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Partners of the Month – September

This month’s Partners Facing Addiction post features a clinical group in New York, a treatment center in Texas, and a recovery organization in North Carolina. If you’d like your organization to be considered for an upcoming Partners Facing Addiction post, answer a few short questions here.

START Treatment & Recovery Centers

START Treatment and Recovery Centers is a privately owned group of clinics in New York. Its eight locations include seven opioid treatment programs in the communities of Brooklyn and Manhattan. In addition to offering primary medical care and comprehensive HIV/AIDS services, we also provide mental health counseling to adolescents in the juvenile justice system. START emphasizes access to resources and education about addiction, a crucial part of START’s mission statement. The company was a presence in the AIDS Walk and also hosted a community screening of the Netflix documentary Heroin(e) at their local public library.

To accomplish this, START’s Community Outreach Liaison has been out knocking on doors and engaging businesses, community boards, and police precincts, and attending public health events or public events to talk with people about substance use disorder. START works to treat all potential aspects of addiction, from homelessness to unemployment to other chronic diseases to co-occurring behavioral health disorders and more. “But now we need to work harder to engage a community that seems more ready to get involved than at any point in recent memory, and in doing so, we can spark a change in the way people see addiction in NYC and beyond.”

Currently, START is hosting a young professionals’ fundraising mixer called Spring Into Recovery. “Our vision is that between the creation of a new community outreach liaison position at START and the ongoing national spotlight on the opioid epidemic, we can harness the growing momentum of young people who want to make a difference in Brooklyn. The growth of our social media channels, a younger staff, and increasing interest from our community has indicated that the time is right for us to engage this generation.”

The event will feature speakers from START’s staff who will touch on both the medical and behavioral health aspects of opioid use disorder, as well as community partners, food, drinks, and a raffle. Another Action Network partner, a social addiction treatment technology company called Addicaid, plans to attend as a presenter.

START will use this event to encourage attendees to take action not just through fundraising and donations but by direct engagement. The mixer will include naloxone training and resources for people in recovery.

Sobriety Matters

Sobriety Matters is a treatment center in Texas that offers private pay substance use treatment to people in need. In their community, the rehab aims to create impact, work for change, and band together with other groups and individuals to support recovery.

Last month, Sobriety Matters hosted a naloxone training event. Approximately 95 people attended. The event encouraged people to take part in an open dialog about addiction and take part in a candlelight vigil to honor people who lost their lives to addiction. Sobriety Matters wants to encourage advocacy and shares upcoming events and advocacy opportunities with its mailing list. One recurring opportunity is a volunteer position at The Beacon, to serve the homeless.

Later this year, Sobriety Matters will host a recovery community gratitude meeting. The celebration will include a cookout with hot dogs and hamburgers, live music, and a speakers’ meeting. The event is from 1-4 p.m. on November 8.

Communities Rallying For Recovery (CRFR)

Communities Rallying For Recovery hosts North Carolina’s largest recovery event, the Western Regional Recovery Rally in Haywood County, North Carolina. The event’s chairman Troy Daniel Reece said, “We want to make it known that Recovery can happen anywhere and anytime. Recovery isn’t a one-day or one-month thing, it’s lifelong. Anyone can be in recovery.”

The 2018 Rally was attended by more than 380 people. The gathering represented a total of 1,859 years, 4 months, and 1 week of time in recovery. 150 of the people attending were in recovery; 65 people were family members of people in recovery; and 161 people identified as recovery allies. An additional 48 people were interested in learning about recovery.

Reece said, “We are wanting to be a positive change and pass the message that people do achieve and sustain recovery from any and all walks of life. Recovery changes the conversation from problem to solution. We are truly one community in recovery.”

Partners of the Month – August

This month’s Partners Facing Addiction post features a recovery foundation in Maryland, a community action group in Wisconsin, and a sober event planning company. If you’d like your organization to be considered for an upcoming Partners Facing Addiction post, answer a few short questions here.

The Knight Foundation

The Knight Foundation is a group in Maryland that focuses on immediate action to help people who are at high risk from addiction. The foundation funds several major programs: Recovering the Artist, which promotes the discovery of artistic talent throughout the recovery community; Know Addiction, a prevention program for young people; and a recovery 5K run/walk.

This year, the Race 4 Recovery 5K will be held on September 16, 2018 at the RIO Washingtonian Center. This run/walk is to promote awareness, break down stigmas associated with addition, honor those that have been lost, and support those who currently are in the fight. The event will be supported by TV sponsors, radio, publications, and corporate, national, and local sponsors. “RIO Washingtonian is our venue partner which contains several thousand residences and over 50 retailers. Lifetime Fitness, Harris Teeter, Marriott, Adventist, Narcan, National Wellness, Town & Country and many other sponsors have joined our cause.”

The foundation’s other programs, Know Addiction and Recovering the Artist, focus on fostering a creative channel for expression, recovery, and an outlet of accomplishment. Both programs encourage substance-free life as a desirable outcome. Speakers and teachers share the message that recovery is a self-rewarding achievement that promotes self-respect, self-worth, purpose, and health.

Wisconsin Voices For Recovery

Wisconsin Voices for Recovery is a peer-run recovery project supported by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. Wisconsin Voices for Recovery builds community resilience through its events and programs in the state of Wisconsin. The project created two Recovery Month initiatives, the ED2Recovery program and the Rally for Recovery. Both programs are important ways for people in recovery and their supporters to come to together to support recovery.

“We know that it is only when we join together and support each other as a community that change can happen — change on the personal level, hope and transformation and change on the community level — making our families healthier, safer, and stronger.”

This year’s Rally for Recovery is expected to draw hundreds of people to the State Capitol to celebrate Recovery Month. The Rally is Wisconsin Voices For Recovery’s fifth annual event. It celebrates the joys of recovery from addiction, honors those we have lost to addiction and their family members, and educates the public about the realities of addiction as a medical condition. The rally will be held on Saturday, September 22, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the State Capitol in Madison.

 

Sober AF Entertainment – SAFE

Sober AF Entertainment creates safe spaces for people who want to attend entertainment events without being around alcohol and drugs. People in recovery can enjoy sporting events, concerts, and other venues without substances. Sober SAFE Zones normalize substance-free partying, and also support people in recovery by lowering barriers to fun.

In August, the group hosted sober SAFE Zones at multiple events. They distributed 200 tickets in a sober SAFE zone for the August 31 football game between Colorado State and the University of Colorado. Currently, Sober AF Entertainment is scheduling SAFE events at other football games and venues, including The Air Force Academy, Florida Atlantic, Auburn University, University of Minnesota, Arizona State University and University of Southern California.

 

Partners of the Month – July

This month’s Partners Facing Addiction post features a youth education prevention group in Maryland, a women’s recovery program in San Francisco, a recovery foundation in Georgia, and a recovery community-based in New Mexico. If you’d like your organization to be considered for an upcoming Partners Facing Addiction post, answer a few short questions here.

Arise & Flourish, Inc.

Arise & FlourishArise & Flourish, Inc. is a group in Montgomery County, Maryland that focuses on bringing education and awareness to young people. Speakers talk directly with students at their schools and focus on the potentially devastating effects of substances. The presenters, who are in recovery, share their personal stories with students.

The non-judgmental, no-lecturing approach has a positive impact on students. In a student survey, students thanked the speakers and described their admiration for their courage. As of May 2018, A&F has visited over 26 Montgomery County public schools. With middle and high schools combined, A&F speakers have addressed over 7000 students. The presentations have been very well received by teachers and students. One of the students wrote:

Thank you for coming here and sharing your story with us. You helped me understand some of the things I did not know about addiction. You were very open and honest with it. It takes courage to go out there and tell your story to lots of people with confidence. You did that so that teens could learn… we are all thankful. And I’m proud of you by being such a strong man and fighting through the addiction and standing in front of us to tell your story. We are all proud of you. Thank you.

By focusing on prevention, A&F encourages young people to avoid substances, and seek help “before it’s too late.” The group is working with other youth and civic organizations, such as GirlsPrep and the Rotary Club, and hopes to share its message with private school students in the future.

Ohlhoff Recovery Programs

Ohlhoff Recovery Programs is dedicated to direct service as a way of improving lives and creating long-term change for people in San Francisco. Recognizing the need for women-specific treatment options, Ohlhoff Recovery Programs launched a new women’s residential program in November 2016. There are very few substance abuse programs for women in San Francisco, and even fewer offer residential support, psychiatric care, and medication management. The program accepts most major healthcare insurance plans.

Ohlhoff Women’s Residential Program is a truly unique endeavor in the area; women benefit from the existing treatment structure and renowned services at Ohlhoff, while attending to women-sensitive issues, such as addressing abusive and violent relationships, women’s health, and implementing Seeking Safety therapy for PTSD and substance abuse. With its two-track option, the program successfully reaches women at multiple stages of recovery and provides long-term care up to three months.

As Ohlhoff can now offer a safe and structured living environment for women seeking treatment. It’s succeeding: 10% more women were treated in 2017 than in 2016.

Ohlhoff is planning its 60th Anniversary Celebration for later this year. The recovery community event will include alumni speakers, musicians, food, games, and historic campus tours.

The event will reconnect alumni, family and friends, and San Francisco’s recovery community. The organization’s 60 years of addiction treatment has positively impacted the community, in many ways. Commitment to sobriety has allowed individuals to become better fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, employees, and community members, which means that many people have benefited from the hard work of the men and women who go through our programs.

The celebration will show the overwhelming community of support for those new to sobriety and those in long-term recovery. It’s also an opportunity to just have some fun in recovery!

Davis Direction Foundation, Inc. – THE ZONE

Davis DirectDavis Direction Foundation strives to lift the stigma of opioid use disorder. It primarily emphasizes prevention as the optimal solution to addiction. The Foundation invests in efforts that “address the disease of opioid/heroin Addiction as one of the most severe forms of addiction.” The group provides direct assistance and services to individuals, family members, or others at risk of experiencing an opioid related overdose. To support people in recovery, Davis Direction Foundation provides a safe place for all people to seek, maintain, support and enjoy long-term recovery free from substance use disorder: The Zone.

The Zone is a safe haven of acceptance for anyone in any stage of recovery. It’s “at the corner of addiction and recovery,” in Marietta, Georgia. The Zone provides a safe place for all people to seek, maintain, support and enjoy long-term recovery free from substance use disorder.

Davis Direction Foundation supports The Zone and other recovery efforts, including a Republican toolkit to help others learn to embrace and educate the community in order to reduce stigma and support recovery. “We believe that we must make heroin a public conversation in order to make a difference. We believe that legislative changes need to be made regarding opioid/heroin addiction.”

Davis Direction Foundation shares workshops and conferences to support people seeking to build recovery efforts in their own communities. They have been named a local, state and National model of “Building Communities of Recovery.” Their well-attended presentations take place all over Georgia. The Foundation’s conferences focus on community outreach, education, and recovery support—and how to duplicate its successes in communities everywhere.

Recovery Communities of New Mexico

Celebration, healthy initiatives, and empowering recovery advocates: that’s what Recovery Communities of New Mexico is all about. To honor Recovery Month this September, the group is coordinating recovery related throughout New Mexico. To attend, participate, or get involved, please use the contact emails listed by each event:

August 31

SF Overdose Memorial

Contact: Tom Starke or Jennifer Mascarenas

September 7

Hozho – Gallup

Contact: Noreen Kelly

September 8

Participate in the State Fair Parade

September 10

Senior Day/Health & Wellness/Recovery Day at the New Mexico State Fair

September 15

Barrios Unidos – Chimayo Rally for Recovery

Contact: Lupe Salazar

September 19

Inside Out Recovery Taos – Recovery Friendly Taos

Contact: Lawrence Medina

September 22

Roswell – LC-5 – Healthy Choices

Recovery Santa Fe – Rally for Recovery – Railyard Park

Contact: Tom Starke or Chris Wendel

Las Cruces – Recovery Night Out, With Kevin Hines

Contact: Mari or Sandra White

Silver City – Grant County

Contact: Susie Trujillo and James Helgert

September 27

Albuquerque Celebrates Recovery III – Civic Plaza

Contact: Jen Weiss or Adan Carriaga

September 29

Eight Northern Pueblos/Recovery Day Celebrations

Hosted by Pojoaque Pueblo, this event will include eight northern pueblos and all communities

Contact: Jennifer Mascarenas or Rafaela Sanchez

For more information, or updates on other New Mexico recovery events, contact Natalie Rivera.

Partners of the Month – June

This month’s Partners Facing Addiction post features a prevention and support program in Tampa Bay, Florida as well as a recovery music group based in Arizona. If you’d like your organization to be considered for an upcoming Partners Facing Addiction post, answer a few short questions here.

Sober Motor Company

Sober Motor Company is an Arizona-based group that focuses on bringing music and positive messages about recovery to people who are incarcerated. The group is headed by musician Jay Dow, who has been in recovery since 2015. Jay’s personal story of recovery and his experiences with homelessness, substance use disorder, and incarceration inspire and support people who are coping with similar issues.

Jay is passionate about sharing his music with people. He performs his recovery music workshop “Music, Truth & Recovery” each month on a volunteer basis, for free, at six state-funded Arizona inpatient rehab facilities. He performs to over 500 people who are in their first 30 days of sobriety. As a professional musician who has spent decades touring with other famous performers and has played to crowds of thousands, Jay knows how to connect with his audience. He’s using his gift to help others.

He says, “There is a permanent recovery from addiction and it is time to get that message to the world so addicts can stop dying and going to prison for being sick when there is a solution. Enough is enough.”

Recently, Sober Motor Company completed filming eight of Jay’s music groups, performing live. They are also filming interviews with people in sustained recovery who served prison time and are now sober and leading successful lives in recovery. The interviews focus on people who are helping others recover through 12-Step sponsorship, working in treatment centers, owning or managing sober living facilities, and carrying 12-Step recovery meetings and workshops into Arizona prisons.

The footage of Jay’s music groups and the interviews are currently airing in some prisons and will be shared in all of the prisons in Arizona on Prion TV. The programming aims “to bring the message of recovery to inmates struggling with addiction behind the wire.” The next goal is to expand the project nationally, so inmates all over the country can have access to positive, recovery-friendly media.

Jay hopes to connect with other Facing Addiction partners who bring recovery support into prisons, or readers who are prison staff. If you’re interested in bringing Sober Motor Company to inmates in recovery, Jay can be contacted by email.

Messengers Of Recovery Awareness (MORA)

Messengers of Recovery AwarenessMessengers Of Recovery Awareness joined Facing Addiction after leaders Terry Coffey and Cary Fletcher attended the Unite to Face Addiction March in 2015. MORA’s main goal is to diminish the stigma by talking about recovery. Terry and Cary say, “We believe that the world needs to see more of the upside of recovery—not just the downside of addiction.”

By working with other members of the Facing Addiction action network, MORA gets support in its goal. The network connects them with others who are also working to save lives and make the world a better place.

MORA has two initiatives that it’s working to develop in the Tampa area. First, they want to enhance and assist with a “Your Life Matters” campaign. This is an initiative started by a firefighter in Sarasota who has been distributing printed postcards with recovery resources for people in need. The firefighter gives these cards to people he assists on rescue missions. MORA will help to distribute these cards and this message throughout the community. Second, MORA plans to assist with and attend a recovery march in Tallahassee.

In the past, MORA has hosted some community events to diminish the stigma of addiction and promote recovery. 850 people attended one community night, with special guest Chris Herren. Next, Terry and Cary are working toward another, larger event called Strike Out Addiction. They hope to bring Darryl Strawberry to speak at the Yankees Spring Training field in Tampa.

MORA focuses on mutual support, education, and positive models of recovery. On May 24, 2018, they hosted a Communities Project Training Program for Tampa Bay. About 40 people attended. Both the Hillsborough County Sheriff and the State Attorney came and spoke about their commitments to help MORA’s efforts to fight addiction in the community.

The people who attended the training worked or volunteered in all areas related to addiction: prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery. The training was extremely beneficial and connected like-minded people. That supported information sharing, and people working in different areas of recovery were able to educate one another. For example, “in spite of some of the coalitions among the areas of treatment, there some from the prevention arenas that had no idea that there were so many sober living homes in our area and really knew nothing about it.” The training helped unite people from different perspectives, focusing on connecting instead of competing.

MORA’s positive message and commitment to sharing recovery with everyone is inspiring people in Florida. They’re also working with local representatives to address policy changes that will support people with substance use disorder.

May Partners of the Month

This month’s Partners Facing Addiction post features a prevention and support program in Portland, Oregon, as well as a recovery advocacy consultant based in Wisconsin. If you’d like your organization to be considered for an upcoming Partners Facing Addiction post, answer a few short questions here.

Youthline at Lines For Life

Lines for LifeLines For Life is a Portland, Oregon group that focuses on preventing suicide and substance abuse. Its Youthline program serves young people, who might be at risk for harmful behaviors. The regional non-profit promotes mental health for all through intervention, prevention, and advocacy.

Youthline is very passionate about is going out to local schools in the Portland area and talking about mental health and suicide. Youthline believes that suicide needs to be talked about in schools in order for youth to have a place to discuss the uncomfortable topic of suicide. They also teach youth how to identify resources that will help someone going through a crisis. Using direct outreach and education to raise awareness, Youthline empowers young people to prevent mental health crises.

In response to the popular show 13 Reasons Why, Youthline and other teen crisis lines have started a video campaign to reach young people. The show glamorizes teen suicide and had a significant impact on youth perception of suicide. Youthline’s video campaign addresses some of the issues raised by 13 Reasons Why. “We are hoping to spread these videos around the internet in order to raise awareness that teens will face and let them know that there is support out there.”

Youthline emphasizes education and preparedness, as well as crisis support. “We educate, train, and advocate to prevent issues of substance abuse, mental illness, and thoughts of suicide from reaching crisis levels. But when a crisis arises or support is needed, we are available 24/7/365 to intervene with personalized help.” Recently, Youthline hosted a two-day Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST). The eight volunteers were trained to handle any kind of crisis on the crisis lines and ask the tough questions that could save someone’s life.

“We also had a session at the Oregon Statewide Suicide Prevention Conference where some of our youth volunteers participated in a Q & A panel session with 50 audience members. The audience consisted of healthcare professionals and policymakers. This allowed us to explain how Youthline volunteers are trained to be on the crisis lines and how we support them.”

Mental health, substance use disorder, and suicide can have devastating effects on young people, their families, and their communities. Lines For Life works with legislators and community partners to create sustainable, positive changes in the way organizations and communities respond to substance abuse, suicide, mental wellness, and crisis. They’re working to reduce prescription drug misuse, abuse, and overdose through expanded pharmacy drug disposal programs. Lines For Life takes on the complex issues of mental health and substance use disorder through outreach, education, and compassionate, accessible support.

Helios Recovery

Helios Recovery is a coaching and consulting service founded by Jesse Hefferman, a Wisconsin advocate and person in sustained recovery. The company offers one-on-one recovery coaching to people who are seeking support, as well as consulting for recovery advocacy groups.

Hefferman, who started the One Million Mohawks Challenge, is a long time recovery advocate. He has participated in several coalitions and worked with grassroots nonprofits, including the Wisconsin Governor Task Force on Opioid Abuse and Rise Together.

In 2014, Hefferman attended the CCAR Recovery Coach Academy in June 2014. Helios Recovery offers CCAR training to recovery coaches and has trained over 100 coaches statewide in Wisconsin. Hefferman has also “facilitated numerous recovery capital development planning sessions and helped coach individuals and families in creating recovery plans and linkages to services.” Helios Recovery also offers workshops, such as “Ethical Considerations For Recovery Coaches” and “Recovery Basics For Parents.”

Recovery coaches, Hefferman says, are not licensed addiction counselors. He compares them to life coaches or business coaches: “a type of partnership where the person in or seeking recovery self-directs his/her recovery while the coach provides their expertise in supporting successful change.” The coach, who is often a person in recovery, cannot diagnose or treat substance use disorder but can guide their client to needed services and help advocate for them.

Helios Recovery focuses on peer-based services that share information about recovery, mentoring, and supporting individuals on their chosen path.

Partners of the Month-April

This month’s Partners Facing Addiction post features a prevention and recovery program in Oregon. If you’d like your organization to be considered for an upcoming Partners Facing Addiction post, answer a few short questions here.

Blue Binder Project

Blue Binder ProjectBlue Binder Project is a four-week curriculum designed by a lawyer to help people with DUIs recover. Using an at-home, self guided course, plus weekly one on one calls with a coach, people can make the most of the “window of clarity” that many experience after an event like a DUI. According to BBP, the program uses a combination of psychology, personal reflection, and willingness to make changes in your personal choices. “The weekly homework assignments help you see the landscape of your own mind through a different lens, one with less judgment and more optimism than before.”

The lawyer who designed Blue Binder Project, MacDaniel Reynolds, has almost two decades of experience with defending DUI clients. His personal experience of being arrested for driving while impaired, plus years of trial work, taught him that many of the people who seek legal defense for substance-related driving convictions need support on “the human side” as well as the legal side. Reynolds said, “I learned that good people don’t get arrested for a DUI when everything is going great. They get arrested because some part of life isn’t working the way they need it to, and then they start to take risks that don’t make sense.”

Reynolds also noticed that people who were able to address their substance use issues, or the life problems that were adding fuel to the fire, were less likely to have future legal problems. The DUI was an opportunity to change. With this in mind, he authored Blue Binder Project.

BBP is relatively new to the world of addiction prevention and recovery. In joining the Facing Addiction Network, they wanted to show our support for all the ways the community can support recovery and prevent addiction. BBP is a resource that can help prevent deeper struggles with alcohol, helping clients to use a DUI as an opportunity to grow into more health and success, rather than allowing it to spiral them down into harder times. Like substance use disorder, a DUI doesn’t have to be a source of shame or judgment. It can be a struggle that in time makes us stronger.

Currently, BBP is working with Western Oregon University to conduct a research study about the impact of Blue Binder Project. Dr. Debi Brannan in the Psychological Sciences Department of WOU and her student research team are studying the effectiveness of BBP on the program’s clients, all of whom have had a DUI within a month of beginning the program.

Dr. Brannan and her team have confirmed that BBP does indeed help clients feel better and make improvements in their lives. The study’s results so far show that a person’s happiness, gratitude, and satisfaction with life are improved while using the curriculum: loneliness is decreased. The results are statistically significant and maintain significance over time. It is the research team’s hypothesis that as work with BBP allows clients to improve their lives, it reduces the likelihood of repeated DUI charges. “Our hope is that, not only does BBP reduce recidivism with DUI charges, but also supports clients to be happier, more successful and more aware of the role alcohol plays in their life.”

In early March of 2018, Dr. Brannan and her team presented their findings about BBP at the Oregon Academy of Science’s Annual Conference. The team will also be presenting their findings at the Western Psychological Association Convention in April 2018.

“We are thrilled to have confirmation that BBP is an effective intervention for clients facing a DUI. Backed by solid research, we hope we will be able to reach out to even more people struggling with these issues.”

 

March Partners Facing Addiction

This month’s Partners Facing Addiction post includes a treatment program in Colorado and a mission in Missouri. If you’d like your organization to be considered for an upcoming Partners Facing Addiction post, answer a few short questions here.

Red Rock Recovery Center

Red Rock Recovery CentersRed Rock Recovery Center is a Colorado State licensed and nationally accredited treatment program designed to treat individuals suffering from Substance Use Disorder in Denver. The group is on the board of the Colorado Association for Recovery Residencies. They recently certified their first treatment and sober living organization and are expanding. They hope to certify all recovery residencies in Colorado within the next 1-2 years.

Red Rock focuses heavily on advocacy and policy change. They are currently working with the state to craft legislation around treatment ethics. They were also recently appointed by Colorado’s Attorney General to co-host the first state-funded recovery counsel for Colorado. Fifty active members showed up to support this. The state’s support enabled Red Rock to set goals for creating a Request for Proposal for an Angel Initiative in Emergency Departments. That means ERs will become locations where people who are struggling with addiction can get help, without fear of repercussions. “Angel participants,” or people who need help, are matched through the initiative with medical or public safety professionals who can provide naloxone, connect people to treatment, or provide a link to other resources.

Helping spread the message of recovery and providing continuity of care between treatment and recovery is important, too. During a monthly treatment marketers meeting for the state, Red Rock hosted a Colorado Professional Liaison Association luncheon to discuss treatment and recovery advocacy. Fifty people attended, and speakers were able to educate them about recovery and promote substance abuse advocacy. The impact of recovery goes beyond the individual. By working with the community and the treatment industry, Red Rock hopes to advocate for people in all stages of their recovery.

Restoration Project Mission

RestorationWorking with faith groups, people in recovery and the criminal justice system, Restoration Project Mission is a vital resource. Their mission is to help people find their way back into their communities. People at the Mission are usually coping with issues other than addiction: many are homeless, have convictions related to their substance use, and are excluded from their families and community. The Mission, which is non-denominational, seeks to follow God’s call to reach the lost and needy, as expressed in Matthew 23:35.

Rick Tolliver, the Executive Director, told this story: “We are working with several local churches through the guidance of The Restoration Project Mission to provide life-changing assistance. One is a lady in her late 30s living in a temporary group home. She was recently reunited with her son. During active Addiction addiction, she was a prostitute and criminal. Her group home will not allow her son. We are working with a local church to pursue an adoption plan for her and her son.”

Another person who is receiving help “is a young man in the county jail on drug charges, awaiting trial and sentencing to prison. We are again working with a local church to intervene and offer to be an alternative sentencing program.”

Recently, Restoration Project MIssion took a group of eight people to Missouri recovery Network advocacy day in Jefferson City, Missouri. There, they were able to meet with a representative of Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler’s staff and a representative of the Governor’s staff. They share the Mission’s vision. Later, Rick was able to present the same information to Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court Zell Fischer, through his office staff.

Collaboration, faith, and courage help Restoration Project Mission advocate for people with substance use disorder.

Partners of the Month-February

This month’s Partners Facing Addiction post includes a Michigan-based media company and a wellness project in Boise, Idaho. If you’d like your organization to be considered for an upcoming Partners Facing Addiction post, answer a few short questions here.

The Recovery Channel and Overcoming Addiction Radio

The Recovery ChannelCounselor and person in sustained recovery Carrie Turcotte decided to share the message of recovery worldwide. She created Overcoming Addiction Radio, an internet talk show dedicated to spreading awareness, education, resources and stories of recovery to the world. The show is broadcast every Sunday, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST, on The Recovery Channel Mobile App. Carrie is the host of the show, as well as the CEO.

In addition to the free weekly show, The Recovery Channel also plans family friendly sober social events in the community to help spread awareness, education, prevention and provide resources to those in recovery and their loved ones. Carrie says, “Most importantly, these events help to show people with substance use disorder, their children, and people in recovery that recovery is about more than not using and going to meetings; it’s about connection and showing that recovery can be and is fun!”

Carrie hopes that The Recovery Channel will one day become an international broadcast network, similar to The Discovery Channel, but for recovery. Currently, it is a network that focuses on all aspects of recovery from; to physical, mental and spiritual healing from a holistic perspective. Its mission is to deliver content designed to educate, provide hope, inspiration and motivation, for others to live happier and healthier lives. The Recovery Channel’s resources are available through the free app, for Apple and Android.

Carrie says her next project is an infomercial featuring photos of loved ones who have been lost to the disease of addiction: people of all races, ages, genders, and backgrounds. To submit a photo, Carrie asks people to please send photos, preferably headshots, or pictures just of the loved one with no others in the picture. Those who wish to participate and help us spread awareness and end the stigma of addiction, please send an email to: [email protected] and type the words “Infomercial Participation Request” in the subject line.

PEER Wellness Center

Peer WellnessPEER Wellness Center is a community recovery center in Boise, Idaho. PEER Wellness, as a member of the Idaho Association of Recovery Community Centers, offers the following services:

  • Immediate connection with a trained recovery coach for those who qualify for IROC treatment and recovery support services.
  • Detoxification companion for individuals who are detoxing from or are overdosing on opiates at medical facilities, crisis centers, or recovery centers.
  • On-call services for individuals receiving intervention for an opiate overdose.
  • Connection with a recovery coach upon being released from prison or jail.
  • Sober recreational and leisure activities in the community.

Last month, the center sponsored a Community Forum to discuss and address the opioid crisis in their community. Over 400 people attended, including two Representatives, and heard from speakers Ada County Commissioner Jim Tibbs, County Coroner Dottie Owens, the Honorable Judge Lynn Norton with the problem solving courts, and other community treatment providers.

“ Those who attended seemed to walk away with a new awareness of the staggering statistics and a motivation to be part of the solution. The second part of this four-part series is scheduled for April.”

This month, PEER Wellness sponsored a panel for a community discussion on the Opioid Crisis in Boise, with Monica Forbes, Administrator for PEER Wellness Center and Alex Adams, Director – Idaho Board of Pharmacy and Dr. Eric Nelson, MD, DDS. The panel discussion was moderated by Kevin Richert from Idaho Education News and Boise State Public Radio. Also, The Idaho Association of Recovery Community Centers (including PEER Wellness) joined Representative Mike Kingsley in hosting a legislative Meet & Greet aimed at introducing the Sober Idaho Recovery Community Act (SIRCA). Speakers shared their experiences with the recovery community centers from the personal, provider and community stakeholder point of view. The event was designed to educate Idaho lawmakers about the importance of peer-based recovery support services to those who have this chronic disease.

PEER Wellness’ main projects for 2018 are continued advocacy for recovery, raising public awareness about the drug epidemic, and push for political reform that will support recovery in Idaho.

Partners Facing Addiction-November 2017

This month’s Partners Facing Addiction post includes an East Brunswick, NJ prevention organization and an Ohio agency working to bring the family force to conversations around addiction and recovery. If you’d like your organization to be considered for an upcoming Partners Facing Addiction post, answer a few short questions here.

Wellspring Center for Prevention

Wellspring has been holding a series of viewings for the film Generation Found. These screenings have been held at Kean University, Piscataway Public Library, Monmouth University, and the New Brunswick Public Library.

The agency is also a participating partner with the Partnership for a Drug-Free NJ in their Knock Out Opioids Town Hall meetings. The agency is in final preparations for the annual New Jersey Drug Summit/Legislative Forum scheduled for December 5. The theme of this year’s event is “A Focus on Substance Use as a Public Health Issue” and it will feature three primary components: A presentation on current drug trends; a discussion on how substance use affects everyone (including a conversation on the toll of addiction on families and businesses), law enforcement and incarceration and the cost impact of substance use); and, a discussion on the importance of prevention and recovery.

The agency is the recipient of a Sober Truth on Preventing Underage Drinking Act (STOP ACT) grant. The Coalition for Healthy Communities is working to change the norms which support underage drinking through a multi-level project that includes encouraging full enforcement of current private property ordinances and implementation of new ordinances in non-compliant towns. Three municipalities in Middlesex County have been identified based on multiple risk factors putting youth in those communities at risk for underage drinking. Law enforcement members will be a primary focus since they are the ones responsible for enforcing the private property ordinances. Teens, identified as peer leaders in their targeted high school will be a part of the advocacy process. They will be provided with education and skills to outreach to their peers. Parents and other adults in a position to serve or provide alcohol to underage youth will also be addressed through this project.

“We are especially proud of our School-Based Youth Services program at Carteret High School called Pathways.” Pathways develops and provides services which respond to the local needs of the Carteret community and the student population. Pathway offers services before, during and after school and throughout the summer. These services are designed to remove the barriers that impede young people from being successful in school and in life. Whether these stressors and barriers to success include mental health issues, family conflict, inability to control anger, financial difficulties, substance use or academics, Pathways will work with students to address these issues. Pathways boasts an array of programs specifically designed for Carteret High School students including:
* Counseling – Over one third of the High School student body participates in individual, group, or family counseling each year. Most referrals come from students themselves. Individual counseling is provided by trained, licensed mental health professionals.
* Educational Enrichment – Advocacy, homework support, and access to free computers are provided.
* Health Care – Our on-site nurse practitioner provides primary and preventative health care, prescriptions, health screenings and education, and much more on a weekly basis.
* Employment Preparation – Employment and life skills counseling, as well as job search coaching and assistance, are offered.
* Clinical and Support Groups – Whether it is the weekly Girl Talk support and empowerment group, SADD or the PALS community service initiative, students have the support they need to grow and express themselves.
* Recreation – In addition to providing a safe and comfortable space for recreation during lunch or study periods, Pathways arranges trips, special events, and an engaging summer camp.

For more information about Wellspring, go to the website contact Ezra Helfand.

Ohio Can

Staff just attended an event at Cardinal Health bringing awareness to the over-distribution of narcotic medication and suspicious deliveries to locations in West Virginia and Ohio. There were close to 100 Teamsters and advocates at their entrance prior to their Board meeting. The result was their promise to set up a committee for review.

Other recent activities include participating in three county-wide Trunk or Treats and Fall Festivals providing families and those impacted by substance use the opportunity for support and awareness.

The organization continues to support the Ohio project of YouCAN2 bags, providing hope and love in a bag to those detoxing, overdosing or in need of food, hygiene items and winter apparel. One can find these at hospitals, detox centers, recovery homes and step-down prisons.

“We bring the family voice to substance use and those struggling. The family is a key element and often the most forgotten. Unless families heal, our loved ones often return to the same ‘people, places and things.'” To learn more about Ohio Can, visit the website or contact Cindy Koumoutzis.

In Loving Memory of William Jared Harrison

In loving memory of William Jared Harrison 10/11/1987 – 06/23/2017.

To live under the inexplicably heavy cloak of addiction is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. While I’ve never experienced it first-hand and won’t pretend that I ever have, I’ve fought alongside of someone who has for many years. It is obvious that it is a battle, day in and day out. Every morning, every moment, is a fight as to whether or not you will supply your body with the very thing it has become dependent upon to survive.

For you, heroin was air.

We don’t think twice about breathing. Our brains have deemed it necessary because it satisfies a need. Immediately following our entrance into this world our tiny bodies searched for an element we didn’t yet know existed. We stumbled upon our first breath of oxygen in an attempt to let out a scream, and noticed an instant, overwhelming attraction to this feeling of being oxygenated. Our brains were rewired in the blink of an eye and from this moment forward, we knew what we had to do to survive. If we had tried to fight the next breath that followed, our bodies would immediately recognize the agony we would experience as every cell in our body would be deprived of a substance it quickly became dependent on, and we would succumb to this natural instinct— to inhale.

Just like that, in an attempt to let out a scream and calm the multitudes of anxieties within your soul, you stumbled upon heroin. Not knowing that genetics weren’t in your favor, you happened to find an attraction to this substance a little more so than the next guy. Within moments, just like when you took your first breath, dopamine flooded your body signaling to your brain that this stuff- this stuff was good. It satisfied a need. From then on, every moment of every day, your body knew what it needed in order to avoid the possible agony that would again, just like with air, follow without it. So, you inhaled. Over and over again.

The point is no longer whether or not the decision you made to quiet a scream was right or wrong. It happened, you’re human. There’s no going back, no undoing it. All that mattered now, was when you would take your next breath.

Looking back, the irony of the situation is painful. Unknowingly, the last decision you made wasn’t to feed your body’s desire for oxygen, but for heroin. Over time, the two had become synonymous, making it difficult to decipher which was more necessary in the moments of your body’s intense hunger. As it pulsed through your veins, your breaths became shallow, and you stopped yearning for the very air that was truly vital for your survival. This time, the high was so great that it reminded you of your very first breath, only to rob you of your next.

The stigma associated with addiction is one of failure. Of a lack of willpower. Of a bad decision. I don’t know about you, but after my first breath, I inhaled again, too. The only difference between my warrior of a brother and I is that I never desired to look beyond air to quiet a scream. I’ve never even needed to scream to his extent. I wasn’t buried alive in a grave of anxieties grasping for air at every chance I had and I most certainly won’t pretend that in search for a moment of peace, I wouldn’t have inhaled, too.

 

 

Partners Facing Addiction–October 2017

With this month’s Partners Facing Addiction post, we’re highlighting a Rockford, IL employment firm, a Buffalo, NY, community convener whose objective is to spread the power of connection to deal with the addiction crisis, and a Burlingame, CA organization for women that focuses on wellness, recovery and expressive arts. If you’d like your organization to be considered for an upcoming Partners Facing Addiction post, answer a few short questions here.

H.I.R.E.

Hope In Recovery Employment (HIRE) LLC empowers a marginalized population by creating flexible employment opportunities, offering a life coach for career guidance and credentialing staff to help transition folks into careers. HIRE offers these main services in Rockford:October

HIRE Grounds – A downtown café (opening late 2017) that will feature barista and culinary training.
HIRE Cleaning – Pursuing partnerships with Rockford Area Realtors and Rockford Apartment Association. Teams work in pairs to provide a stellar cleaning experience.
HIRE Recruiting – Finds solutions to a variety of issues facing job seekers, particularly those with barriers to employment.

For more information, go to hope4hire.com  contact  David Armstrong, HIRE’s founder, at [email protected]

Buffalo Tough Chains

This organization is a community initiative that aims to link families of Buffalo through the power of connection. They created a Octoberkey chain that has 17 links, representing the 17 counties of Western New York. They are working with Kids Escaping Drugs and donating 50 percent of the proceeds to that organization, along with shining a light on the children affected by the epidemic of addiction.

Here are two news stories about Buffalo Tough Chains: http://buffalonews.com/2017/10/06/buffalo-tough-chains-link-opiate-survivors/ and http://www.wkbw.com/news/locally-made-key-chains-raising-addiction-awareness.

For more information, go to buffalotoughchains.com.

Next Steps for Women

Next Steps moderates Women For Sobriety meetings every Monday; WFS is a nonprofit, secular alcohol/drug recovery program for women developed by Jean Kirkpatrick, PhD, in the late ’70s. Their “New Life” program–empowers women with self-confidence by using cognitive behavioral therapy tools such as introducing ourselves by name followed by “a capable, competent, caring, compassionate and courageous woman.”

Action items: reached the program director at the local hospital’s chemical dependency program to educate them about WFS as a valuable resource and to find a room to hold an additional meeting per week.

The organization’s current project is creating a documentary film, titled The Creative High in San Francisco. The film vision: The artistic process can be otherworldly and take one to an altered state in order to produce art. Unfortunately, many of the means that have been available to create this altered state are seductive, destructive and addictive. The key element that can be missing for those who suffer with substance use disorders is developing the ability to drop in and out of these states by choice, rather than giving over to drugs, alcohol, sex, power or fame to be creative. The Creative High will delve into the artist’s challenge to find and maintain equilibrium, showcase the ways that art can be a guidepost and shed light on the creative path before and after recovery.

The film team: Top Left: Dianne Griffin, Jeanne Bautista, Thayer Walker, Adriana Marchione, Barry Stone, Matt Webber. Bottom Left: Dancer Mallory La Bro and performer/dancer Luis Canales.

For more information about the film:  http://www.thecreativehigh.com/.

 

 

Partners Facing Addiction–September 2017

This month’s Partners Facing Addiction post features one organization that helps children affected by addiction and another that calls itself a centralized resource for “all things recovery.” We would love to feature your organization as a part of this monthly feature. If you’d like your organization to be considered, answer a few short questions here.

The Perfectly Flawed Foundation

The Perfectly Flawed Foundation, LaSalle, IL, strengthens communities affected by substance abuse by investing in children, individuals and community projects.

In a fast-paced infancy, the team of local leaders and volunteers use one-on-one contact to solicit funds. Since March 2017, over $30,000 has been raised in a town of 9,000.

This past April, an Earth Day event was held to clean up the local parks and trails to demonstrate that anyone, regardless of their past, can make a difference in their community. For the cleanup efforts, $4000 was also raised for the local Canal Corridor Association from a matching grant provided by the National Park Service.

The Perfectly Flawed Foundation participated in local overdose awareness events last month and founder, Luke Tomsha, was a guest speaker at the 2017 Buddy’s Purpose Overdose Awareness walk held in Ottawa, IL with an audience of more than 200.

Luke took to the stage and urged those attendance to pull out their phones and fill out the FacingAddiction.org petition to the President and urged more funding be made available to September Partnershelp re-introduced drug offenders to society rather than locking them up in jail. Over 500+ more petitions were signed the following day when the petition was shared through social media post honoring a friend who had just passed.

This coming November the team has planned an auction fundraising event, The Perfectly Flawed Evening.

A large portion of the funds being raised are earmarked for children affected by addiction by providing access to activities such as music, art, gymnastics, yoga and other extra curricular activities. The foundation knows that the children are the next generation of our communities and they need exposure to help unlock their hidden talents. Along with money that has already been invested in local schools and library, the foundation also provides assistance to help introduce individuals to society in exchange for community service.

For more information about The Perfectly Flawed Foundation, click here or go to the organization’s website.

Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR)

The Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR) envisions a world where the power, hope and healing of recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction is thoroughly understood and embraced.

Recovery Walks! is 18th annual walk for recovery from alcohol and other addiction, held last Saturday, September 23 at Bushnell Park, Hartford, CT, our State Capitol. There was an expected crowd of between 1,500 and 2,000 people.

The organization is also sponsoring the Multiple Pathways of Recovery Conference, Punta Gorda, FL on October 23-26where some 400 people will explore multiple pathways. Presenters of note – Bill White, Don Coyhis, Dr. John Kelly, Mark Lundholm, Leela Durga, Shannon Egan and others. For more information, go to: www.ccarconference.org.

Finally, CCAR is excited about CCAr Recovery Coach Academy(c) in Canada – https://www.pentictonwesternnews.com/news/city-funding-5000-for-recovery-coach-training/ 

Together, we are better, way better.

Tara Conner Celebrates Recovery in Baltimore

I was so grateful to be a part of the Facing Addiction’s launch UNITE to Face Addiction event on the National Mall in Washington on October 4, 2015. On October 4th this year, I’ll commemorate the organization’s two-year anniversary at its Baltimore event that celebrates recovery. (Learn more here.)

I have been an advocate for recovery for over 10 years now and that day I was full of hope for a better future in addiction recovery sources. There have been so many of us beating down doors for years and that day I felt like I was a part of change. It was bigger than me.

The door opened a little that day, but the need for resources is at an all-time high today! It is important for all of us in long-term recovery to join together and continue this fight!

I’m excited to go to Baltimore to be a part of the solution once again. I have a great appreciation for Facing Addiction and its efforts! On any given morning, I wake up to at least 20 Tara Connermessages from people telling me that I needed to stop blaming other people for my own addiction. People still strongly believe that this disease is a moral failing. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done, and mornings like those fill me with fuel to continue to be a voice for the voiceless.

It is important for people in long-term recovery to continue to recover out loud for this very reason. As much as I would like to believe that a real shift is happening in public perception, I am reminded that we need to come together even more today. We need to show people that recovery works, and that there is a way up and out. This will never be an easy mountain to climb, but I am honored to be a voice for change.

I will fight this fight until I take my last breath. One of the very worse things about addiction is not doing something about it. Perhaps the hate mail I receive is a good sign. If I don’t make people uncomfortable, I am not inspiring growth. So to all of my fellow recovering messes out there–let’s shake them up, and wake them up!

For tickets to the Baltimore event, click HERE.

Partners Facing Addiction–August 2017

We’re delighted to feature three outstanding Action Network partners this month as a part of our ongoing Partners Facing Addiction series. In fact, the first one, is also a delight. You’ll read more about this Washington, DC-based organization in a moment. First, please remember that if you’d like to be a featured monthly partner, we need to hear from you! Tell us why by answering a few short questions here.

Without further ado:

Delight Me

Delight Me®, which stands for Diet Exercise Laughter Inspiration Goals Habits Together Motivation Everyday, is an integrated life management, coaching, client relationship, and digital marketing solution for individuals and organizations to set goals, track progress, and receive feedback from trusted advisors. Delight Me seamlessly integrates people, data, and goals using a unique closed-loop framework.

Today, Delight Me® subscribers include teachers, artists, business development executives, managers, students and entrepreneurs, pediatricians, and surgeons. People have successfully eliminated pain, saved money, lost weight, managed diabetes, and taken control of their career. Currently, the National Institutes for Health/National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH/NIDA), and Johns Hopkins Medicine are using the Delight Me® platform in a clinical trial they designed to monitor the quality of life of people who are in recovery.

Delight Me, Inc. is proud to partner with Facing Addiction and the Action Network because we share the sense of urgency around making treatment accessible and affordable and in organizing to effect change in our communities and nationwide. Together, with focused action, we can make treatment more accessible and affordable.

To learn more and become a subscriber, please visit delightme.com or send an email to [email protected].

Adoration

Our second featured Partner Facing Addiction is Adoration, a group of East Tennessee State University students and young adults who are coordinating an event in which 1,000 different churches will come together for a prayer and worship service at ETSU on October 1st, 2017. In addition to worship, they’ll provide churches with valuable education and resources regarding prescription drug abuse to better serve communities on this issue.

Adoration advertisements are airing on News 103.9 Live Wire Radio and 1420 NBC Sports Radio Tri-Cities. Talk about collaborating to end the prescription drug abuse epidemic in Appalachia!

Bullitt Opioid Addiction Team

The Bullitt Opioid Addiction Team (B.O.A.T.) works at the Bullitt County, Kentucky, Detention Center during visitation hours training and distributing B.O.A.T. Overdose Rescue Kits equipped with Evzio or naloxone.  This month, more than 70 kits were distributed to visitors and law enforcement–since school was starting, they also handed out backpacks to children visiting.

In addition, B.O.A.T. hosted its annual “Big Purple” event in which the community gathered to receive B.O.A.T. Overdose Training and Kits, learn about recovery resources, Casey’s Law in KY, etc. B.O.A.T. has also trained and supplied local first responders with Overdose Rescue Kits: the Southeast Bullitt and Nichols Firefighters, Hillview and Mt. Washington Police Departments, Hillview Emergency Response Team (HERT), Bullitt County Sheriff’s Office, Judicial Center, etc. The crowds have averaged about 50 attendees per event and are picking up momentum!

For more information about the Bullitt Opioid Addiction Team, check out the organization’s website. Watch this story on Louisville’s WDRB.

Choose Your Best Day

The best day of my life is March 13, 2016.

Rewind to January 1, 2001. Happy New Year! It’s 10:00 in the morning. I’m walking out of jail, shielding my eyes from a sun that’s too bright. It’s cold, my head hurts, and I feel sick to my stomach. In my head, I can still hear the promises I made to God the night before. “Help me get sober and I will forever be of service to you! Pinky swear!”

That morning, a new life of sobriety had begun. I began attending 12-step meetings. I surrendered, I cleaned up my messes, I made up, and I grew up. I became a yoga teacher. I was a wife and a mother and I had good friends. And yet, I felt unloved and unworthy most of the time.

Fast forward to March of 2011. With 10 years of recovery, I’m about to experience a series of traumatic events that will break my bones and leave me in pieces.

your best dayMy mom passed away. The grieving process began. A few months later, my marriage of 25 years ended. It took him a whole two weeks to move on. His family, loyal to him, quickly moved on as well. I felt abandoned, alone, and unloved. I uprooted myself and moved into a 550 square foot house that was so tiny I found it hard to breathe. My loneliness was becoming unbearable. I spent many dark, long nights on my yoga mat, practicing, breathing, meditating, and praying.

As if that weren’t enough, my best friend of 30 years lost her seven-year battle to cancer. Driving home from her funeral, I received a call that my sister had passed away from complications during surgery. My marriage was over. Three of the four most important women in my life were gone. I still had my daughter, though our relationship was becoming strained due to my recent divorce from her dad. On Mother’s Day, I overreacted to a situation with her and her response was that she “needed six months off from me.”

My dog died.

I was broken and didn’t want to live anymore.

Eventually, though, with the support of good friends, and survival instincts I found my bad-assery. I pulled myself up from the floor, brushed the dust off, and wiped my tears. I got a tattoo that says “I got this!”

Even though I was mentally stronger, I was sick physically. As luck would have it, my teacher Durga Leela, was in town doing an Ayurvedic Yoga of Recovery workshop. I met with her and she recommended trying Panchakarma with an Ayurveda physician. Panchakarma is the art of detoxification, purification, and rejuvenation; it’s been used for thousands of years to help people address the root causes of their ailments.

I completed a week-long program of Panchakarma. I was sent home with instructions about maintaining a daily self-care program to help me eat well, sleep well, and take better care of myself. On my last day of Panchakarma, I met with the doctor for final consultation. At the bottom of my instruction sheet, I noticed he had scribbled the date 3/13/2016 with a s

your best day

miley face next to it. I asked the doctor about it, and he said that would be the best day of my life.

Every day for the next eight months, I anticipated March 13, 2016. Would I get a new job? A new car? Should I play the lottery?Sign up for Match.com?

I could not contain myself when I woke up on that day. It was a warm, beautiful Sunday morning. I poured a cup of coffee and sat on my front steps. I felt amazing. Then, it came to me. I was happy. Really happy! And healthy. I had never in my 60 years been so at peace. I felt at peace with the world, peace with myself, and at peace in recovery.

The lesson I learned that morning was that happiness isn’t dependent on a new relationship, a new job, or more money. Happiness is self-love.

In many cases, people hit a bottom before befriending recovery. With me, recovery and I hit rock bottom together. Together, we pulled through. My relationship with recovery and my relationship with myself need to be my highest priorities, until death do us part.

Partner Facing Addiction–July 2017

Our coverage this month features a standout Action Network Partner Facing Addiction, the FED UP! Coalition, which works to:

  • Prevent children, friends, and loved ones from becoming addicted to opioids
  • Ensure that people suffering from opioid addiction have access to affordable, evidence-based treatment
  • Support and enable recovery
  • Eliminate opioid overdose deaths.

The FED UP! Coalition, which is based in Minnesota and has an office in Washington, DC, Partners Facing Addictionis deep into planning International Overdose Awareness Day events in Washington, DC and across the country on August 31st.

The FED UP! Coalition recently sent a letter to the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, headed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, about the need for change at the FDA (which was not mentioned at all in their first meeting).

Partners Facing AddictionThe FED UP! Coalition is part of the Action Network because we want to support Facing Addiction’s broad focus on finding solutions to the addiction crisis by providing a specific focus on calling for immediate federal action on the opioid epidemic, holding the FDA accountable, and working to reduce the influence of pharma.

For more information go to FED UP! Coalition. This year there are many local rallies and initiatives across the country. Check out the state-by-state list of events on International Overdose Awareness Day–August 31–here.

If you’re going to this year’s rally in DC on August 31 or have an interest in the opioid we’d love to hear your story. You can read our guidelines and submit it here.

If you’d like your organization featured as a Action Network Partner Facing Addiction in August or later in the year, click here. Your stories are awesome and the rest of the country needs to hear about your work!

 

Partners Facing Addiction–June 2017

We bring you three featured Action Network Partners Facing Addiction this month. If you’d like your organization featured in July or later in the year as one of our highlighted partners, click here. We’d love to tell the country about events you’ve organized, your ongoing projects and brag about your local media coverage!

The Family Recovery Solution

The first June Partner is The Family Recovery Solution, located in Lafayette, Colorado. The organization’s mission is to create a world where all people feel empowered to genuinely contribute to the process of healing themselves, their family, and the world around them for the benefit of future generations. Community leader Jeff Jones offers webinars and video courses. Click here for more information.

Texas Overdose Naloxone Initiative (TONI)

The second Partner we’re recognizing this month is the Texas Overdose Naloxone Initiative. In co-founder Mark Kinzly’s words:

We have been conducting overdose prevention trainings around the state of Texas training anyone from front-line outreach workers who engage with high-risks individuals and residential treatment programs and recovery residences (sober houses) to medication assisted recovery practitioners and family groups on how to best recognize,  respond and evaluate opioid overdoses.

Last year we trained more than 3,000 people and distributed Naloxone to many individuals. This month, we have trained over 300 people and by the end of August we will train more than 100 providers and an estimated 800 individuals.

We are in the planning stages for the 4th Statewide Overdose Awareness Day along with all the statewide trainings for the state health and human services commission offices.

For more information, click here and to watch news coverage in the Austin area:
http://kxan.com/investigative-story/fentanyl-deaths-rising-in-central-texas-going-untracked/

Dash for Recovery 5K 2017

The third featured Action Network Partner for June is Dash for Recovery in New Hampshire.

Organizer and main contact Karen McCarthy writes: The third annual Dash for Recovery raises funds for anyone in the community wishing to receive help with their recovery! This year we are hoping for 200 runners/walkers to raise another $10,000! The race is held at Mine Falls in Nashua, NH on August 20th. We are a small group of parents trying to make a difference!

For more information, see Dash for Recovery’s Facebook page.

Partners Facing Addiction – May 2017

We have a phenomenal and growing list of Action Network Partners! This month we’re pleased to feature three terrific organizations, one in Seattle, one in San Francisco and the third in Ohio.

If you’d like your organization to take part in our monthly Partners Facing Addiction recognition, click here.

WEconnect Recovery

On May 1-2, we curated and participated in this panel at the Health Technology Forum’s Common Good Innovation Conference at Stanford University. The panel conversation was around this question, “How can we amplify solutions for the public health crisis?”

Learn more about Weconnect Recovery.

Center for Open Recovery

COR hosted Road to Recovery SF, community-oriented festival and 5K in support of all who are in or seek recovery from addiction, on April 30 at Crissy Field in San Francisco. Presented by The Mortar Foundation and hosted by Center for Open Recovery (COR), Road to Recovery SF is a day of pride and connections as we redefine, educate, inspire and co-create what it means to live freely in open recovery. This year’s half-day of wellness included a family-friendly 5K walk/run, art, inspirational speakers, yoga, dance, music, healthy foods and so much more! It’s an open invitation to celebrate life with friends and family, bringing attention to recovery, and shattering stereotypes.

Road to Recovery SF is COR’s flagship event that offers empowering personal experiences to participants, to encourage individuals in recovery to come out of the shadows, let go of their undeserved shame and defeat stigma. The end results are 1) more people identifying as ‘in recovery’; 2) raise awareness in San Francisco about Open Recovery; 3) eliminate stereotypes about addiction and recovery; 4) provide affirmation and role models for people who seek or are in recovery; 5) people who need treatment will get the help they need; and 6) less substance misuse-related deaths.

We have launched the “This Is Recovery” media campaign to educate the general public about recovery is and can be. Featuring real-life people who are in recovery, the campaign is designed to encourage those who need help to seek treatment so that they too can live healthily and with dignity, and to shatter stereotypes about recovery really looks like.

We also are creating a workshop for the workplace aimed at employers and employees to help create recovery-conducive environments. Contrary to stereotypes that associate addiction with homelessness and criminality, the majority of people suffering from addiction or in recovery are employed. It is so important that work environments offer the support and understanding so that treatment can be sought without fear, and that employees have a supportive environment to return after treatment.

Learn more about Center for Open Recovery.

Robby’s Voice

We are working on a possible recovery center in our community of Medina, Ohio, with the country drug court.

We also hold a Family Matters meeting every Monday night for anyone affected by addiction.

Finally, we speak in schools and other venues through Northeast Ohio about Robby’s story, prevention and education.

Read about how the FBI recently honored Robby’s Voice.

Learn more about Robby’s Voice. 

Partners Facing Addiction – April 2017

This month we’re shining our Action Network Partners spotlight on two organizations doing incredible advocacy work. One is in Virginia and the other is in Michigan. These organizations—and hundreds more like them–are the heart and soul of our Action Agenda; they are the local voice that creates true grassroots change in our space.

We asked our April Featured Partners to give us a summarized description of their current work. If you’d like your organization to take part in our monthly Partners Facing Addiction recognition, click here.

McShin Foundation – Richmond, VA

We hosted our annual Sober St. Patrick’s Day Celebration as the Richmond edition of the national organization. We hosted a sober tent in the family area of the Church Hill Irish Festival, providing a safe and fun environment for recovering people to enjoy the day! We also provided information and resources for the community to some of the thousands of people who attended the festival. We participate in these events to reduce the stigma of substance use disorders and increase awareness about the positivity and hope that recovery can provide!

This month we also hosted a REVIVE! Naloxone Training for 17 family members in our community. Moving forward, we hope to host more trainings and increase knowledge and access to this life saving service. In the beginning of the month, we hosted Dr. Debbie Ruisard from Rutgers University to present her workshop “Through a Trauma Informed Lens: Rethinking Addiction Treatment.” She presented the workshop to our program participants and other members of the community and professional fields. In the future, we hope the awareness and knowledge acquired during this training will improve our responses to trauma and its role in an individual’s recovery.

Finally, we are currently growing McShin Academy, Virginia’s first and only recovery high school. We currently have 12 students, the most we have ever had! We believe that adolescents with a substance use disorder will benefit from this environment and be able to achieve successes in their education as well as their recovery. Two of our students recently celebrated their first year in recovery! We are so proud of our students and all their hard work!

Learn more about the McShin Foundation.

Unite to Face Addiction Michigan – Lansing, MI

Our founding members were inspired by the events that took place in Washington, DC, on October 4, 2015 when people let it be known that enough was enough, raising their voices to be heard, and bringing national attention to this epidemic our country. They came home after the rally, and created Unite to Face Addiction Michigan to continue the conversation here in our home state, where opiate deaths and addiction are an everyday occurrence.

We are working on raising awareness in our state, and promoting unity by holding our second annual state rally at the Capitol in Lansing. We are hoping to inspire organizations, people in recovery, and those in our communities that have felt the effects of addiction to unite to bring an end to stigma and to promote change in the way this disease is treated.

This year’s rally is set for Thursday, May 18. Founder Scott Masi says, “This year we want the Unite to Face Addiction Michigan rally to be a platform for everything being done in the state to advocate for addiction and recovery. Sure, we want to stage an entertaining, successful rally. But our primary goal is to educate and create awareness at the state level. And we want to showcase the family perspectives on addiction – parent to child and child to parent. I could not be happier with the response I have gotten from those organizations and individuals who have stepped up to help. There is truly strength in unity. And strength in this amazing collaborative effort.”   Learn more here.

New Feature: Partners Facing Addiction

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
http://www.communityincrisis.org/  Partners Facing Addiction: Community in Crisis

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
http://bigvision.nyc/

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 Partners Facing Addiction Big Vision NYCsober 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
http://www.tinhihlasvegas

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 stigmaPartners Facing Addiction: There is No Hero in Heroin 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
https://www.silverhillhospital.org/

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.

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