Partners of the Month – March 2019

This month’s Partners Facing Addiction post includes recovery support organizations in Baltimore County and Missouri, a recovery community organization in Michigan, and a campus recovery education program.

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Baltimore County ROSC

Baltimore County ROSC (Recovery Oriented Systems of Care) is a behavioral health program in Baltimore County, Maryland. Its mission is to expand, strengthen and sustain an integrated prevention, intervention, and treatment system that will result in reductions in the incidence and consequence of substance abuse and related problems in Baltimore County. They sponsor fun, substance-free events such as family cookouts.

Currently, the ROSC is working on a Resource Road Map handout and hosting the second Facing Addiction Training. They focus on overdose prevention, peer mentorship, and connecting people to medical care such as treatment for substance use disorder. The Baltimore County ROSC conducts a monthly ROSC meeting held on the second Thursday of every month at Central Presbyterian Church in Towson.

Better Life in Recovery

Better Life in Recovery is a recovery advocacy group in Springfield, Missouri. They are currently working on their second Addiction/Recovery Conference and Recovery Day at Hammons Field on August 30. It consists of panels, breakouts, and a documentary screening at Missouri State University. The screening will be followed by an awareness walk from the college to Hammons Field (Double-A affiliate of the St Louis Cardinals), where a recovery advocate will throw out the first pitch. A parade of people in recovery and their families and allies around the outfield before the game starts.

The Recovery Day events will include a screening of the documentary Not My Child. The documentary is about parents who have children who have passed away due to drug poisoning, are still actively using, or are in recovery. Better Life in Recovery wants to share this film in order to reduce stigma and foster conversations about recovery while helping families understand substance use and wellness. They have screenings coming up in Kansas City, St Louis, Branson, Springfield, Sikeston, and several other Missouri communities. Their hope is to get it shown around the country. The documentary is free to screen by visiting the website www.notmychildfilm.com and filling out a request on the site.

One of the ongoing projects of Better Life in Recovery is community narcan (naloxone) training. The group has trained 35 people from the Springfield community and equipped them with the overdose antidote medication. Recently, they also partnered with the Missouri Recovery Network to have a Recovery Symposium and Recovery Advocacy Day at the state capital in February. Representative Holly Rehder and Governor Parsons provided the event’s opening remarks. The event was attended by almost 200 people, including training by Tom Hill and a panel with the Director of the Missouri Department of Corrections, the Director for the Missouri Department of Mental Health, and the Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

Alumni in Recovery

Alumni in Recovery is a speaker program that reaches out to students on academic campuses: “young people, who have not yet started alcohol or drugs, that they can make good decisions and health conscious choices while maintaining a sober existence in life.” Speakers are local young people in recovery who volunteer their time. AIR programs are ongoing as it their goal to reach as many young people in school settings as possible. In the 2018-19 school year, they have completed approximately 30 engagements. In the month of January, they presented 5 full day, classroom setting school programs in Northern NJ: Northern Highlands HS-Allendale, for 2 days; Kitatinny HS in Newton; Lodi HS; Don Bosco Prep HS in Mahwah and 3 assembly-style programs at Tenafly HS, Tenafly MS and Mount St. Mary’s Catholic HS in Watchung. Two or three AIR members attend each speaking engagement and talk to the students about their personal journeys from addiction to recovery, and encourage an open dialog among the students, using a peer-to-peer approach.

AIR’s Parent Program provides the community with evening presentations, to provide information about the disease of addiction, encourage conversations, end the stigma, and raise awareness. The Parent Program is presented by parents who have lost children to substance use disorder. AIR suggests the schools to coordinate parent events in conjunction with the daytime school presentations to encourage family discussions about the disease of addiction.

The Serenity House of Flint

The Serenity House of Flint is a recovery community organization in Flint, Michigan. Their mission is to advocate for people in addiction recovery and to provide holistic options for the community. Serenity House offers a holistic healing hour once a week where they deliver no-cost aromatherapy, reiki, and yoga. This supports about 50 people per month.

Serenity House asks, “What we do can help change the face of addiction by bringing addiction recovery into the spotlight and providing natural ways to heal pain and addiction?” To accomplish this, they are working with the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor to develop a study to measure the impact of reiki on pain and substance use disorder. They’ve also held an informational session with key treatment providers to find out what successful recovery looks like.

Every year, Serenity House hosts the Flint Recovery Arts & Music Show during the city’s famous Art Walk. This event, held in early March, spreads awareness around substance use disorder, overdose prevention, and the reality of recovery. The show entertained about 200 people with live art and music.

 

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