A Lancaster County-based support group that meets monthly for families of homicide victims has expanded to include families impacted by a drug delivery resulting in death.
As the opioid epidemic keeps its relentless grip on communities across the country, organizers of the local support group felt it made sense to include those who have lost loved ones due to the epidemic.
Organized by the Victim Witness Services Program of the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office, the groups are facilitated by Deanna Weaver, victim advocate, and local therapist Patricia Beaumont.
While organizers recognize the circumstances involved in each case are different, those impacted are just as devastated and all face similar challenges as a result of the death.
“Grief is a thread woven through this group,” Weaver said. “Meeting others who know the pain can be both supportive and stabilizing when families are shaken in this way.”
The support group has been meeting regularly since October 2015, and just recently welcomed those impacted by fatal drug deliveries.
The groups vary in size with each meeting, but they all involve healthy discussion of a crime’s impact and how to cope with such tragedy.
The majority of those who attend live in Lancaster County or are affected by a homicide/death that happened in Lancaster County.
Since 2016, more than 30 drug delivery resulting in death charges have been filed in connection with fatal drug overdoses in Lancaster County.
Anyone interested in attending the group can contact Deanna Weaver at 717-299-8048.
(NOTE: The location of the meetings is not being made public to protect the privacy of those attending.)
- GRASP (Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing) is another support group meeting in Lancaster County for families who have lost a loved one to substance use, regardless if criminal charges are filed.
This group meets on the second Tuesday of each month in Mount Joy.
Anyone interested should contact Marj Paradise at 717-951-2720 for additional information. Pre-registration is required for new attendees.
MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @BrettHambright