CUMBERLAND COUNTY, N.J. - Unfortunately, it’s now safe to say that nearly everyone has been, to some degree, affected by the opioid crisis.
Many people still aren't getting the help they need for many reasons.
One of those reasons is something a Cumberland County community is hoping to change.
Recovery on Wheels hopes to end the stigma and help people get into recovery for goodness sake.
Dawn and Delia have felt the pain of dealing with addiction in their own families.
“I have 3 children and they all have their own certain addictions, heroin being a top one,” Dawn told FOX 29’s Bill Anderson.
For others, the loss has been profound and permanent.
“I’ve seen family members pass away, that’s really impacted me in a big way and it will continue to impact me because that never goes away,” Delia explained.
And Melissa has spent 15 years spent in her own recovery.
“There’s 27 million people in the United States in long term recovery but you would never know it because of shame and stigma,” Melissa said. “We hear people’s train wreck, we hear the horror stories it makes a great headline, front page news but we very rarely hear the recovery stories.”
The three women are united by the same struggle but their deepest bond is Recovery on Wheels – an innovative solution to reaching their community.
“I’ve always had a vision of doing outreach into the community because we know that sometimes when people are caught up in addictions and other hardships it’s hard for them to come to us,” Melissa explained.
Recovery on wheels is a partnership with various social services and law enforcement agencies.
The renovated bus goes into neighborhoods with trained counselors like Dawn, Delia and Melissa and provides resources and hope.
“It’s not a death sentence, addiction does not mean that you’re stuck there forever. Addiction is a disease of the brain and there is treatment for it,” Melissa added.
The Recovery on Wheels team will keep going out each week so that people can learn first hand that there is a way out.
“There is help – today I sit here with three recovered children living great lives, families, homes, good jobs, so it is definitely something that can happen,” Dawn added.
It can happen For Goodness Sake.