Southern Maryland News

Support Families in Recovery’s mission


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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