Recovery professional seeks funds to attend national summit in Atlanta

BRATTLEBORO — I'm trying to raise funds to attend the national Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin summit in Atlanta in April. I work full-time for a mental-health agency as a case manager. My other community involvements include:

• board member and recovery coach at the Turning Point of Windham County recovery center;

• board member for a statewide housing-first organization;

• advisory board member for the Windham County COSU (Consortium on Substance Abuse);

• committee member and outreach worker for Project Care, a community-policing approach to supporting people struggling with substance-use issues;

• steering committee member for Windham County's Community Opioid Response team; and

• a member of a new project in Brattleboro to help address problems, including addiction, homelessness, and panhandling.

I also facilitate numerous recovery-based groups in the community. I'm deeply involved with and invested in this community because it's thanks to this community that I've put together over six years of a very healthy recovery from heroin addiction.

I once volunteered at the Turning Point and had a recovery coach, and as my recovery progressed, I became a staff member and coach myself. Those experiences led to my current role as a case manager. I continue my association with the recovery center now as a board member.

I believe I have a quality recovery and overall life now because I give back what was so freely given to me. I see many other people in recovery also helping those who still are deeply affected by addiction, and I get to witness every day the positive outcomes solely based on these interventions. That's not to discount what wonderful work we're doing in the prevention, treatment, harm-reduction, law enforcement, and recovery fields!

All this work is so important to the well-being and success of our community.

Attending summits like this one allows me to bring the best care and support that I can to this community, through all the ways I support people. I attended this summit last year, and the education I received helped me realize that Vermont is a leader in the fight we're facing against opioid addiction, but we still have more progress to make. It also gave me an incredible amount of hope that things can change.

I've spent much of this past year trying to help others feel and see that very same hope. If I do meet my goal of $2,200, I intend to put together a community forum in late spring for all who'd like to learn all the wonderful info and education I received.

You can help me by visiting gofundme.com/attending-the-rx-drug-abuse-and-heroin-summit. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at [email protected].

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