Planners Recommend Facility Permit

Gazette Virginian:

by Miranda Baines, 5/23/24

Gazette Virginian May 23, 2023A speaker in favor of a conditional use permit for the operation of a substance abuse treatment program for women in Nathalie, Regina Nelson, asked the question at Tuesday evening’s Halifax County Planning Commission meeting, “How many of you here tonight have been clean for at least a year?

Hands started going up all over the meeting room. Nelson told the commissioners, “A lot of this wouldn’t be possible without Recovering Hands and Kim Adams.”

Recovering Hands is a nonprofit residential substance abuse recovery program for women that operates on a 150-acre farm in Nathalie owned by Kim and Bill Adams. Kim Adams, founder and CEO of Recovering Hands, shared with the crowd at Tuesday’s meeting that it came to her attention that she had not filed the correct applications with the county to operate Recovering Hands when she started the organization in 2014. She said she was there to rectify that situation and continue to operate the program and “saving women’s lives.”

Adams shared that Recovering Hands has four beds for women in the program, and the average length of stay is three months. It is a non-clinical facility and does not administer any medication. Adams also shared her credentials for operating Recovering Hands with the commissioners.

“I’m a woman in long-term recovery from substance use disorder since Feb. 3, 1991,” Adams shared. “I have a background that includes art therapy, psychodrama trainings and peer recovery specialist credentialing. My background and former life experiences led to my passion to help other women find another way to live.”

The Adams’ permit application also incorporates their plans to convert an existing 24-by-60-foot hay shed on their property to a space where they can offer life skills workshops and crafting opportunities for the residents of Recovering Hands. Life skills workshops will include “improving time management skills” and “learning how to balance life, children, work and recovery.”

The commissioners ultimately voted to recommend approval of the permit for the operation of Recovering Hands to the board of supervisors. Commissioner Bruce Pearce made the motion to approve the permit, and the motion carried in a 6-0 vote.

Vice Chair Mattie Cowan remarked that in all her years serving on the planning commission, she had never seen so many people speak in a public hearing in support of anything as she had with Recovering Hands, and no one spoke in opposition.

“Thank you for all that you do,” Cowan said to Adams, noting that substance abuse recovery programs such as Recovering Hands are “needed” in Halifax County.

A total of 14 people spoke in favor of Recovering Hands in the public hearing prior to the commissioners’ vote on the permit to operate the program. Among those was former resident Callie Elliott, who is now a staff member and is in an undergraduate program at Old Dominion University.

“I have been clean now for 4 ½ years. Recovering Hands saved my life,” Elliott related.

Elliott’s father Eddie Elliott also spoke out in support of Recovering Hands.

“This program saved my daughter’s life. There’s no question about that,” Eddie testified. “These people (at Recovering Hands) support each other, and their support came by being supported.”

Rev. Thad Decker, pastor at Beth Car Baptist Church, also spoke about the community-oriented, supportive environment at Recovering Hands.

“The one thing you need is fellowship, and that’s what you’ll find in this group,” Decker said.

Nancy Simpson, who teaches pottery lessons to the residents at Recovering Hands, also voiced her support of the program.

“Kim has a way of calming these ladies’ spirits. She has taught them that they have another choice,” Simpson explained. “They’re getting their children back. They have jobs. And it’s just wonderful to see them live.”

Lindsey Adams, daughter of Kim and Bill Adams, thanked everyone who came out to show their support at Tuesday’s meeting for Recovering Hands.

“I’m so grateful for everybody’s support tonight,” Lindsey said. “We want people to know that this is an option and this is a resource in our wonderful county.”

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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.

Recovering Hands Resident’s Application