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Addiction Help — From Allentown to the Fox Cities

addiction help

Addiction Help — From Allentown to the Fox Cities

The more addiction help becomes available, the more folks will be able to curb their addiction. That’s why we cite — and celebrate — as many new addiction treatment services we can. We’ll keep citing and celebrating too. Just so long as the citings cause folks to celebrate.

Change on Hamilton: Allentown, PA

Lehigh County, Pennsylvania may boast the state’s third largest city (Allentown, natch), but it’s always been considered much more bucolic than either Philadelphia or Pittsburgh. Much quieter too. Much of that has to do with the same-named River Valley’s surrounding stretch of Appalachian Mountains. There’s also the confluence of green sprouting up and spreading from the Delaware Water Gap. Whatever the case, the combination has also made this county of some 350,000 one of the fastest growing in the entire state.

More people of course equals more issues. And Lehigh County is not exempt. In fact, it’s fair to say the county’s rapid growth rate has helped to compound the issues, especially Substance Use Disorder (SUD). So when Lehigh County announced the opening of a new recovery center, everyone from WFMZ-TV to The Morning Call helped spread the good word.

The center is called Change on Hamilton Recovery Center. It’s located in a storefront right in the heart of Allentown’s Center City. It’s just the first of two new recovery centers slated for the county. And if the grand opening’s happy and eager crowd is any indication, it couldn’t come at a better time.

Or more necessary. Lehigh County’s drug overdose death rate rose right along with the COVID pandemic, just like every other county in the state. And just like every other county, Lehigh has been diligently seeking ways to reduce that rate. After a full year of planning and finagling, things have finally taken a turn for the best. Better yet, another county contractor is already set to open a second facility, the Allentown Recovery Center, at St. John’s Lutheran Church on South Fifth Street.

Both peer-based substance abuse recovery centers are intended to be places where people in recovery can help each other achieve sobriety. Naturally, there’ll be a full slate of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings. There will also be a full complement of certified recovery specialists on hand to help addicts address their emotions, find a bunk for the night or even provide tips on their resumes.

The Time is Now

Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong, the recovery center’s executive director, told Morning Call reporter Tom Shortell that overdose deaths in the county grew because of the lack of support, isolation and stress bred by the pandemic. He also said the two new drug and alcohol recovery centers are just a part of the latest effort to combat the growing number of overdose deaths in the region.

We don’t know what other sobriety-friendly plans Lehigh County has for the future, but we’re sure people will be all the better for them. Just ask Change on Hamilton Program Director Deborah Tingle, whose own recovery opened up an array of betterments, including restoring the relationship with her mother in the years before her mom’s death.

“I can feel it in my spirit,” said the perfectly-named Tingle. “There is going to be an addict walking through that door, and we are going to be there for him. We are going to be able to talk him off the ledge.”

Who’s not on board with something like that?

Apricity: The Fox Cities

Okay. We’ll admit it. We weren’t familiar with the term apricity. Heck, we weren’t even familiar with the Fox Cities. But we’re sure glad to learn about both. Especially since the learn means more addiction help.

Apricity is the warmth of the winter sun. The word doesn’t apply much here in Delray Beach. After all, our South Florida sun is pretty much steady throughout the year. But it certainly affects our Northern friends. Especially those in Northeastern Wisconsin’s Fox Cities. That is the cities, towns and villages along the Fox River as it flows from Lake Winnebago northward into Green Bay.

In other words, where it gets cold. Icy cold. The kind of cold where people herald every sliver of sun. And the kind of place where a term like apricity is essential.

Appleton is the largest Fox City. It’s joined by Kaukauna, Menasha and Neenah. Then there are villages such as Fox Crossing, Little Chute and Kimberly. There are also town such as Buchanan and Freedom. Of course addiction doesn’t discriminate between city, village or town. And of course every municipality both needs and deserves addiction help.

That’s obviously why Apricity has opened up three Fox Cities facilities. (A fourth is in Milwaukee.) It’s also why the nonprofit’s CEO Michelle Devine Giese went on WFRV’s Local Five Live (WeAreGreenBay) and told reporter/producer Dena Holtz all about ’em.

In addition to Milwaukee, Apricity has addiction treatment centers in Neenah, Mooring House and Casa Clare. The facilities provide a mix of both Residential Treatment and Sober Living, as well as other essential services. Apricity also provides an invaluable looking service called the Recovery Works Initiative.

Recovery Works Initiative

Apricity’s Recovery Works Initiative is essentially a workplace teaching and training program. In fact, upon implementing said program an “organization will receive the education, training, and recovery support needed to help their employees and family members get the addiction help they need.”

Why should employers care? Well, costs of course. Plus some good-old-fashioned common sense. Like the site says, the cost of addiction to an employer’s bottom line is indeed significant. It also results in higher absenteeism, higher health care costs, higher turnover, and greater likelihood of work-related safety incidents. Equally important, “by enrolling in the Recovery Works Initiative, you are sending a clear message to your employees that their wellness is important.”

Sounds like a sound plan to us. Must sound like a plan to others too. Because Apricity has been providing just this kind of addiction help for 35 years.

Get Addiction Help

Healing Properties salutes the recovery-centric folks of Lehigh County, as well as the treatment providers at Apricity. People need and deserve addiction help. It doesn’t matter whether they’re living near the Lehigh River or the Fox. They also need and deserve strong community support. All of the above seems earnestly set to provide just that. And we wholeheartedly applaud them all.

How ’bout you? Are you living near the Lehigh or Fox Rivers? Somewhere close? Nowhere near? Wherever you are, are you ready to come in from the cold? Addiction help is out there you know. And it can change your life. All you’ve got to do is phone.

(Image: Shutterstock)

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