The topic of addiction was identified as one that residents wanted to address during the Coalition's Needs Assessment Forum in September, leading to the conversation with Bianchi and Frank Busener, a reintegration specialist, in November and the screening of "Voices for Recovery: Building a Recovery Community" at the December forum.
The goal of the annual recovery vigil has been to shine a light on a scourge that's affected families and communities across the nation: Addiction.
"I have kept my demons at bay for 13 years and six months," said Rebecca Dodge, recalling her fall into drug abuse in the early 2000s. But many of her friends haven't been as successful, she told the gathering Noel Field Athletic Complex for the Voices of Recovery event on Saturday afternoon.
Grown from a walk and vigil based on a national event, this annual rally will include both those things but also provide space for information booths, speakers, music, food vendors and children's activities. The theme is "Our Families, Our Stories, Our Recovery" to acknowledge "that we all have a story to tell and a role to play to support recovery."
The new center at Berkshire Medical Center is a "step down" level of care for those who just went through detoxification. Instead of being waitlisted at out-patient services or released back home, those struggling with addiction can now stay up to 30 days in the new unit to continue fighting the disease.
The possibility of establishing a new addiction recovery center, modeled after a successful Holyoke program, and potentially sited at the underutilized George B. Crane Memorial Center, was explored at a public forum held at City Hall on Thursday.
During a one-hour presentation attended by about 20 area residents, representatives from the "Hope for Holyoke" Peer Recovery Center described their approach in providing a variety of support services for those struggling with addiction and other iss