just intellectual understanding. And I got it! Several speakers at COPE shared beneficial ways to cope emotionally with my four addicted children. I learned how to establish and maintain boundaries. I discovered a new peace and slowly got my life back. Hurrah!

Today, I do the work that has been laid out before me. All my children are doing well today and are clean and sober. I am grateful to Project COPE for the positive impact and hope that the program has given me as a recovering parent, and I thank you for considering Hanley Foundation for your marketing support grant. I believe many other people in our community can be helped tremendously by this program.