People struggling with addiction in Fauquier County will soon have one more resource available to help them toward the path to recovery.
The McShin Foundation, which prides itself as being Virginia’s leading peer-to-peer recovery community organization, recently partnered with the Fauquier County Adult Detention Center. An addict who’s been in recovery for 12 years will be the jail’s facilitator for the program, offering support, advice, resources and guidance to inmates who want help. The program is open to people with any kind of addiction.
“There are so many waiting lists,” said Fauquier’s new program facilitator, who asked to remain anonymous. “I have literally been standing at a detox facility begging for help and been told, ‘I’m so sorry, we have 30-day waiting period.’”
But the McShin program offers immediate resources, she added.
“We offer love and hope to people that want to recover,” said Chris Connell, a community outreach volunteer for the foundation. Connell said she got involved with the nonprofit because she is the mother of an active addict.
A group of 10 male inmates and 10 female inmates will be selected to participate in the program, which will start in the jail in about a month. Everyone who participates in the program will be housed in the same cell block. The inmates will spend 10 hours a day working on the program. During the hours not spent with their facilitator, the inmates will use other resources available like recordings, videos and books.
The sessions will run like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous and other faith-based meetings. The inmates will talk about their feelings, what they are dealing with and what to expect when they are released. The inmates work on action plans for their release to help ensure they won’t fall into the same habits when they get out.
Connell said the nonprofit is working on finding facilities in Fauquier to house halfway homes for recovering addicts when they get out of jail. The foundation has housing available in the Richmond-area, where it is based. If need be, Connell said, released inmates from Fauquier could be housed in Richmond.
Once in recovery, inmates will also be trained to be facilitators so they can help others facing the same struggle they did. Everyone involved in the program, even the facilitators, are screened for drugs regularly, Connell said.
Fauquier’s new McShin facilitator said she wants to share her story to help break the stigma of recovering from addiction.
“Before I was 17, I was a full-blown intravenous heroin user having all kinds of problems,” she said. “When you’re starting, you don’t flash forward three years and see that you’re going to be homeless watching people pass needles around.”
The recovering addict said she wanted to fit in with her friends and began using substances at age 15. Now, she says, out of her circle of 20 friends who used, only two including her are still alive.
“I got sick of watching this disease tear down my friends one by one and their loved ones,” she said. “I knew this is not how my life is meant to be lived.”
Connell encourages anyone in recovery who is interested in participating in the program to call her at 540-308-3729.
The McShin Foundation currently has programs in five other jurisdictions. The Fauquier program will be its sixth. The nonprofit is celebrating its new program in Fredericksburg May 13.
For more information, visit mcshin.org.
On – 18 Apr, 2017 By Hannah Dellinger