SE Fighting Back – a Branch of Truth Pharm

SE Fighting Back is a community-based volunteer group dedicated to responding to the heroin and opioid addiction problem in the Sherburne-Earlville School District communities including Sherburne, North Norwich, Smyrna, and Columbus townships in Chenango County and Lebanon and Hamilton townships in Madison County.  Since its formation, SE Fighting Back has become a subsidiary of Truth Pharm, a nonprofit addiction awareness organization in the Southern Tier, to take advantage of Truth Pharm’s resources and knowledge of the issues surrounding the heroin and opioid crisis.

SE Fighting Back Goals
– To raise awareness and educate the public

– To promote prevention, harm reduction and recovery in the S-E communities

2016 Events and Activities Accomplished by SE Fighting Back:

Community Resource/Needs Assessment

Naloxone Trainings

June 16 in Sherburne

October 18 in Smyrna

Forums

April 1 in partnership with SE High School – Assembly for students with impact panel
May 23 in Sherburne – Public awareness event with impact panel

June 21 in Sherburne – In-depth education night including round table discussions

“To Love an Addict” Support Group Initiated – Locations in Norwich and Sherburne on the 2nd and 4th of each month

1st Responder Resource Card – Created for Chenango County and distributed to police, ambulance and fire organizations

Discussions with Mayor Acee of Sherburne and Chenango County Sheriff Cutting to promote formation of a countywide PAARI program.

Provide support to individuals in Chenango County seeking help for themselves or a loved one.

2017 Events and Activities Potentially to Include:
Additional Naloxone Trainings

Community awareness/ education forum(s)

Prescription drug “take-back” day

1st Responder resource card for Madison County
Event in partnership with SE Central School to raise awareness and promote prevention

Initiate Recovery Coach resources for the community by sponsoring individuals to take training

Develop countywide PAARI program in Chenango County
Continued support for individuals seeking rehab and/or integrating back into the community

For More Information find us on Facebook at facebook.com/SEFIGHTINGBACK or email sefightingback@gmail.com. Information about Truth Pharm can be found at truthpharm.org or by emailing truthpharm@gmail.com.

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Rainmakers’ Report 1/17/16 – 1/31/16 – It Even Rains in Winter!

1/17/16 – Our website was updated with many improvements including Jeremiah Lindeman’s Celebrating Lost Loved Ones Map.

1/17/16 – Our first blog post – The Rainmakers’ Report.

1/19/16- Met with Jack Juran, Coordinator, Tioga County Drug Court – we met to get an overview of Tioga County’s Drug Court process and we are VERY impressed! Jack also invited us to prepare a presentation to give at their weekly meeting which will include the Tioga County District Attorney, Public Defender, Tioga County Sheriff, Head of Probation and Drug Court Coordinators.

1/19/16 – Attended our first TCCASA meeting for their Tioga County Addiction Task Force. We were offered a seat on this task force and have accepted. We will be assisting them with many of their efforts in the future. We were provided an update of what they have done to date. We were also offered the opportunity to write a summary about Truth Pharm to be included in their next news letter.

1/19/16 – We’ve received the final list from Assemblyman Crouch’s office of which EMS agencies are carrying naloxone and which are not so that we can start our outreach to them.

1/19/16 – Our 501c3 Application was submitted.

1/19/16 – Asked to be on panel of planners for Genesee County’s Crime Victims Assistance Week and to be one of the speakers for their conference. Also asked to coordinate Chief Campanello’s attendance and speaking engagement. Working on that.

1/19/16 – Asked to speak at Afton Awareness event on March 9 as “Parent Affected”.

1/20/16 – We met with Jeanette Tolson who is a private practice social worker. We discussed Jeanette’s experience in the addiction and recovery treatment world and Truth Pharm’s Core Values and areas of focus. We decided Jeanette’s and our core values are quite inline! Jeanette has graciously offered her professional training services for our upcoming Angel programs and is also willing to be a speaker at awareness events. This is an exciting partnership!

1/20/16 – We met with Tom Jackson and Benjamin Bergman. They have offered some legal expertise to us in addition to some ideas we’ll be working on together! They have also joined our board of directors which is a very exciting announcement.

1/20/16– Executive Committee Meeting

1/24/16 – Received commitment from Refabulous Furniture they will donate furniture for Oxford Police’s Community Recovery Room.

1/25/16 – We had our Rainmaker Meeting with 18 in attendance! Plans for our trips to Albany were discussed. Dannielle Swart provided a nice concise presentation on how laws are made in Albany and an overview of how to lobby to advance policy.

1/26/16 – Alexis Pleus, Michelle Ericitano and Daniel Rippe provided interviews and a response to the New York State Assembly Minority Task Force’s report on the Heroin Epidemic.

1/26/16 – Met with the Oxford Police and three volunteers interested in possibly running our Angel Program for the Oxford Police. It was a fantastic meeting and they have accepted! Sarah Francis, Donna Wood-Craig and Connie Barnes are going to be our Angel Program Leaders for the Oxford Police Department!

1/26/16 – Truth Pharm and the Oxford Naloxone training and the Angel Program featured in an article in The Daily Star newspaper.

1/26/16 – Truth Pharm and the Oxford Naloxone training and the Angel Program featured in an article in The Evening Sun newspaper.

1/27/16 – We provided a resource table at the Windsor High School Awareness event.

1/28/16 – We participated in a nationwide conference call to form committees to plan the next Facing Addiction Rally in Washington DC.

1/28/16 – Attended a webinar training to use SBIRT with Teens.

1/28/16 – Co-Hosted a community Naloxone training in Oxford, NY with the Oxford Police Department and Southern Tier Aides Program. 47 were in attendance. WICZ provided news coverage.

1/29/16 – We met with the new Broome County District Attorney, Stephen Cornwell. We listened to his ideas and plans for the future and heard his beliefs about addiction and the criminal justice system. We felt his values are well aligned with ours! He told us about many of his future plans, most of which we cannot discuss openly yet, but we are very excited about them. We told him about some of our plans and offered to partner on future projects. We also established that we will have an excellent working relationship with him in the future.

1/29/16 – We met with Donna Lupardo and provided our List of Changes Needed in New York State, our Core Values, Strategic Areas of Focus and provided our comments on the Assembly Minority’s Heroin Task Force Report. She was excited and thankful to have the data. She will use it to make connections and discuss with her colleagues. We discussed the ties of the heroin/opioid epidemic to the affects on children in New York which is a topic she champions. We would like to have members of Truth Pharm follow up on this with her some more. She provided a legislative session calendar and suggested dates for us to be most effective in Albany. She also offered to send us a list of people we should target seeing while we are there. She stressed that making appointments ahead of time is imperative.

1/30/16 – Alexis, Amy Cruz and Kim Myers met to discuss several ideas. This was an exciting meeting. Amy is putting together a proposal for an idea she has which will be an amazing and compassionate service to those impacted by deaths due to substance related causes. More to come in the future on this. We all discussed current issues with access to treatment. We also discussed our need for The Flight House.

38 facebook posts – Awareness Events, Naloxone Events, Informative Articles, Memorials to lost loved ones, stories of recovery. Over 30,000 reached. Now 2342 “Likes” on public facebook page. 108 followers on Twitter.

Treatment Access, Recovery and Support for Individuals and Families:

  • We talked a family through accessing treatment in New York State. They called Conifer who had no open beds, but gave them a list of other facilities. He was promised medical detox at St. Peter’s in Albany. The family took him, he was admitted and released 2 days later with a referral to AA meetings and an evaluation potentially for outpatient. He begged the facility to keep him and reported he was not ready to abstain without further inpatient help. Truth Pharm offered help with placement out of state, family declined.
  • A Rainmaker’s son was admitted at Conifer for their 28 day inpatient treatment, but was only kept for 3 days due to insurance denying the claim for further treatment. He was sent home. We recommended filing a complaint with OASAS and the Attorney General. She called OASAS and they told her he was lucky to get that because they’re doing away with detox in New York soon anyways.
  • The son’s (referenced above) girlfriend was admitted to Conifer for their 28 day program, but was only allowed 7 days of treatment.
  • We assisted a family in advocating to the DA, PD and Judge to have their daughter held in jail rather than released from court until they could find treatment for her. They were successful in having her held in the Broome County Jail. Unfortunately, he was locked in her cell while in severe withdrawals, had a seizure, fell, gashed her head and was hospitalized. We helped the parents communicate with CARS to see about placement with them, but their waiting list is 4 deep. New Horizons said the girl may be able to go there, but no commitment to any specific length of time. It will be based on what insurance will pay (typically 10-11 days). Parents are currently working with Truth Pharm to have her placed in treatment out of state. The Judge and District Attorney are helping with the arrangements. Truth Pharm is also raising the funds to send her.
  • 1/29/16 – Received an update from one of our gals placed in treatment through Truth Pharm and Matty in November in long term treatment in Arizona. She just received her 90 days of sobriety coin! She thanked us. She is our inspiration
  • A Rainmaker took a gal who needed help to the ACC 1/25/16. She did not last 24 hours there.
  • A Rainmaker took a friend to ACC for detox, they were provided 9 days and transferred to YMCA afterwards, but only lasted 3 days before using again.
  • Referred a gentleman to a local suboxone doctor. He said he has three professional friends addicted and not knowing where to turn for help without the risk of losing their jobs.
  • 1/24/16 – One of our Rainmakers with 23 months of sobriety celebrated getting his first apartment in sobriety! Another of our Rainmakers pulled together donations of furniture, household items and groceries and two Rainmakers picked up and delivered these items to him.
  • 1/30/16 – A special mom who is a Truth Pharm Rainmaker and is raising her granddaughter was given some grocery and gas gift cards from a special friend of Truth Pharm’s just out of love and concern.
  • Provided two people in Ohio the Naloxone Program Locator tool.
  • Provided a Broome County woman with a list of suboxone doctors per her request.
  • Referred an individual to STAP for Naloxone training and they made an appointment.
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Rainmakers’ Report 1/1/16 – 1/16/16 – It Feels GOOD to Make Rain!

1/1/16 – Assemblyman Crouch is diligently working to determine the best plan of action to require EMS agencies in New York State to carry naloxone.

1/14/16 – Executive Committee Meeting

1/6/16 – Meeting in Hancock with group of concerned citizens regarding opioid epidemic. Truth Pharm provided a proposal for a series of events and requested they create a small committee who will handle logistics. Everyone agreed to move forward with the proposal which includes An Awareness Event, A Naloxone Training, A Follow-Up Event, a High School Assembly and creating a community action group either an extension of Truth Pharm, or whatever they would like to create.

1/7/16 – Meeting with the Oxford Police and the Community Foundation for South Central New York to discuss potential funding of the Oxford Police program and discussed potential funding for other Truth Pharm projects as well.

1/7/16 – Finalized schedule with STAP for two upcoming Nalaxone Trainings – 1/28/16 in Oxford, NY at 5:30pm and 2/17/16 in Hancock, NY at 5:30pm.

1/8/16 – Interview with WICZ to discuss the number of deaths in Broome County as reported by Dr. Ryan with the Broome County Health Department.

1/9/16 – Volunteer and Committee Organizational meeting between Susan and Alexis

1/11/16 – Outstanding Rainmaker Meeting – made plans to meet every other week, discussed endeavors, rainmakers signed up to help with awareness events coming up.

1/13/16 – Meeting with Broome County Sheriff’s Office, Truth Pharm, Broome County Social Services, Broome County Mental Health, Fairview, ACC and UHS Behavioral Health to discuss the Angel Program for Broome County Sheriff’s Office. In summary – The program was developed as this: If a person reports to the BCSO for treatment, an Angel Volunteer will be called to come and do the intake paperwork with the person. They person will be asked if they would like to get long term inpatient treatment out of the area or if they would prefer going to the ACC and utilizing local treatment providers. If they want local treatment: If they have come in between 8am and 4pm, we will call New Horizons and see if a rapid access assessment can be performed. If not, the person will be taken to the ACC which is offering 2 beds dedicated to the program and if those are full will dedicate 2 more beds. From that point, ACC may perform the evaluation or coordinate with UHS and Attempt to get the person inpatient treatment at New Horizons. If they cannot get inpatient treatment at New Horizons, ACC will find them residential or other treatment elsewhere.

If they want out long term, inpatient treatment out of the area, no facility locally is willing to allow them to stay there until they leave. As of now, the plan is that the person will be allowed to go home and the Angel will work to find treatment ASAP and travel arrangements will be made. This is how Cooperstown is running their program. We are still working on this issue, but for now, we are pleased that we are at least able to still move forward.

1/13/16 – Meeting with the Lost Dog owners and Robert Riddel who have all offered to help us with a fundraiser. We will call the fundraiser “A Night of Mindreading and Magic” it will be March 11th from 6-9pm. Tickets will be $35 each. We’ll be able to sell 75 tickets. More details will follow as we fully develop the program and plans.

1/13/16 – We’ve received the initial list from Assemblyman Crouch’s office of which EMS agencies are carrying naloxone and which are not so that we can start our outreach to them.

1/14/16 – Rusty and Alexis met with our attorney regarding 501c3 regulations and our application and things are moving forward. In addition to discussions regarding insurance, the attorney is also going to provide us with a waiver we can use when helping people find treatment to protect our organization.

1/14/16 – Meeting with the Oxford Police Department and a physician who is willing to help us with trying to get other local physicians onboard with being reputable suboxone and vivitrol providers that will accept insurance. He is also willing to help us with outpatient suboxone assisted detox for persons willing and scheduled to leave town for inpatient long term treatment.

1/14/16 – Meeting with Hancock folks to discuss plans with the Pastor of the Church who manages the Messenger Hall where the events will take place. He is very much onboard with our plans and we may find him to be a serious partner in our efforts in Hancock. He is interested in creating a recovery support group in Hancock and we suggested we make a call for donations at the Awareness Event that will be used to fund this effort so we are leaving the community with a lasting and impactful resource. We have the dates set for their events: Awareness Event 2/11, Naloxone Training 2/17, Follow-up Event 3/10. Pat Simmons has made contact with the school and provided me with their contact information to plan a high school assembly which sounds like they are all onboard with.

1/14/16 – Oxford School Superintendent is interested in having us provide an event for them. We provided a proposal and outline for a possible assembly.

1/16/16 – Alexis, Sarah and Laurie attended the 5 hour EASE Volunteer training in Oneonta, NY to learn how to be a support person to someone in the early stages of opiate withdrawal.

Treatment Access for Individuals: A Broome County 22 Year Old young man flew out for long term inpatient treatment. We raised the funds to help a 22 year old young woman from Otsego County fly out for long term inpatient treatment. A Broome County young man got a bed in New York State 28 day treatment facility. Discussed methods of advocacy with the parents of a young woman in the criminal justice system. Discussed methods of advocacy with a family member who wants to advocate for their loved one in the criminal justice system.

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