Have you ever found yourself wishing there were more Suboxone prescribers in our area? Ever wonder why you can’t just go to your regular doctor to obtain addiction treatment? Well, there is a way! You can help us increase the amount of providers we have in our area by contacting your own doctor!
Truth Pharm Board Member, Theresa Baxter, a Nurse Practitioner who is passionate about access to Medical Assisted Treatment has drafted a letter and phone call script for your use in promoting a free waiver training coming up in Broome County open to all New York State physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and medical residents so that they can become part of the SOLUTION to the epidemic by becoming a Suboxone prescriber. Having addiction treatment available at your family physician’s officer will reduce stigma, increase successful outcomes and mainstream treatment and there is no excuse for any doctor to refuse to become certified.
Here is a letter you can copy and paste into a word document or email and personalize from yourself:
City, ST ZIP Code
[INSERT YOUR CARE PROVIDERS NAME WITH PROPER TITLE]
City, ST ZIP Code
Dear [INSERT YOUR CARE PROVIDERS NAME WITH PROPER TITLE]:
As one of your patients, I wanted to be sure you were aware the NYSDOH AIDS Institute is hosting a Free Buprenorphine Waiver Eligibility Training for Clinical Providers (Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, and Medical Residents) on Saturday, December 9th, 2017 from 8:00AM to 1:00PM at the Broome County Health Dept., 225 Front Street, Conference Room, Binghamton, NY 13905.
As a physician [or Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant] I imagine that you currently care for patients with opioid use disorder/addiction, which nationally is a public health emergency. More than 64,000 people died in this country in 2016 from a drug overdose. You take great care of a wide range of medical conditions, this would be another service for you to offer to your current patients. This would also enable them to receive more of their care with a single provider of whom they already have a relationship with, furthering the opportunity for better health outcomes.
There aren’t enough clinicians who can prescribe buprenorphine, which is shameful since every provider with a DEA license can and likely has prescribed opioid pain medication to their patients. Unfortunately, that’s how many people start their addiction – with prescription opioids.
When patients are able to receive Buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid use disorder from their primary care provider it can decrease stigma and increase the chances for sustained recovery.
This is especially important to me because [INSERT PERSONAL STORY IF YOU CARE TO, OR DELETE THIS SECTION].
It’s a very educational course, free of charge, and easily accessible. Please consider this free of charge opportunity to help more people.
Your loyal patient
After mailing your letter, we suggest you call your provider to follow up. If they are not interested in prescribing and helping with this solution, as their patient, you might want to know why:
Hello Dr. XXX or NP, or PA,
I’m one of your patients, and I wanted to be sure you received the letter I sent that included a flyer announcing a free buprenorphine waiver training course for clinical providers.
Did you have a chance to review it?
Ok, Can I tell you about it real quick? It’s free(!), very educational, and they’re serving refreshments.
Then can read the letter or paraphrase it………
Does this sound like something you and your colleagues can attend? It’s important to your patients, and it’s important to me personally because………..
Thank you so much for considering this. It could mean so much to so many people. Please let me know if you will attend or not. I’ll follow up after the training.
Here is a link to the flyer for the training event: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwbX8JuE_ng1d0RCTjc1bDNCWENlQU9zbmFIdVVZU2RlVkdN
Here is a link to directions: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwbX8JuE_ng1VzNwZ3hXWTdUU2ZSb0Zic1ZLMlcwcm1Oc19j
Here is a link to an email with pertinent information: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1a2xy2RoRsZSw5dGgKyph8Rkla0r1AXi-
We are tired of waiting for the county to take action. It is long past time for them to be responsible in their roles to protect the public. See our letter to County Executive Jason Garnar below. Be sure to click the news links to see what he thought should be done PRIOR to being elected.
We have been calling on the county to track and report overdose deaths and reversals since August of 2015. Here we are, nearly two years later, still waiting.
Call County Executive Garnar today and ask him when he’ll start doing all the things he was demanding of the last administration.
June 25, 2017
Broome County Executive
60 Hawley Street
Binghamton, NY 13901
Dear County Executive Jason Garnar,
On June 24, 2017 the Village of Johnson City Police issued a warning about a surge in heroin overdoses, including three fatalities. We thanked them for their proactive approach in alerting their community. Due to their proactive approach, Truth Pharm and STAP worked together to immediately respond by advertising, promoting and handing out life-saving Naloxone kits during a three-hour time-slot on Sunday. Twenty-four people were trained and obtained kits.
This is what the response to a public health emergency looks like.
Also, due to their proactive approach, the news media published stories about the overdoses and the handing out of Naloxone kits, which caused hundreds of people in Broome County to engage in conversations about the opioid epidemic. In addition, hundreds of people were educated about: the dangers of using alone; the need to call 911; a particularly strong or ‘bad’ batch of heroin that was circulating; harm reduction practices they could use to reduce overdoses; and the lifesaving medication Naloxone. Conversations that our community desperately needs. In addition, two people reached out to Truth Pharm and will be placed into inpatient treatment tomorrow.
On February 23, 2017 you attended our in-depth presentation to local elected officials outlining the dire need for both care and harm reduction approaches in Broome County. We also made it clear that tracking of overdose data – both deaths and successful revivals – is the responsibility of our county government and needs to be done accurately, consistently and actively reported to the public.
We have seen zero progress on this front. We have been making requests for this information since August of 2015, we are approaching two years since then, over one hundred deaths and thousands of overdoses with no change to the system.
Prior to being elected as County Executive, you agreed that the community should be notified. We have communications from you to us directly stating so and ridiculing the prior administration for not being responsible in doing so. And you made your opinion public to the media. On August 12, 2016, WICZ started a report about overdoses with this line: “Broome County Executive Candidate Jason Garnar called for a public health warning on heroin overdoses Thursday night.” And later in the article included this as well, “Jason Garnar says it is a health risk when the public isn’t notified.” Garnar Calls for Public Health Warning Garnar Wants Better Accounting by the County
On August 11, 2016, in an article published by the Press & Sun Bulletin: “First and foremost, Broome County needs to declare a public health emergency,” said Garnar, the Democrat challenging Preston in the November election. But “what I’m more concerned about is it seems our county executive is not saying anything about this. We should be doing everything possible to get the word out there that something is out there that is killing people left and right.” The website for that article includes a video of you stating how important it is for the County Executive to release CURRENT information to the public in order to save lives. Garnar calls on Broome to Declare Opioid Emergency
It is nearly one year since you made those strong statements and you’ve been in office for six months. But, where is your action? Why aren’t you releasing notices to the public? You are now the one responsible to ensure the public is notified.
As we have in the past, we could provide multiple examples of other counties in New York State who are actively tracking and releasing overdose data, but we trust you can google and immediately find plenty of results just as easily as we can.
We also know this data already exists for the county. We recently learned that the county is planning to participate in a program to release all overdose data (deaths and reversals) to a mapping program run by the DEA. That mapped data will not be accessible by the public, but is utilized in drug investigations. We are beyond sickened to learn that the county is choosing to participate in an enforcement and further criminalization program as their priority over participating in issuing public health warnings and participating in harm reduction practices with data you ALREADY HAVE.
Your goal must be to save lives.
We are again requesting that the County Health Department immediately begin to take responsibility for counting the deaths of our loved ones due to substance use related causes and issuing that information to the public. This responsibility does not belong to the District Attorney, this is a health issue and belongs to our county health department.
We also want to remind you that funding from the state and federal government depends on accurately reporting both overdose and death data to state officials. We are being bypassed for funding, new programs and attention because our issues are not accurately reported.
Though it seems much of what was written in our letter of February 23, 2017, including working together cooperatively, has been ignored, we’ll attach the letter as a reminder of what we called for four months ago, please be sure to review request #3 which we’ll include below. The optimism we expressed in our letter is waning, but we as an organization continue to do the work necessary to save lives. You, as the County Executive, declared this opioid crisis a Public Health Emergency. With that declaration comes serious responsibility on your part.
Founder and Executive Director
cc: Governor Andrew Cuomo, NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, NYS Commissioner of Health Howard Zucker
We just had a request to let someone know what support groups are available in our area, so here you go:
SMART Recovery is the leading self-empowering addiction recovery support group. Our participants learn tools for addiction recovery based on the latest scientific research and participate in a world-wide community which includes free, self-empowering, science-based mutual help groups.
The SMART Recovery 4-Point Program® helps people recover from all types of addiction and addictive behaviors, including: drug abuse, drug addiction, substance abuse, alcohol abuse, gambling addiction, cocaine addiction, prescription drug abuse, sexual addiction, and problem addiction to other substances and activities. SMART Recovery sponsors face-to-face meetings around the world, and daily online meetings. In addition, our online message board and 24/7 chat room are excellent forums to learn about SMART Recovery and obtain addiction recovery support.
More information: http://www.smartrecovery.org/
The HOPE 607 Project, Inc.
Broome County Urban League, 43-45 Carroll St
45 Carroll Street
13901 Binghamton New York
+60 7-723 7303
AA – Alcoholics Anonymous
Alcoholics Anonymous is a program of a new way of life without alcohol, a program that is working successfully for millions of men and women throughout the world, and in all walks of life. The experience of A.A. members is that alcoholism is a progressive disease that cannot be cured, but which can be arrested — by staying away from the first drink, one day at a time.
For more information and a list of meetings in the Southern Tier: https://aabinghamton.org/meetings.html
NA – Narcotics Anonymous
Narcotics Anonymous is a global, community-based organization with a multi-lingual and multicultural membership. NA was founded in 1953, and our membership growth was minimal during our initial twenty years as an organization. Since the publication of our Basic Text in 1983, the number of members and meetings has increased dramatically. Today, NA members hold nearly 67,000 meetings weekly in 139 countries. We offer recovery from the effects of addiction through working a twelve-step program, including regular attendance at group meetings. The group atmosphere provides help from peers and offers an ongoing support network for addicts who wish to pursue and maintain a drug-free lifestyle. Our name, Narcotics Anonymous, is not meant to imply a focus on any particular drug; NA’s approach makes no distinction between drugs including alcohol. Membership is free, and we have no affiliation with any organizations outside of NA including governments, religions, law enforcement groups, or medical and psychiatric associations.
For more information: http://www.na.org/
Local NA Chapter website with meeting list: http://www.tcana.net/
Triple Cities Area of Narcotics Anonymous ( TCANA )
PO Box 422, Binghamton, NY 13902-0422
Local Meeting list: http://www.tcana.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/TCANA22717.pdf
A place to get clean and stay clean. Brand New meets every Tuesdays at 7pm at 1701 Riverview Dr, Endicott NY, Thursdays at 7 pm 90 Clinton St Binghamton NY. Groups for people battling drugs and alcohol or in recovery. Also a support group for the friends and family of the addict. We see real results and true freedom from addiction. We believe a life without drugs and alcohol should be exciting so we create positive outlets to have fun. Join us and Thrive in your recovery!
For more information: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1583552225231860/
Celebrate Recovery is a biblical and balanced program that helps us overcome our hurts, hang-ups, and habits. It is based on the actual words of Jesus rather than psychological theory.
Another way to search for support meetings: http://meetings.intherooms.com/meetings/search?latitude=42.098687&longitude=-75.917974&proximity=100
Truth Pharm – Garden of Hope
We have a monthly meeting called Garden of Hope which offers an educational component and then a time to share or ask questions. Special guest speakers included. A different topic each month. The 3rd Monday of every month at 6:30pm at Tabernacle Methodist Church, 83 Main St, Binghamton, NY – Enter through back. Watch our facebook page and website for details: www.truthpharm.org
Families Anonymous celebrated our 40th Anniversary in 2011. We were formed in 1971 by a group of concerned parents in California who were seeking ways of dealing with the problem of substance abuse and addiction in their children. Our members include parents, grandparents, siblings, spouses, significant others, other family members and friends of those with a current, suspected or former drug problem. We have been one of the best kept secrets in the recovery community, even though we have groups throughout the world.
For more information: http://www.familiesanonymous.org/
In Al-Anon/Alateen, members do not give direction or advice to other members. Instead, they share their personal experiences and stories, and invite other members to “take what they like and leave the rest”—that is, to determine for themselves what lesson they could apply to their own lives.
For more information: http://al-anon.org/
|Tuesday 06:30 PM||11 Brandywine Ave
Binghamton NY 13901
|use back door.
also open to professionals / students
|Wednesday 07:45 PM||Christ Episcopal Church
10 Henry St
Binghamton NY 13901
|also open to professionals / students
|Thursday 07:00 PM||Christ Episcopal Church
10 Henry Street
Binghamton NY 13901
|also open to professionals / students
Alateen is part of Al‑Anon Family Groups. Alateen is a fellowship of young Al-Anon members, usually teenagers, whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking. Alateen groups are sponsored by Al-Anon members who help the group to stay on track. Alateens come together to:
For more information: http://al-anon.org/how-will-alateen-help-me
NO MEETINGS IN OUR AREA
CoDA (Co-Dependents Anonymous)
Welcome to Co-Dependents Anonymous, a fellowship of men and women whose common purpose is to develop healthy relationships. The only requirement for membership is a desire for healthy and loving relationships.
Local meetings— St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 200 Jefferson Ave. Endicott, NY, Sat 1:00 PM
The Compassionate Friends:
The mission of The Compassionate Friends: When a child dies, at any age, the family suffers intense pain and may feel hopeless and isolated. The Compassionate Friends provides highly personal comfort, hope, and support to every family experiencing the death of a son or a daughter, a brother or a sister, or a grandchild, and helps others better assist the grieving family.
For more information: https://www.compassionatefriends.org/
The local chapter: http://tcfbc.homestead.com/Welcome.html
Parents who have lost a child: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1515193738693712/
Siblings who have lost a sibling: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1516508415263760/
Parents who have lost a child: https://www.facebook.com/groups/grasphelp/
http://www.intherooms.com— In The Rooms is the premier online social network for the Recovery community worldwide. Our mantra is H.I.T.C.H and our mission is to Help, Inform, Touch, Connect, and Heal those in Recovery, seeking Recovery and support for their family and friends.
HOPE OVER DOPE – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1528325370809326/
Hope vs Dope – https://www.facebook.com/groups/hopevsdope/
Addicts Fighting Addiction – https://www.facebook.com/groups/AddictsFightingAddiction/
Addiction Really – https://www.facebook.com/groups/addictionreally/
Al Anon Speaker Recordings:
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.
I wonder if you’ll bear with me to hear a personal story.
Last fall, I attended the FedUp Rally, Facing Addiction and Hill Day which were all back to back in D.C. All incredibly powerful events where I learned so much and was inspired by speaker after speaker.
But, believe it or not, the most inspiring 3 hours of the entire 5 days I was in Washington D.C. was spent in a room with 20 people pulled together by Nancy Carter Williams. Who were they? They were people hand selected by Nancy that she felt have accomplished incredible feats, have developed unique ways to raise awareness and were having a powerful impact on the opioid epidemic and BOY was she right! I was invited to speak and present for Truth Pharm and by the time it was my turn to speak, I felt minuscule in comparison to what I had heard from the people who went before me.
Two of the most inspiring people we heard from that day were two women from Kentucky. They told of a story about several bills being up for vote in Kentucky that everyone was sure would pass. They said they did the thing we all do – the shared the information on facebook, they made phone calls, sent emails and it seemed these bills would pass, after all, the state was facing an epidemic and these bills were SO important. When it came time for the bills to be voted on, they did not pass and the group was devastated. A group of moms decided the next session of the legislature, they would be at the capitol every day the legislature was in session and they would NOT leave until the bills passed. And they did just that.
I know many of us have different opinions about what can or should be done. There is a LOT Truth Pharm wants from our state government, but one thing I THINK we would all agree on is that currently, insurers are controlling how much treatment our loved ones get, and the amount of time is woefully low. We are seeing an average of 9 days being approved by insurance, which sets our loved ones up for a 90% relapse rate.
There is a bill in our State Senate AND Assembly this year that we have been calling “The 90 Day Bill”. Remarkably, the bill that was written in the Senate, was written by a Republican and our Senate is Republican led and the bill written in the Assembly was written by a Democrat and our Assembly is Democrat led.
This means, two things. 1. a shorter span of time to move the bill forward and 2. the bill has a fantastic chance of passing.
But, it will NOT pass this session unless we can get the bill to move forward. And to get it to move forward, we need face to face time with our political leaders asking them to please sign on as cosponsors and to urge their colleagues to move the bill forward.
Truth Pharm has taken 4 trips to Albany and we have several more dates coming up: May 10, 11, 24 and June 2 and 24th and we may add more days. You could go with us, meet us there, plan your own trip, go separately, whatever you like, but we should all work together to make this happen. We can only do this with everyone’s help.
People were telling us yesterday we had a good chance of getting this passed ‘next session’… let’s make it happen THIS SESSION!
If you’d like to be involved, please fill out this survey: Click Here for Survey.
To see Truth Pharm’s Advocacy Agenda for 2016, click here.
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.
2/1/16 – Alexis attended the Community Foundation of South Central, NY grant workshop.
2/3/16 – Received our formal letter from the IRS approving our 501c3.
2/4/16 – Met with Pat Raube, Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Endicott regarding the rectory that may be vacated soon. Pat is interested in utilizing the house for something the community needs. We discussed the idea of the Flight House which she was excited by the prospect of. She will be performing a community needs assessment and will also be discussing with church members.
2/4/16 – Very excited a volunteer, Donna Wood-Craig has officially accepted the position of Truth Pharm’s Angel Volunteer Coordinator for the Oxford Police Department’s Road to Recovery Program.
2/8/16 – Had a phone interview with Michael King, Director of Outreach for Facing Addiction, the national organization for a position on their national outreach committee.
2/8/16 – Truth Pharm Board of Directors Meeting – Penny Stringfield, Rusty Griffiths, Tom Jackson and Alexis Pleus in attendance.
2/8/16 – Truth Pharm Volunteer meeting with 16 in attendance to discuss news, fundraising, grants and Amy Cruz’s “The Wings Project” proposal.
2/9/16 – Contacted by District Attorney Steve Cornwell to assist with this new Operation SAFE Program. He’s in need of volunteers to make calls for treatment placement and would like to partner with Truth Pharm.
2/11/16 – Dataflow donated all the printing services for our awareness event in Hancock.
2/11/16 – Amy Cruz attended Yvonne Lucia’s open house for her creative grief works open house.
2/12/16 – Several Truth Pharm Rainmakers attended the training session at District Attorney Steve Cornwell’s office to be trained in making phone calls for treatment placement through Operation SAFE.
Political Advocacy (harvesting results):
2/2/16 – Alexis participated in a live teleconference with Michael Botticelli, Director of National Drug Control Policy at the White House and Richard Frank, Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regarding Obama’s announcement earlier in the day of $1.1 billion in 2017 budget.
2/2/16 – Blog post regarding our visit with Donna Lupardo and our plans to work together. Donna Lupardo has stayed in touch over the past two weeks sending us articles we may be interested in.
2/4/16 – Interviewed by WICZ to comment on the NY Bed Availability Dashboard announced by Governor Cuomo 1/31/16.
2/9/16 – Met with Michal Kirsch, retired pediatrician to discuss my idea of requesting an executive order of the president and governor. He believes my assessment of the current situation is accurate and he is willing to proof read and help provide supporting data.
2/9/16 – Wrote to Governor Cuomo’s office regarding the Bed Availability Dashboard and the inaccurate information provided in addition to the fact that it is not being updated.
2/10/16 – Assemblyman Cliff Crouch attended our Awareness Event in Hancock, NY. Thank you Assemblyman Crouch!
2/11/16 – Received exciting news from Senator Thomas O’Mara’s office that we have been selected to provide oral testimony at the Senate Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction Roundtable in Penn Yan on 2/23/16.
2/1/16 – Met with Hancock representative from the Mayor’s office, Police Chief, Fire Chief and Director of Ambulance Services to discuss systems in place. Police are carrying Naloxone. Ambulance services is an advanced life support agency, so they have it as well. The fire department is currently working on registering and carrying. The police chief has inquired in the past about having a prescription drop box and offered that he would look into it further. We suggested they might want to contact Walgreens which is moving into the Rite Aid store soon because they are supposed to have prescription drop boxes to let them know there is a need. The Mayor’s office offered to provide a robocall regarding our event next week. We’ll send them the data. It was suggested we contact the Hancock Telephone Company to have an announcement played during the weather.
2/1/16 – Directed an Oxford woman to free Naloxone training at STAP via an email inquiry from her and she got trained and got a kit.
2/3/16 – Interviewed by Don Mathisen of WIOX radio an NPR station in Roxbury, NY. The program will air next week.
2/5/16 – Met with Sarah at the Volunteers of America shelter in Binghamton. She would like Truth Pharm to provide awareness education for her staff.
2/7/16 – Met with Kim Myers to present our Best Practices for Hospitals and Medical Providers. Kim will be presenting this to the CEO and members of the board of directors at Lourdes. We also discussed The Flight House and Kim is interested in assisting with fundraising if we move forward with the project. She asked that we prepare a program outline, determine zoning requirements, get insurance quotes and operating expenses.
2/8/16 – Wrote “Framing an Overdose” about a boy, Dajen Edwards who died of an overdose in Binghamton on 2/6/16.
2/9/16 – Alexis, Dannielle Swart and Al Roberts attended the WSKG community Conversation on the Heroin Epidemic.
2/10/16 – Rainmaker Dannielle Swart attended the Community Awareness event in Sidney, NY.
2/11/16 – Held our first Awareness Event for our Community Response Plan in Hancock, NY. Was very well received with about 70 people in attendance and excellent media coverage including the Kingfisher Project, WICZ, The Walton Reporter and the Hancock Herald. Assemblyman Cliff Crouch surprised us and came and spoke for a short time to give a summary of his efforts on this issue.
2/11/16 – News story by WICZ about the Awareness Event in Hancock, NY.
2/12/16 – Met with Melissa Martin at the counseling center at SUNY Broome to discuss ways we can partner together. She will invite us to provide some awareness information at upcoming common hour programs.
36 facebook posts of news articles, research reports, political advocacy, 8 awareness or fundraising events, 1 Memorials to lost loved ones, 3 stories of recovery, 7 pictures or blog posts, 2 memes. Over 87,000 people reached through posts. Over 800 shares. Now 2443 “Likes” on public facebook page. 135 followers on Twitter. 11 loved ones added to the Map of Lost Loved Ones.
Treatment Access, Recovery and Support for Individuals and Families (growing recoverees):
2/3/16 – Helped send a gal to long term treatment out of the state.
2/4/16 – Visited a 20 year old young man at the Broome County Jail per his family’s request and because he is a friend of our family to see if he’s interested in treatment. He is, so we contacted the District Attorney. We also told the family to write letters on his behalf to the judge, the DA and the Public Defender.
2/4/16 – A mother contacted us 2/2/16 – she took her daughter to Binghamton General after learning she was a heroin addict and she (the daughter) wanted detox. The hospital did not keep her. Sent her home after a couple hours and suggested he call New Horizons for an evaluation which would take several days to get. 2/3/16 we emailed her and let her know to take her daughter for a fast track appointment (She was never told about this possibility). She could not get her daughter going until late morning – New Horizons told her it was too late for a fast track appointment. The same day she had extreme anxiety and pain as she was trying to detox herself at home. The mother took her to the ER again and again they sent her home. 2/4/16 Truth Pharm got long term treatment lined up out of town young woman (20 years) who was willing and anxious to go. The mother took her to the New Horizons fast track evaluation hoping she could at least get detox until she went to long term treatment. New Horizons discouraged the daughter from leaving the area for long term treatment and instead offered her 14 days of inpatient treatment and suggested afterwards, she could attend New Horizons outpatient treatment while staying at Fairview. The daughter accepted the offer.
2/9/16 – Spoke to a young man about his options. He had a warrant for his arrest. He decided to turn himself in and we told him we would contact the DA for him which we did. The DA said he will advocate for drug court for him and to have his mom write to his assigned counsel and the ADA and ask for the same. We explained to the DA this young man truly needs long term treatment to start. He said that can be arranged and for the family to advocate for it.
2/10/16 – Helped a 22 year old Broome County gentleman get a bad at Syracuse Behavioral Health. He was not able or willing to leave the area for treatment, so opted for local. We checked the bed availability dashboard which listed 5 beds for medical detox at Syracuse Behavioral Health. They did a phone screening and said he qualified for treatment, but then told him it would be a three week wait. We contacted them to ask why a 3 week wait when the Dashboard listed 5 beds. We were contacted shortly after and told a bed ‘opened up’ and he could be admitted the next day. He planned to go for as long as they would keep him. Once he got there they said actually, insurance won’t cover your stay because ‘it’s elective’ to be detoxed, so you’ll have to pay $400 per day out of pocket. He decided to stay anyways. He stayed 26 hours and said the staff had such bad attitudes and treated everyone like second class citizens, he could not take the mistreatment and left. He said 90% of the people there are court mandated and the staff treat the patients poorly.
2/11/16 – Received an update from a Syracuse mom who originally contacted us 1/17/16. Her son was notified he is 1 – 2 weeks away from a bed at St. Christopher’s. Almost 4 weeks’ wait time for treatment because he does not have private insurance.
2/12/16 – Got treatment lined up for gentleman who was housed with Opportunities for Broome who requested help with the District Attorney’s program, but they could not find treatment for him quickly enough. Discussed with volunteer who was working on placement from DA’s side as well as the DA who said to go ahead and start a fundraiser and the DA’s office would help spread the word. 2/12/16 started the fundraiser for 55 year old gentleman to go to treatment, lined up detox for him in Long Island. 2/13/16 picked the gentleman up and took him to the bus station to go to Long Island to be admitted into the medical detox program there.
2/12/16 – Had several rainmakers attend the District Attorney’s call for help meeting for his SAFE Program.
Broome County Losses:
2/6/16 – We learned of a 22 year old young man who had just finished New Horizons inpatient treatment and was staying at Fairview who relapsed and was to return to ACC. He chose not to go in and overdosed that night. He did not make it. Rest in peace young man.
2/11/16 – A 26 year old young man lost his life to an overdose. He was a father of two children.