Need help? We are here to assist you. Are you a parent in need of information? Want a program for your organization or in your child’s school? Looking for a tobacco cessation group? Need to attend VIP or Alive @ 25? Looking to educate your staff/employees in substance abuse prevention education? Let us work with you to tailor a program to suit your needs. Contact us at 845-765-8301.
A MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
In Search of Champions
It is challenging to find folks willing to speak publicly or share their story of addiction given the stigma attached to this disease. Anonymity provides a safe haven from the stereotypes and prejudice that accompany a label of alcoholism or drug addiction.
CAPE has been working slowly and respectfully to honor the struggle and support personal stories knowing that there is strength in numbers. But it is a slow process. Shame and guilt have accompanied many diseases throughout history. Developmental disabilities lingered in the shadows until the Kennedy family and others like them championed this cause and Public Law 94-142 emerged in the early 1970’s. Breast cancer was spoken about in hushed tones or not at all in my mother’s generation. And then came Susan B. Komen. Autism was kept at a distance and did not receive adequate attention until Autism Speaks was founded by Suzanne and Bob Wright after learning of their grandson’s diagnosis. It took the visual reminder of a quilt stitched together with the names of people who had lost their lives to AIDS to begin to shift the mind of a country willing to dispose of people because of ignorance.
Substance use disorder is trapped in a culture that normalizes risk behavior, promotes and celebrates that behavior and then dismisses those individuals whose lives are disrupted or end tragically because of that behavior. Is it any wonder that there is a reluctance on the part of those wrestling with substance use disorder to speak freely about a disease that brands them for life?
This disease needs to be separated from the shadows and the judgment that demonizes those who need treatment and seek recovery. There needs to be greater emphasis on evidence-based prevention. We live in a society that is bound to a disease management model; a system that benefits from ill health.
Substance use disorder needs champions…credible voices that lobby long and loud for:
- Comprehensive prevention to reduce the incidence of the disorder
- Adequate treatment to address the disease
- Adequate services to maintain recovery once it has been achieved
- Appropriate and consistent enforcement of policy and law with clear recognition that incarceration is not a substitute for treatment
Substance use disorder does not need the” intervention” of another reality TV show. It does not need a government at any level that sits idly by while an epidemic builds and then explodes in full view of communities who are watching it happen as families bury their loved ones. It does not need to shackle, incarcerate and warehouse individuals in a criminal justice system with woefully inadequate mental health services and then release them to a world where they are virtually assured of unemployment and the cascading effect that has on quality of life and ultimately survival.
This disease requires the education necessary to foster the understanding and compassion that is bestowed on so many other diseases. It needs a movement comprised of those in prevention, treatment and recovery, their families, churches, healthcare providers, employers, schools, law enforcement- young and old, rich and poor, black and white, male and female. This disease is screaming silently from the grave to stop the needless tragedies.
It is beyond time for change.
Elaine Trumpetto, M.A.
Wednesday, December 3: Forum for the Spanish speaking community at Mt Alvernia, Wappingers, 4:00 pm
Wednesday, December 3: Forum at SUNY New Paltz, 2:00 pm
Thursday, December 4: VIP Program, Fishkill Town Hall, 7:00 pm
Thursday, December 4: Parents Supporting Parents, Fishkill Town Hall, 7:00 pm
Monday, December 8: Educational Series, East Fishkill Library, “Stress in your Adolescent”, 7:00 pm
Thursday, December 11: Educational Series, East Fishkill Library, “Stress Management and Multi-Generational Needs”, 7:00 pm
Thursday, December 11: Southern Dutchess Community Coalition, Fishkill Town Hall, 1:00 pm
Wednesday, December 17: Eastern Dutchess Community Coalition, Dover High School Library, 3:30 pm
Thursday, December 18: Alive at 25, Town of Fishkill Police Community Room, 4:30 am
More information for upcoming events and programs can be found on our website events calendar or by contacting our office at (845) 765-8301 or e-mailing Susan at email@example.com.