This month kicks off a regular blog feature called Partners Facing Addiction as we spotlight a few of our incredible Action Network Partners. These organizations are the heart and soul of our Action Agenda; they are the local voice that creates true grassroots change in our space.
We asked each of our March Partners to give us a top-line description of their work. If you’d like your organization to take part in our monthly Partners Facing Addiction recognition, click here.
Community in Crisis – Basking Ridge, NJ
We are grassroots volunteer community coalition whose mission is to create a community united in fighting the heroin/opiate crisis, reducing the stigma of addiction and preventing overdose deaths among youth. We held a Leaders Forum attended by the five local Somerset Hills towns leaders for a total of 82 in attendance. Our goal was to find out what was needed to help educate, prevent and raise awareness about the opiate epidemic and to find a way to unite all the local town resources.
As a result of the Leaders Forum, we were given the opportunity to partner with Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Rutgers University Pharmacy School to develop a toolkit that can be used in other towns and universities.
A huge project that we are undertaking is opening a Wellness Center for members of our recovery community. We feel there is a great need for those in recovery to be supported. Our goals are to provide various classes and workshops to help them in their careers, stress management, healthy lifestyle classes (nutrition, yoga etc), spiritual support and art and music therapy.
Finally, we produced a PSA featuring Tobin Heath, two-time Olympic gold medal in Women’s Soccer:
BIGVISION – New York, NY
In February, we hosted a cooking class at the Institute of Culinary Education (attendance of 15), a sober Super Bowl party (attendance of 65), ice skating in Bryant Park’s Winter Village (attendance of 18), a knitting workshop (attendance of 10), and a theatre and improv workshop (attendance of 10).
Hosting each of these events helped provide varied, fun activities for young people looking to socialize and form connections in a sober community. For each, the result was positive in the sense that new relationships were formed and existing ones strengthened; which will benefit our largest action step moving forward: to create a safe, lively “clubhouse” or community space for young people in recovery.
Having fun and building healthy relationships post-treatment is critical, although often it is either lightly touched on or not discussed at all in treatment settings. The BIGVISION community is the answer to what is missing for many young people when trying to say sober, healthy and to have fun.
There Is No Hero In Heroin – Las Vegas, NV
On 02/20/17, the 4th Annual Black Monday event was held in Las Vegas. The event had over 400 people in attendance, coverage by four different news stations and the local newspaper. Local philanthropic speakers, national recovery advocates (Facing Addiction’s Michael King) and people in long-term recovery gathered for a 3-hour event to help end the stigma associated with substance use disorder.
A resource fair was onsite with 20 separate organizations, from 12-step recovery organizations to recovery industry professionals to family support groups- all for the benefit for event attendees and their families that struggle with the perils of addiction.
Other notable highlights was the construction of the carnation memorial wall. In which people could purchase a colored carnation to depict differs phases of addiction. A black carnation for to honor those still in the throes of addiction, a red carnation to memorialize those who have lost their battle with addiction and a white carnation for those who have overcome their addiction.
At the end of the night, a video was played of locals who had submitted their photo; from all phases of their addiction. Applause would erupt from those who were in attendance that had been in recovery from substance use disorder.
TINHIH (in conjunction with the Clark County School District) is the lead advocate in the Recovery High School initiative.
TINHIH is developing the Alternative Peer Group model that has proven successful in other parts of the country.
Silver Hill Hospital – New Canaan, CT
Silver Hill Hospital helped to host a community forum in New Canaan, “Building Family Resilience in a World of Booze, Bongs and Benzo’s” on February 7th. The event, attended by 175 people, consisted of a community experts panel talking about how building resilience in children helps prevent future drug abuse.
One of the panelists was Tracey Masella, LCSW, program manager for Silver Hill Hospital’s Adolescent Transitional Living Program. A follow up program with one of the panelists on resiliency was done at the New Canaan library and more programs on raising independent children to become successful adults are being planned for the Fall.
Silver Hill Hospital has committed to providing Narcan trainings and distributing nasal Narcan kits free to the community and agency personnel on an on-going basis. So far we have provided 10 trainings and have distributed 70 kits.
We also continue to partner with other youth serving and community agencies to provide mental health and substance use disorder education at no cost.
We are very committed to not only providing treatment for psychiatric and addiction issues but also being part of the prevention initiative. We want to help reduce stigma around addiction and mental health issues. Please read more about us: ncadvertiser.com.