Local FOA group to hold final meeting


By Melanie Speicher

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SIDNEY — The Family of Addicts (FOA) support group in Sidney will hold its last meeting on Thursday, March 21, at 6:30 p.m. at the Sidney Salvation Army, 419 Buckeye Ave. The meeting is open to anyone who wants to attend.

According to Cody Odom, Tri-County FOA director of Shelby, Miami and Darke Counties, the local group began meeting in 2017 and was established by Odom and his mother, Trina Frasure, a recovering addict.

“My mom and I started the group together,” said Odom. “We were the first son/mom teams around.”

A relationship with his parents didn’t exist as both were addicts when Odom was growing up. In May 2016, that changed when his mom was found laying on the side of the road in Columbus. She had been beaten and didn’t remember what had happened to her. At the time, she didn’t have drugs in her system.

“I was living in Columbus at the time,” said Odom. “She spent a month in the hospital. She was suffering from kidney and liver failure (from the beating). That was the first time I had seen my mom in years.”

After she was released from the hospital, she entered a rehabilitation program operated by the Salvation Army in Dayton. Seven months later, she graduated from the program.

“I’m telling you, there’s power in prayer. It’s a shame that it took me being half dead to do this. I love recovery. Recovery is beautiful,” Frasure said in an interview in 2017 for the newspaper.

Odom said his mother’s hospitalization and rehabilitation changed his life as much as it changed hers.

“Instead of being angry and mad at her, I decided to help her. She went into rehab in Dayton and I got involved in going to meetings with her,” said Odom.

During the meetings with his mom, Odom noticed that there really wasn’t a place for family members to fit in.

“There needed to be a safe space for family members too,” said Odom.

At the time, Odom was working at McDonald’s in Troy and he saw a customer with a FOA T-shirt on.

“I saw a customer with a FOA T-shirt on and I shared my story with him. He gave me Lori Erion’s phone number. She is the founder of FOA.

“Lori knew where I was coming from,” he said. “She had a daughter who in active addiction. That’s why she started FOA.

“Most families don’t know what to do or how to help,” he said. “And then they end up enabling them (the addict). My mom was an active user for 13 years. It took a physical and emotional toll on her.”

In June 2017, the mother/son duo started the FOA meetings in Sidney. A couple of years later, Miami and Darke Counties joined the Shelby County group.

Like many organizations, the COVID pandemic played havoc with their meetings.

“We tried to be creative,” said Odom. “We’d meet on Zoom and used the Facebook platform. We drew people in so they had a support system.”

After the pandemic, the group began meeting again in person. The attendance, he said, never reached the numbers it had before COVID.

“We had a soft opening and would meet the first and third Thursdays,” he said. “We did get some people back to the meetings.”

Then in 2022, Odom’s mother passed away from cirrhosis of the liver.

“I was trying to continue the meetings in her honor,” said Odom. “The two days a month meetings were not seeing the numbers (people) coming to the meeting. So the decision was made to close the site.”

Addiction, he said, is still here. And people still need support systems.

Odom said there was a core group of people who attended the meetings. They understand the decision to close the Sidney site. At its peak, said Odom, they would see 50 people at meetings around Christmas, with 20-30 at other meetings.

Odom said there’s still meetings for FOA in Dayton and Springfield.

During the March 21 meeting, various groups will be in attendance to hand out materials with resources for families. The Tri County Board of Mental Health and Recovery is one of the organizations that will be at the meeting.

“Starting FOA got me interested in social work,” said Odom. “I went back to school and got my bachelor’s degree in 2022 in the social work field. I’m working on my master’s degree and I will be done with it on April 21.”

He is employed as a social worker with Tri County Board of Mental Health and Recovery.

“Growing up with two addicted parents, I knew addiction was bad,” he said. “But as a kid, you think it’s normal. Because of my childhood, I had a stigma toward addiction and put them in the same group as my mom and dad.

“Over time, when mom and I started FOA meetings, I saw people in recovery. I learned these were great people,” said Odom. “We all make mistakes. Some continue to make mistakes. Those in recovery are working to get back to their lives. I saw my mom do that and I like to share her story with other family members. It motivated her to be a peer support person to help those in recovery.

“It took my mom 15 years to reach rock bottom,” he said. “FOA brought us back together. It helped us build our relationship. We learned how to communicate. When she passed away I was angry, but I was also grateful for the six years I had with her.”

In August, he said, a Recovery Rally is held in Dayton where 50-60 organizations are on hand with resources for recovering addicts and their families.

For families and those needing support, visit FOAfamilies.org.

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