After heroin deaths, Broome officials building overdose database
So, “what,” you ask “does a Rainmaker do?”
What does Truth Pharm do?
Well, Rainmakers are change-makers, game-changers, powerhouses, people who refuse to accept no for an answer. They are optimistic, driven and produce results. Despite current negative conditions, they work to overcome. When a challenging problem exists with no apparent or clear solution – a Rainmaker will find and create solutions! They will take action.
That’s a Rainmaker – and that is what Truth Pharm is made up of. People who will create change and WILL have an impact on this epidemic.
Per our mission: Truth Pharm works to raise awareness, reduce the stigma, educate the public and advocate for policy and law changes surrounding substance use and treatment.
And here is a summary of how we went about creating change in 2016!
Awareness and Outreach Events:
Community Response Action Plans:
Police & Criminal Justice Outreach:
Obtaining Treatment, System Navigation, Family Awareness and Education:
Grants & Fundraising:
*2016 was the first year of our 501c3. Since we did not have nonprofit status in 2015, no fundraisers were hosted, no donations were accepted or EVER collected. ALL efforts in 2015 were financially supported and provided by Founder and Director Alexis Pleus.
Pleus felt compelled to start an awareness and advocacy organization, Truth Pharm, which has made its way to the national front. They work to raise awareness, reduce stigma, and advocate for programs and policy changes. They have enrolled four police agencies to date in the Gloucester Angel Program, have gotten many people into treatment, and are providing Community Response Action Plans across upstate New York.
“We, like many others, believe the solution to this epidemic is multi-faceted. However, we believe the time for action is now… It isn’t time for a band aid. It’s time for a tourniquet,” she says.
Pleus says what is needed from our lawmakers now is:
1. Humane, medically assisted detox.
2. Same day evaluations.
3. Immediate access to treatment.
4. To require insurers to pay for the type and length of treatment known to be effective.
5. To increase insurance reimbursement rates so that treatment centers can afford to open and operate in New York.
“Everything else is ancillary and can wait. But, we cannot wait for these things,” she adds.
Read entire article here: http://www.chronicle-express.com/article/20160401/NEWS/160339992/?Start=1
Penny emailed me and said, I met this guy, he’s the real deal. His name is Chris Arnade, he writes for The Guardian and he wants to know what’s happening in our area.
I was having a particularly rough and down week emotionally. I know the scale of The Guardian and I was familiar of Chris’ work, but I wondered if I could muster the energy to leave the house for yet one more meeting that week. He contacted me before I had a chance to reach out to him and asked about getting together to talk over the weekend. We decided to meet for coffee on a Saturday morning.
I did my typical, got up and had coffee at home. Got on the computer and got lost. Before I knew it, it was past time to go see him and I hadn’t even showered. I threw on a headband and clothes, half washed my face, put on some moisturizer and deodorant and raced to Binghamton. On my way there, I attempted to text him to let him know I was running late and realized I failed to pay my cell phone bill and my phone was shut off. I almost turned around and went home.
Here I was, leaving the house when I didn’t want to, a phone not working because I didn’t pay the bill, unshowered – all evidence of the depression I had sunk into heading to meet a nationally known writer to talk about a topic that I am passionate about and yet, adds to my sadness.
I hoped as I always do, that we would be talking about Truth Pharm. Talking about the problem at large. Talking about the thousands lost, the millions struggling.
I got there and found him quickly. I was beyond ‘fashionably late’ and he was immediately forgiving. He appeared to be as far behind in showering as I was and I settled down.
He immediately started his interview – all about my personal life. Right from the beginning of my life and I felt uneasy. Why about me? I even asked him. I have so little to do with this. But, he was so genuine, I got the impression that he is like me, he simply loves to know every element of a person – and their entire life’s story. So, there I sat, telling him my story from the time of being a child to the point of losing my own child. He took a few notes. He picked up on my depression and asked about it. He loved that I was an engineer said I should get back to building bridges. A couple hours later, he said he was going for a walk and I was heading home. All the way home, I wished I had stayed. There was just something about him. I could have hung out with him for days, I’m certain.
As I waited the weeks following for his story to come out, I became increasingly anxious. We talked about so much over the course of those two hours, I wondered in the end, what the story would be about. We stayed in contact via twitter and when the story came out, he asked, “Was I fair?” Yes, Chris, you were fair. Thank you.
Read Penny’s and my story here in Chris’ article.
I am honored to be in a story alongside Penny Stringfield and honored our boys, Jeff Dugon and Johny Stringfield share their stories on a page.
Photos by Chris Arnade.
What a great experience to be interviewed by Susan Arbetter on the Capitol Pressroom in Albany. I’ve been a long time fan and after being interviewed by her, I realized why her show is so great. She’s an amazing interviewer. She is personable, caring, compassionate and incredibly well prepared for her interviews. She knows how to keep things moving without making you feel rushed and she helps ensure you get to make the point you were there to make.
I can’t wait to go back!
Listen to the interview here.
“Anything that involves further criminalizing within this epidemic is time wasted,” Truth Pharm founder Alexis Pleus said. “We really need our government to look at a very aggressive, proactive approach for this epidemic.”
See the report here.
Alexis Pleus lost her son to a heroin overdose last year.
She says along with helping addicts find treatment, society must eliminate the negative stigma attached to addiction to help encourage users to seek help.
“When Jeff passed away, I learned within 24 hours that I didn’t want to tell anyone how he had died because of the way people treated me,” said Pleus. “I started Truth Pharm. We want to work on reducing the stigma, which is really important to me because the less we judge people who have addictions, the more likely they are to reach out for help.”
Truth Pharm hopes to assist the sheriff’s office to get the Angels program rolling — but there are some road blocks.
“As soon as the bed spaces come up, I think we’ll be in good order then,” said Harder.
When Action News asked if the Angels Program could happen in the county without more inpatient centers opening locally, Harder said he wasn’t sure.
“Good question,” he said. “I don’t know yet.”
Harder has ideas of where to build a new treatment facility.
“They want to close down the Broome Developmental Center, why not make that a treatment center?” said Harder. “You’ve got the state hospital, why not go into a treatment center for there? The big thing is cost. That’s what’s holding the whole thing up it seems.”
Pleus said the county could look at the heroin epidemic as an opportunity to lead.
“Rather than being upset that we have an epidemic or upset that we have this addiction crisis, we could be the county that’s looked on positively by putting money into the issue, trying to get people that are addicted treatment, trying to turn this epidemic around, and showing care and love,” said Pleus. “It doesn’t have to be negative, it could be positive.”
See the full report By Julianne Peixoto here.