The grand opening of a new addiction recovery center was celebrated in Plattsburgh Wednesday.
"Three –two-one." The ribbon cutting celebrated the opening of the Champlain Valley Family Center’s All Ways for Recovery Community Center/MHAB Life Skills Campus. The new facility provides free support, transitional housing and services to those recovering from substance abuse disorders. It was conceived by Mike Carpenter, who praised the more than 30 agencies and businesses that worked collaboratively to make it a reality. “The goal behind it was to offer a transitional housing and life skills campus for people in various forms of various stages of recovery from drug addiction, alcoholism and mental health issues. And we think we’ve begun to accomplish that.”
New York state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services – or OASAS - Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez cut the ribbon. She said the region has fostered a unique collaboration to complete the treatment center and added that under Governor Cuomo the state is making great strides in the opioid epidemic battle. “This facility and others like it illustrates actually the importance of recovery within the continuum of addiction care that is offered in New York state. It is imperative to realize that treatment alone is not enough. We need to have recovery supports in place. In 2018 alone nearly 32,000 individuals visited a recovery center throughout New York state. So that tells you that these centers are not only needed but making a big difference in people’s lives.”
A number of officials spoke including state Senator Betty Little and Assemblyman D. Billy Jones. But the greatest reaction came when two men who had personal experience with the addiction crisis stepped up. Dennis King is in long-term recovery and is now director of Peer Engagement and Recovery Services at the Champlain Valley Family Center. “Addiction colors the lives of everyone it touches. It’s not a pretty color. It is in shades of fear, despair, grief and disappointment. Recovery has given me so much. It has given me the opportunity to raise my teenage children, a relationship with my adult children, a grandson who has never seen me under the influence and with the continued help of the recovery community never will. We can and do recover.”
Ed Kirby told those gathered how his son did not have access to a recovery center and died from an overdose. “I have never personally had to deal with the demon of dependency but I lived through it as my son fought it. All he ever wanted was to get better. A place, a place such as the MHAB Skills Campus and All Ways to Recovery is a great start to winning that fight.”
OASAS Commissioner González-Sánchez also announced the launch of a new state tax incentive. Employers that hire individuals in recovery are now eligible for tax credits up to $2,000 per employee for the 2020 tax year.