Sup­port Fam­i­lies in Re­cov­ery’s mis­sion

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

Re­spond­ing to the needs of Charles County Cit­i­zens as noted in a re­cent edi­to­rial in the Mary­land In­de­pen­dent (“Open­ing the salvo against over­dose deaths, ” March 3), the abuse of heroin and other opi­ates in Mary­land has reached such epi­demic pro­por­tions that Gov. Larry Ho­gan (R) re­cently signed an ex­ec­u­tive or­der declar­ing a state of emer­gency.

The statis­tics are in­deed alarm­ing. Heroin-related over­dose deaths dur­ing the first nine months of 2016 rose 72 per­cent over the pre­vi­ous year. Here in Charles County, we are see­ing an av­er­age of one over­dose death a week, and our first re­spon­ders are de­ploy­ing Nar­can (nalox­one), the over­dose res­cue drug, three to four times a day to re­vive peo­ple who would other wise die.

One promis­ing re­sponse to the cri­sis has been the estab­lish­ment of drug treat­ment courts such as Charles County’s Fam­ily Re­cov­ery Court (FRC), which works to get par­ents of young chil­dren clean and on solid foot­ing to the point that they can safely care for their chil­dren again. Participants in the re­cov­ery court are re­quired to com­plete sub­stance abuse treat­ment, at­tend so­bri­ety sup­port meet­ings, par­tic­i­pate in men­tal health therapy, ob­tain employment, and com­plete an in­ten­sive par­ent­ing pro­gram.

The FRC pro­gram is hard work, and participants typ­i­cally re­quire 18 months to two years to com­plete all the re­quire­ments and grad­u­ate. Par­tic­i­pa­tion in a drug court is not just rig­or­ous, it is also ex­pen­sive and the costs are not fully cov­ered by gov­ern­ment and grant fund­ing. For ex­am­ple, a young mother mov­ing into safe hous­ing for the first time might need as­sis­tance in get­ting ba­sic fur­nish­ings. Or par­ents who have worked and saved to get a car on the road with tags and in­surance might need help get­ting a safety-rated car seat for their child.

Fam­i­lies In Re­cov­ery Inc. (FIR) is a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion that was es­tab­lished to sup­port the work of the FRC and other drug courts that may some­day be es­tab­lished in Charles County.

FIR mem­bers have pro­vided Christ­mas gifts and Easter bas­kets for FRC par­ents to give their chil­dren. But there are larger needs, such as fund­ing for re­cover y hous­ing and tran­si­tional hous­ing, that are not cur­rently be­ing met. Through the gen­eros­ity of our sup­port­ers, FIR has been able to meet its ini­tial goals, and we will con­tinue to work to pro­vide sup­port for Charles County drug courts.

The board mem­bers par­tic­u­larly want to thank ev­ery­one who turned out for our kick­off fundraiser last fall. We are very grate­ful for the sup­port of Sen. Thomas “Mac” Mid­dle­ton (D-Charles) and County Com­mis­sion­ers’ Pres­i­dent Peter Mur­phy (D). And we es­pe­cially want to rec­og­nize our Gold Spon­sors: Wal­dorf Toy­ota and Ham­mad Matin, Esq.

FIR wel­comes in­quiries and vol­un­teers. Check out the Fam­i­lies in Re­cov­ery Face­book page, or con­tact us at fam­i­liesin­re­cov­ery­inc@gmail. Come to learn how you can help re­cov­er­ing par­ents achieve their goal of re­unit­ing with their chil­dren. Megan Ra­bie, In­dian Head The writer is a board mem­ber of Fam­i­lies In Re­cov­ery Inc.

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