When Chico Ficerai’s son admitted he was addicted to heroin, she turned to her church. The prayer and support helped, but she needed more guidance.
The mother of three eventually found it at another church offering support to parents of addicted children through a program call Six Steps to Sanity.
She took the 12-week course based on Allison Bottke’s book “Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children,” and she took it again. Ficerai decided to bring it back to her own church, Saints John and Paul in Wexford.
“Six Steps to Sanity has truly given me peace,” Ficerai said. “I have found that life can go on, and that as long as these kids are alive, there is always hope.”
Since hosting her first session in 2014, Ficerai estimates she has reached 120 parents, including Jack and Diane Anke who lost their daughter Katie to addiction in 2015.
“Chico is wonderful,” Jack Anke said. “She understands the situation, she has done an amazing amount of work and she is a good facilitator.”
Diane Anke said some parents come to the first meeting in the 12-week cycle and are not sure if the tough love approach is going to work for them.
“I tell them that I really believe that had we had this program when Katie was going through all this she would have stood a better chance,” Diane Anke said.
Ficerai, who works full-time, said she always has the energy she needs to prepare for the sessions. She said she hopes to be able to continue hosting the program until she is in her 80s.