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Recovery Point mentor reflects on challenges, triumphs of substance abuse

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Recovery Point mentor reflects on challenges, triumphs of substance abuse

Recovery Point mentor Matthew Blake, 22, assists those struggling with addictions at the rehabilitative facility in Huntington.

Recovery Point mentor Matthew Blake, 22, assists those struggling with addictions at the rehabilitative facility in Huntington.

Emily Wood

Recovery Point mentor Matthew Blake, 22, assists those struggling with addictions at the rehabilitative facility in Huntington.

Emily Wood

Emily Wood

Recovery Point mentor Matthew Blake, 22, assists those struggling with addictions at the rehabilitative facility in Huntington.

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Across the United States many communities are combatting a drug epidemic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more people died from drug overdoses in 2014 than in any year on record.

West Virginia is all too familiar with this epidemic.

In 2014, West Virginia was one of fives states with the highest rate of drug overdose death.

There is work being done to curb this epidemic in the mountain state.

Recovery Point, originally The Healing Place, offers peer-to-peer, non-medical and long-term residential recovery programs for men, women and families who suffer with addiction and/or alcoholism.

Recovery Point has four locations, Recovery Point of Huntington, Recovery Point of Charleston, Four Seasons Recovery Center and Her Place.

The intensive six to 12 month program consists of supplemental curriculum of Recovery Dynamics and the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Anthony Cillata, a client at Recovery Point, said being hopeless and desperate brought him to Recovery Point.

“If you’re thinking about coming to Recovery Point, oh man, you better get here, I wasn’t too sure about this place,” Cillata said. “Don’t think about it, just do it, because if you think too long you might die.”

The program is broken down into “non-medical detox,” “off the street 1,” “off the street 2,” “recovery phase 1,” “recovery phase 2,” “continuing care” and “becoming a mentor.”

During the “off the street” phase, clients have to follow the “five golden rules.” Don’t do drugs or drink alcohol; no cell phone nor driving of a car; no physical violence nor threats of violence; no sexual overtones or threats; no racial overtones or threats.

“Recovery Phase 1” is where clients complete curriculum of Recovery Dynamics – a program of recovery essentially based on the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous – that consists of 28 classes and 32 written assignments.

“If I am not participating, I am not helping myself and that means I am not helping others, that’s selfish,” Cillata said. “The program made me realize the root of my evil was being selfish.”

After Recovery Phase 1 clients have the choice to become a peer mentor or go on to Phase 2.

Peer mentors are leaders and act as guides for those who are in the early stages of the curriculum.

Recovery Point peer mentor Matthew Blake said repetitive drug use and almost dying five or six times brought him to Recovery Point.

“I chose to be a peer mentor because I wanted to give back what was so freely given to me,” Blake said. “Being a peer mentor is rewarding really, I enjoy it because they helped us when we first got here when we were down and out and had nothing at all.”

In 2011 at the launch of the World Drug Report, United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said “Drug addiction is a disease, not a crime.”

“Addiction is a disease – it’s definitely an illness, not a criminal act,” Cillata said. “I was an all-state and all-city player in lacrosse. I’ve been an academic student all my life; I did not aspire to be a drug addict. “

Two principles the community based program relies on are unconditional love and personal accountability.

There have been 170 graduates from Recovery Points’ program since January 2011 where they started out with 10 beds and grew to 100 April 2014.

“This place has saved a lot of lives,” Blake said. “It’s saved my life for the better.”

Emily Wood can be contacted at [email protected]

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1 Comment

One Response to “Recovery Point mentor reflects on challenges, triumphs of substance abuse”

  1. Jake S on April 28th, 2016 9:21 pm

    I walked into Recovery Point (at the time The Healing Place) in November of 2013. I came from South Central Regional Jail. I can attest to this place saving lives. I’ve seen so many men come in as broken people and leave as confident, changed men.
    We, as addicts, don’t get many second chances and I’ve seen some guys leave and die as a result of this disease. If you’re planning on changing your life this is the place to do it.
    Matt has been an inspiration to many clients and I’m proud to call him, not only a friend, but a brother.

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