In the News
Clemson public health students talk about the opioid crisis
Clemson public health students tackled the opioid crisis with research on “Problems & Solutions, Abuse & Addiction” Tuesday night on campus.
About 75 people listened to the presentation on prevention and recovery. Last December a Clemson student died of an opioid overdose according to the Pickens County Coroner.
Greenville PD’s Chief Miller participates in Senate subcommittee hearing
Greenville Police Chief Ken Miller served as a witness in a hearing Wednesday afternoon in Washington, D.C. centered on fentanyl and the opioid crisis.
The Greenville Police Department said U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism of the Senate Judiciary Committee, invited Miller to the “Defeating Fentanyl: Addressing the Deadliest Drugs Fueling the Opioid Crisis” hearing.
Kevin Bishop, a spokesperson from Sen. Graham’s Greenville office says Chief Miller was “recommended by the SC Sheriff’s Association and Police Chief’s Association for being thoughtful, well spoken and well versed on the issue of fentanyl.”
Miller discussed law enforcement’s role in responding to the ongoing national crisis and answered questions.
He is also offered “insights to include leveraging multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional partnerships for future prevention, intervention, and enforcement services in order to stem the supply and demand for these lethal drugs.”
The hearing was at 2:30 p.m. in the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.
Greenville News | Ron Barnett | February 4, 2018
FAVOR shows new way out of addiction
When a family member is spiraling into the nightmare of addiction, the last thing you want to do when you get them to seek help is sit down and fill out a bunch of forms. But that’s usually the first thing you have to do — even in the emergency room.
Then, maybe 45 minutes later, your loved one gets to meet with a counselor who is filling in a lot of blanks on an assessment form. Eventually the therapist starts trying to get your loved one to open up about his or her painful state, in the sterile environment of an office. It doesn’t have to be ! that way.
A nonprofit organization in Greenville called FAVOR (Faces & Voices of Recovery) is turning that model upside down.
With FAVOR, you don’t have to go through any upfront approval. There’s no insurance involved, no red tape — and you don’t have to pay anything.
Let me repeat that: It’s free.
How do they do this?
FAVOR’s concept is considered “recovery support” rather than traditional therapy, so therapists aren’t bound by the same restrictions. And since insurance companies aren’t involved, they can meet people where they are.
“We can deliver our services anywhere, any time of the day, any different venue,” said Rich Jones, chief executive officer/chi! ef operating officer for FAVOR.
For example, a counselor could go over to a person’s home and talk about drugs with a teenager while playing a video game with him.
“We meet with people in the emergency room, we meet with people in their homes, we meet with people in schools. Kind of anywhere and everywhere,” he said.
That doesn’t mean the recovery coaches aren’t as professional as traditional therapists.
“They’re professionals and they’re professionally trained, and it’s very, very strategic and intentional, but it’s delivered in a more natural way,” Jones said. “And what we believe that does is it leads to that connection that people so desperately need when they’re trying to figure out how to do this r! ecovery thing.”
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not disparaging traditional therapy, or 12-step programs. But this seems to me like something that really has a great chance to change lives. Apparently, the federal government thinks so, too.
FAVOR Greenville has been named one of four model programs by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. People from across the country will be coming to Greenville to learn how to do what FAVOR does here.
The Greenville group also was chosen to present its model last month at a program with the Surgeon General in Washington, called “America’s Opioid Epidemic: Supporting Recovery.”
Let me stop here and back up a minute, because I know this is sounding way too much like a press release for FAVOR. I don’t do press releases. I write about things I believe in.
And even with just a brief intro to
this program, I’m convinced that it is something special. Something that can save lives. (A big thank you to De Ila Meyer, who introduced me to FAVOR after reading my recent column on meth.) Because it is really about people. I sat through an orientation session last week at FAVOR’s headquarters on Woodruff Road and was deeply touched by the personal stories I heard from the people who run this place.
Most of them had suffered through addiction themselves and grew up in families that were afflicted with the disease. Several of them had lost family members to drugs.
The big thing that makes all this work is the fact that all the money that pays for it comes from donations, from individuals and foundations.
There’s a lot more I could say about this, but if you want to learn more, go to favorgreenville.org or call 864385-7757.
The U.S. Surgeon General on the Role of Peer Recovery Support
“You’re in recovery for life; and we can, if we wrap people with the appropriate support services, have a higher success rate for life. We’re actually getting a return on investment by wrapping people with the recovery support services they need to be successful in recovery.”
—Jerome Adams, M.D., Surgeon General of the United States
On February 14, 2018, Faces & Voices of Recovery sponsored America’s Opioid Epidemic: Supporting Recovery at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. We worked with The Hill and Indivior, our co-sponsor, to organize the event and engage high profile speakers including the Surgeon General of the United States, Jerome Adams, M.D.; Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Congressman Dave Joyce (R-OH).
Our goal was to educate the public and policymakers about recovery from addiction and the role of recovery support services.
With 192 people in attendance, and hundreds more watching online, the event was a huge success!
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Member, Senate Committee on Finance
Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH), Vice Chair, Congressional Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus
Arthur Evans, Tom Hill, Denise Holden, Andre Johnson and Rachel Roubein
Richard Jones, Executive Director of FAVOR Greenville (SC) and Patty McCarthy Metcalf, Executive Director of Faces & Voices of Recovery
America’s Opioid Epidemic: Supporting Recovery
The opioid epidemic is affecting millions of Americans across the country. Yet few of those with an opioid addiction are receiving treatment for their condition and fewer still have access to services that can support a long-term recovery.
Now that the opioid crisis has been designated a public health emergency, what is being done at the federal and state levels to overcome barriers and deploy effective recovery support programs? The President’s opioid task force has recommended expanding the use of recovery coaches and reinforced the value of services like peer-to-peer programs, skills training, and supportive housing. What role can Congress play in implementing these recommendations and how can they be adequately funded?
On February 14, The Hill convened key government leaders, policymakers, addiction experts and recovery advocates for a solutions-focused conversation on opioid recovery support services.
- Jerome Adams, Surgeon General of the United States
- Arthur Evans, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President, American Psychological Association
- Tom Hill, Vice President, Practice Improvement, National Council for Behavioral Health
- Denise Holden, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, RASE Project
- Andre Johnson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Detroit Recovery Project
- Rich Jones, Executive Director, Faces & Voices of Recovery (FAVOR) Greenville
- Congressman Dave Joyce (R-OH), Vice Chair, Congressional Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus
- Patty McCarthy Metcalf, Executive Director, Faces & Voices of Recovery
- Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Member, Senate Committee on Finance
- Bob Cusack, Editor-in-Chief, The Hill
- Rachel Roubein, Health Care Reporter, The Hill
The Greer Citizen
Addiction/recovery expert Rich Jones arrived at FAVOR-Greenville in 2013, just in time to witness the greatest flood of drug overdose deaths our state and nation have ever seen. Throughout that time, he’s served as Executive Director of FAVOR, which stands for Faces and Voices of Recovery. Read the full article.
TALKING ADDICTION AND RECOVERY: PART 2
An interview with FAVOR’s Rich Jones
The Greer Citizen
Q: Do you think the Stigma of addiction has been reduced at all over the last decade?
JONES: I think there is more awareness and efforts to address the stigma than I’ve ever seen. I can’t believe all the TV shows that have been done about this issue…even the president talking about it. It’s absolutely amazing the discussion is as open as it is now, so that’s really good. Read the full article.
FACES & VOICES of RECOVERY Announces New Building Strength through Mentorship: Recovery Community Organization Pilot Program
Faces & Voices of Recovery has launched a new pilot program to build the capacity of new and emerging recovery community organizations (RCO’s) through mentorship from well-established, best practice RCO’s that have been nationally accredited through the Council on Accreditation of Peer Recovery Support Services (CAPRSS).
Four organizations recognized for delivering high-quality peer recovery support services will each work with pilot sites that have demonstrated their readiness to establish an RCO. The Mentor RCOs will provide training, consultation, support and encouragement to help the new groups establish best practices in the delivery of peer recovery support services while building their organizational capacity and strengthening their partnerships with local and state stakeholders.
The exemplary Mentor RCOs include Minnesota Recovery Connection in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Hope for New Hampshire- Recovery in Manchester, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania Recovery Organization- Achieving Community Together (PRO-ACT) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Faces & Voices of Recovery (FAVOR) Greenville in Greenville, South Carolina. Rich Jones, Director of FAVOR Greenville, stated “We are very proud of this accomplishment. This is a reflection of the FAVOR [Greenville] board, volunteers, and staff and their never ending dedication to this cause.”
RCO’s are independent, non-profit organization led and governed by representatives of local communities of recovery. These organizations offer recovery advocacy activities, carry out community education and outreach programs, and/or provide peer-based recovery support services. The new organizations and communities participating in the pilot program are: Minnesota Alternatives in Spring Lake Park, Minnesota; Recovery Force of Atlantic County, in Brigantine, New Jersey; the community of Dayton, Ohio; and Orange County, California.
“This is what it is all about- meeting communities where they’re at and proving the level of expertise only the Association of Recovery Community Organizations (ARCO) can provide. Our grassroots mentoring approach builds long-term, sustainable recovery capital, influences culture and save lives,” said Jesse Heffernan, National Outreach & Empowerment Coordinator at Faces & Voices.
State of Addiction Special on America’s opioid crisis
GREENVILLE, S.C. — To help focus attention on America’s growing opioid crisis, WYFF 4 and its parent Hearst Television televised a live primetime one-hour special across its stations. The special, “Matter of Fact: State of Addiction,” is part of a year-long multi-platform news and investigative series, supplemented with community-based efforts to inform local audiences of the opioid crisis and efforts to develop solutions. Watch the special 4-part series below.
Addiction struggles shared in obituaries by grieving parents
The Greenville News
June 1, 2017 | page A3
Anna Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reghan Berry and Wilkins Lipscomb died two days apart. Berry, 22, of Greer, overdosed first. A family friend found her dead of an apparent heroin overdose on May 16 — a week before she was supposed to enter a 30day rehab program. Lipscomb, 26, of Greenville, died May 18. Their obituaries, published side by side in The Greenville News the following Sunday, were startlingly frank about their struggle with addiction.
Lipscomb graduated from Greenville High School and attended Clemson University before he worked in the insurance business with his father and grandfather, his obituary said. “Wilkins was an avid chef and outdoorsman who enjoyed fishing, gardening, and camping. Although Wilkins was a strong man, his battle skills were no match for the disease of addiction,” his obituary said. Efforts to reach the Lipscombs for comment on this story were not successful.
Berry’s obituary said she attended Riverside Middle and High schools and “never judged a person in her life.”
Berry’s mother, Jennifer Woodard, said her daughter had been sober a little over two weeks before she died. She had enrolled into an intensive inpatient program at Morris Village in Columbia in what would have been her fourth trip to rehab.
“I wanted everybody to know that she did have this addiction, this problem, and that she was really fighting it,” Woodard said. “I didn’t want her to be remembered as a junkie. I wanted her to be remembered to be the Reghan I loved.” She shared her daughter’s story with brutal honesty in the hopes it’ll warn other parents about the dangers of heroin. “It’s worse than anybody knows,” Woodard said.
Heroin accounted for nearly 13,000 of the 52,404 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2015, according to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. Since 2010, heroin-related overdose deaths have more than quadrupled, according to the CDC, with numbers still rising.
As of March 15, the Greenville County Coroner’s Office has reported eight heroin-related overdoses this year compared to 20 heroin-related overdoses for all of 2016, according to Deputy Coroner Jeff Fowler. In a series of stories detailing heroin’s toil on the Upstate that year, The News found that roughly half of the county’s 95 drug overdoses in 2015 involved either heroin or fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 30 to 50 ti! mes more powerful than morphine.
Addiction for Woodard’s daughter started with painkillers in high school. Then a classmate showed her how to inject heroin, Woodard said. “That was all it took, that one time.”
Heroin changed her daughter chemically and physically. She needed heroin to feel normal. She stole from her family and friends, became homeless. She traded anything she could for drugs, including her body. One day, Woodard said she sat down and spent three hours looking through her daughter’s phone. “It was like going through a stranger’s phone. I found out so much that it made me sick,” Woodard said.
Her story — and her daughter’s obituary — have gone viral since it first appeared in The News on May 21. More than 290 people have posted comments in the guestbook, many of them thanking Woodard for shedding light on addiction and its far-reaching grasp Richard Jones, executive director of FAVOR Greenville, said it’s now incumbent on organizations like his to step up and respond to the heroin epidemic.
Jones hopes to soon launch a new program at FAVOR called Operation Rescue, which will provide 24-hour, on-call assistance for people struggling with addiction.
For more information about the addiction recovery community, call FAVOR at 864-385-7757 or visit favorgreenville.org. The nonprofit provides intervention and counseling services to those seeking recovery. For more information about treatment and referrals, call the Phoenix Center at 864-467-3790 or visit phoenixcenter.org. The Phoenix Center is the legislated substance abuse authority for Greenville County and offers a full range of services to treat substance abuse, including a detox center and outpatient programs.
May 22, 2017
May 11, 2017
March 3, 2017
Every day in our communities more than 40,000 people wake up to face another day that is controlled by their drinking or drug use. They or their families ask: “Where do I turn for help? How do I take the first step? What is the solution?” FAVOR Greenville Center is our community’s “Welcome Center to Recovery.” We have Richard Jones here with us this morning to tell us about it.
Week N’ Pulse: FAVOR Greenville Doing Great Work In The Upstate
Saturday, Mar 4, 2017
Deb Sofield joins Rich Jones, the Executive Director of FAVOR Greenville, to discuss some of the great things they’re doing in our community. With the goal of promoting long-term recovery from substance use disorders, Rich talks about some resources and programs available.
Listen to the interview.
THE GREENVILLE NEWS
April 27, 2017 | page A11
FAVOR Greenville receives gift from Shell Oil, thanks to Spinks.
FAVOR Greenville has received a donation from Shell Oil Co. made possible because of the relationship Stewart and Martha Spinks and The Spinx Co. have with Shell. Thanks to their generosity, FAVOR Greenville will be able to continue to provide the life-saving, transformational work that has impacted over 11,000 participants.
Stewart Spinks was employed by Shell after graduating from college. Shell then moved Stewart to Greenville where he later began The Spinx Co. Giving back to the Greenville community has always been a priority to Stewart Spinks and his family.