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SYSTEM FAILS LOCAL WOMAN

A LOCAL WOMAN ADDICTED TO DRUGS SEEKS HELP FROM COURTS AND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH only to find herself addicted to another drug and having to leave her home at 4:30 every morning to legally obtain it or she will go into withdrawal or worse, go back to the street for relief. She could be your mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, daughter or friend. She just may be. What happens when the behavioral health services run out? Does she know how to stay clean, or does she go back to the street, use illegal drugs and start the cycle with behavioral health all over? In the case of this woman, as is the case with many others, the services are running out and the woman is being returned to homelessness without the means to legally continue to get the drug the system got her hooked on.
MAT: Medication Assisted Therapy: (MAT) is the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders.
DRT: Drug Replacement Therapy: Drug replacement and maintenance therapy have a long history of providing individuals struggling with problematic drug use with legal access to drugs that would otherwise be obtained through illegal means.
Sounds great in theory.
In reality it’s a big money maker and no one really wants to help you/your addict stop. The profits are huge. Some places have as many as one thousand patients, twenty dollars a day per patient is a lot of money.
Stories from addicts and families whose addicts have been tied to these therapies for many years are abundant. The clinics tell them the addict will be “tapered” off the drug and counseled on staying clean but in reality, after many years of being addicted to the replacement drugs, the word taper is no longer in the conversation.
This story is the reality for many people. Our nation, state, and county are suffering the effects of the opioid epidemic. The woman we headlined is real. She ended up in the care of our local Behavioral Health Services and legal system. When the people who agreed to help her were asked why Recovering Hands, our only local residential recovery center for women, wasn’t considered as an alternative to homelessness and/or addiction their response was “Recovering Hands doesn’t meet the criteria”.
We, at Recovering Hands, can’t seem to get a straight answer regarding what criteria it is that we don’t meet. One possible reason? Recovering Hands doesn’t condone the use of MAT or DRT. Our program utilizes a life skills program, 12 step meetings and connections with others who are also on the same path; a decades old, proven way for people to find recovery and stay abstinent from any substances. Recovering Hands, a Consumer Operated 501-3(c) organization, is accredited by the Virginia Association of Recovery Residences. We are dedicated to providing support and residential extended-care to women suffering the effects of substance use. Recovering Hands is located on a 150-acre property in Nathalie, VA and has four beds. Our mission is to help women suffering from the effects of alcohol and drug abuse improve their health and wellness, learn to live a self-directed life and begin to utilize the recovery skills necessary to reach their full potential. For women who want to turn their lives around, our program creates the resiliency necessary to thrive.
From a former resident: “During a previous stay in another rehab there was so much drug talk that all I wanted to do was use. After 21 days I ended up leaving early and I overdosed. Another time the CSB sent me to GALAX for 8 days. They said there wasn’t any additional funding to send me anywhere else. Within a week of being home, I was back out there and doing way worse. My experience with Treatment Centers is that they made me want to use drugs, not get off them.”
“The program at Recovering Hands was not so focused on the drugs as on the life skills that I needed in order to sustain long term recovery. The tools I learned during my 90 days built my foundation and now I am still using these tools to deal with life on life’s terms.”
Recovering Hands adheres to a professional competency standard and uses evidence-based practice models in our program. Recovering Hands offers a safe recovery-based living environment for women struggling with addiction and alcoholism, insulating them from the triggers that might otherwise pull them off their paths, giving them a chance to move into long-term recovery with a solid base in place.

Recovering Hands teaches women how to stay clean without replacing one addiction.   Please speak out against a system that won’t consider Recovery over MAT and DRT.

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Recovering Hands Speakers Present to United Methodist Women’s Group

On Oct. 12, the Main Street United Methodist Women welcomed Lisa Wallace and Kim Adams to speak about a little known and yet valuable resource in Halifax County.

Recovering Hands is a residential, extended-care facility for women who are recovering from addiction.

Located in Nathalie, this property provides many different proven avenues for whole-self recovery. Adams, with more than 30 years substance free, shared she saw a need for a different way to offer help to those who want to get better.

Their mission is “to provide quality substance abuse residential support services leading to improved health, wellness, long-term recovery, employability and reintegration with society and families.”

The facility can house up to four residents at a time and on average the suggested stay is 90 days. In that time frame, the residents are given skills for how to deal with the triggers which can lead to continued addiction as well as skills for life. The wholistic approach avoids being dependent on any one way of addiction recovery and instead offers many options recognizing that everybody is different. The goal, sobriety, is the most important focus for everyone coming through.

As Wallace and Adams shared their personal stories and the situations in their lives that led them to work together for the betterment of others, the ladies were excited to see the dedication and love that they have for this ministry. Without pause the United Methodist Women presented a donation of $200 from the group and several others offered personal donations on top of that.

Beth Reese shared that often people do not hear much about addiction or the rash of overdose deaths even in our own county.

“Recovering Hands is taking the time to call our attention to the problem and then finding a way to help,” she said. “Thank you.”

For more information, visit http://recoveringhands.com or email info@recoveringhands.com.

Remembering lives lost to drug addiction

Lisa Wallace lost her son due to drug addiction. The bags illuminated in front of her recognize only a few of those who have died from drug overdose in Halifax County.

SoVaNow.com / September 02, 2021

Recovering Hands hosted its first Overdose Awareness Day memorial Tuesday night at Constitution Square, drawing a small gathering of community members who have lost loved ones to drug addiction.

Recovering Hands Board President Lisa Wallace organized the event in honor of her son, Luke Wazeka, who died of an overdose two years ago.

“My son’s name lives on to save lives,” said Wallace.

Wallace shared her battles as she tried to help her son get clean from drug use, but everything she tried did not work.

“I yelled, I tried tough love, but they have to want it for themselves,” said Wallace.

Drug addiction is a disease that can affect anyone. Yet there is life after recovery with a change in lifestyles and friends, and gaining strength when stress in life may trigger the urge to use drugs.

Also speaking about the loss of Luke Wazeka was his wife, Erika Holt. Even though her love was strong, it was not enough.

“There were times he was determined and struggled hard in his life with addiction,” said Holt.

Holt shared that all of his friends never reached out to her to offer condolences for her loss to make a point: if people are doing drugs with you, they are not your friends. It is important to be able to change your entire lifestyle when entering a life of recovery.

Kim Adams is the founder of Recovering Hands, a home for women in recovery located in Nathalie. Adams is a drug use survivor in long-term recovery, but could not save her brother Craig who died four years ago. At Recovering Hands, people learn to cope with daily life and stress, and how to be a productive person in society again through a spiritual approach.

“People do stay clean and addicts can stop using,” said Adams.

Ashley Pharr, 35 is a recovering drug addict who survived what doctors refer to a fatal overdose. Pharr had consumed a cocktail of oxycodone, heroin laced with Fentanyl, Xanax, alcohol, and Ritalin.

“Getting clean wasn’t easy,” said Pharr, who has been drug free for 16 months.

Pharr shared her experience at the event: She began to experiment using drugs as a way to get closer with her boyfriend at the time.

“It was a toxic relationship and I began to self-medicate,” said Pharr.

Pharr was in the hospital going through withdrawal during the Covid-19 pandemic without any family at her side. It was during this time she realized she was no longer the mother she once was to her two daughters, a sister, or the daughter her parents raised.

“When a doctor tells you the amount of seconds I had left to live, or my parents would have received a different phone call,” said Pharr — that was her wake-up call.

“I have not relapsed, but it hasn’t been easy. It’s not going to stay easy, but it’s beyond worth it,” said Pharr.

The celebration of loved ones lost was heightened by local gospel singer Linda Satterfield, who sang three songs, “Why Me Lord,” “Amazing Grace,” and “We Shall Overcome.”

Off to the side of the stage, a video slideshow displayed 40 photos of family members locally who have died of drug overdoses. Also, the group viewed snippets of the movie, “The Anonymous People,” about famous people in recovery, focusing on how anyone can become addicted to drugs.

As the sun set, everyone wrote the names of their lost loved ones on white paper bags. The bags were illuminated by a tea light candle and placed on the stage at Constitution Square. The gathering was a way for everyone to grieve and know they are not alone.

Wallace is working to organize a local support group for those who have lost someone due to drug use. Anyone who needs to talk may reach out and contact Wallace at 757-615-9669.

For anyone in recovery or battling with addiction, there are both Alcoholic and Narcotic Anonymous meetings available in South Boston. On Sunday and Monday at 6 p.m., Solutions with Serenity is held at the First Presbyterian Church at 800 N. Main Street. On Tuesday, at 6pm Living Clean, the Journey Continues is held at Trinity Episcopal Church at 520 Yancey Street in South Boston.

In 2001, International Overdose Awareness Day was initiated by Sally J Finn at The Salvation Army in St. Kilda, Melbourne. For more information about International Overdose Awareness Day visit https://www.overdoseday.com/

To explore the grounds and housing at Recovering Hands visit them online at https://recoveringhands.com. Recovering Hands is located at 4067 Beulah Road in Nathalie. For more information about Recovering Hands call 860-309-1404 or email info@recoveringhands.com.

Recovering Hands speakers present to group

http://www.yourgv.com/lifestyles/society/recovering-hands-speakers-present-to-group/article_2fe13b3e-30d4-11ec-b9b4-372526ce4093.html

Special to The Gazette

On Oct. 12, the Main Street United Methodist Women welcomed Lisa Wallace and Kim Adams to speak about a little known and yet valuable resource in Halifax County.

Recovering Hands is a residential, extended-care facility for women who are recovering from addiction.

Located in Nathalie, this property provides many different proven avenues for whole-self recovery. Adams, with over 30 years substance free, shared that she saw a need for a different way to offer help to those who want to get better.

Their mission is “to provide quality substance abuse residential support services leading to improved health, wellness, long-term recovery, employability and reintegration with society and families.”

The facility can house up to four residents at a time and on average the suggested stay is 90 days. In that time frame, the residents are given skills for how to deal with the triggers which can lead to continued addiction as well as skills for life. The wholistic approach avoids being dependent on any one way of addiction recovery and instead offers many options recognizing that everybody is different. The goal, sobriety, is the most important focus for everyone coming through.

As Wallace and Adams shared their personal stories and the situations in their lives that led them to work together for the betterment of others, the ladies were excited to see the dedication and love that they have for this ministry. Without pause the United Methodist Women presented a donation of $200 from the group and several others offered personal donations on top of that.

Beth Reese shared that often people do not hear much about addiction or the rash of overdose deaths even in our own county.

“Recovering Hands is taking the time to call our attention to the problem and then finding a way to help,” she said. “Thank you.”

For more information, visit http://recoveringhands.com or email info@recoveringhands.com.

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Corona Virus Precautions

Recovery Hands response to the Corona Virus Pandemic

At Recovery Hands the health and safety of our residents, volunteers, staff and recovering network is our top priority. There have been no cases of 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Recovering Hands or the area in which we are located.

To ensure the safety of our residents, volunteers, visitors and staff, we continue to monitor the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and to proactively ensure our residents and workforce remain safe and protected. Recovering Hands is asking residents, volunteers, visitors and staff to let us know if they exhibit symptoms of respiratory infection, including:

  • Fever greater than 100.4º F/38º C
  • Coughing, or
  • Shortness of breath

Family members with questions or concerns should contact us via message or phone call at 860-309-1404.

What everyone needs to know before they arrive

We are open for residential recovery support and care. If you have fever, cough, runny nose or shortness of breath, please see your local health care team before coming to Recovering Hands.

Our Residents are continuing to go to their regular meetings and the precautions we are taking involve, no physical contact (including hugging or shaking hands) We are disinfecting all high risk areas that we must come into contact with, like door handles, shopping cart handles, etc, but we are minimizing our trips to stores by shopping online whenever possible.

Protection against respiratory illnesses

Our experts say you can protect yourself from respiratory infections by:

  1. Refraining from touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  2. Washing your hands often for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or using an antiseptic hand gel.
  3. Avoiding crowded areas and sick people.
  4. U.S. Government Response to Coronavirus

    Recovering Hands will continue to closely monitor this pandemic and follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).