Meet Jacqueline, a Single Mom Battling Addiction

Posted on April 12, 2019 by Catholic Charities Admin  |  Share

How She Turned Her Life Around

 "Meet Jacqueline"

By Dean Scher, PhD, LCSW

CEO  Catholic Charities of Orange, Sullivan and Ulster

Jacqueline is a 50-year-old single mother of a young teenage boy. She is also a heroin addict who has received treatment services through the peer advocates at Catholic Charities.

As CEO of Catholic Charities of Orange, Sullivan & Ulster, and throughout a more than 45-year career working with people with substance use disorders, I have watched the tragic effects the current opioid crisis is having on our communities. It has become the leading cause of death for individuals under the age of 50! Nationally, more than 200 people a day die from a drug overdose.

A Place to Turn

Just like the crack and methamphetamine crises of previous decades, there are vulnerable members of our communities who suffer with the disease of addiction and look for a place to turn. I am proud that people like Jacqueline have been able to turn their lives around thanks to the work of Catholic Charities.

In Catholic Charities Orange, Sullivan and Ulster County region alone…

  • Our Substance Abuse Treatment services provided treatment to more than
    • 3,200 individuals suffering from the disease of addiction Including providing
      • More than 250 individuals with detox services
      • More than 100 individuals with  residential services
      • Nearly 3,000 individuals with outpatient services.
  • Our Chemical Dependency Prevention program reached more than 13,700 individuals, many of whom were youth and their family members, through a variety of evidence-based programs provided at schools and community groups, as well as community events, training, and outreach.
  • Nearly 1,500 individuals were trained to administer life-saving Narcan in the event of an overdose.

 "Dean Scher"

Recovery Tools that Work

Peer advocates are just one tool in the toolbox that we are able to provide, successfully helping those individuals with serious persistent substance use disorders connect to treatment. Utilization of Medication Assisted Treatment and a harm reduction approach to the disease are additional, effective tools that positively impact recovery outcomes.

What I want people to understand about the opioid crisis is that addiction is a disease; like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. Left untreated it is progressive and often deadly.

Scaling the Gate for Help

It is so important that we help to remove the stigma that oftentimes serves as a barrier to people seeking help.  We also have to understand the importance of prevention-ensuring that our schools have evidence-based curricula (K through 12) that teach our children about self-awareness and self-care.

Do you or does someone you know struggle with substance abuse?

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