The current substance use epidemic in our country has shown no signs of slowing down. In fact, in many ways, the crisis continues to escalate. The President’s Commission on Combatting Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, while imploring President Trump to declare a national public health emergency, shared several statistics that frame the scope of the problem:
- From 2000 to 2015, more than 500,000 people died of drug overdoses, and opioids account for the majority of those
- Drug overdoses now kill more people than gun homicides and car crashes combined
- This equates to a death toll equal to September 11th occurring every three weeks
Former Congressman, Patrick J. Kennedy (D – RI) and a member of the President’s Commission, has called the problem the “biggest public health epidemic of our time.”
On Thursday, October 26th, Kennedy provided the keynote address at Ashley’s annual Center City Dinner and Presentation, and spoke with passion about his own experiences with addiction, and about Ashley. Coincidentally, earlier in the day, President Trump acted on the recommendations of the Commission and directed the Department of Health and Human Services to declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency.
Further highlighting the scope of the problem, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recently released its annual Survey on Drug Use and Health which indicated that overdose deaths are still on the rise, primarily due to the influx of fentanyl and similar substances appearing in the heroin supply. These substances are far more potent than traditional heroin, literally poisoning users in record numbers.
The Survey also indicated that cocaine use has been sharply increasing – with a 40% jump in first time users reported in 2014. Cocaine overdose deaths exceeded 10,000 in 2015, the largest figure ever. Marijuana use is increasing steadily, as the perception of risk has moderated due to an increasing number of states decriminalizing or legalizing recreational use.
But the news is not all doom and gloom. With citizens like Patrick Kennedy openly and publicly sharing their own battles with substance use, the hope is that stigma, one of the primary roadblocks keeping people from seeking treatment, can and will be overcome. While delivering the SAMHSA Survey, interim Director of the Office National Drug Control Policy Richard Baum stated “there are millions of wonderful people reclaiming their lives in recovery. They are everywhere and their voices are being heard. Recovery is real!”
We agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment, and are proud that thousands of Ashley alumni and their families living lives in joyful recovery are among those voices. There is cause for hope!
The leaves have turned, and with that the attention of the Ashley Development team has turned toward our year end and a major new donation opportunity: We are very pleased to announce the launch of the new Ashley Named Funds program.
A Named or Endowed Fund is a fund in which the principal is invested in perpetuity or for a specified time period and only the gains or interest on the fund is available to spend. A Named or Endowed fund may be restricted or unrestricted, as directed by the donor. Many donors have set up named scholarship funds with criteria that reflect their interests, such as the Young Adult Scholarship Fund, or the Mae Abraham Legacy Fund, which supports scholarships and programming initiatives for women.
Named Funds may be established for nearly any area of need, whether that be scholarship, programming initiatives, research, training, etc. We encourage potential donors to think about what areas of need mean the most to them, and where their gift might make the most impact.
Gifts to Ashley’s Named Fund program are 100% tax-deductible. Donors will be offered priority seating at special Ashley events and may be acknowledged (with their consent) in various Ashley publications throughout the year. Additional forms of recognition are available and will be discussed during the establishment of the fund.
Why set up a Named Fund?
Since 1983, Ashley has provided financial assistance to more than 40,000 patients and their families, to help them get the treatment they need. Over the last 10 years, we have provided more than $27M in charity care, including nearly $4M this year alone. But we can’t do this alone!
We are committed to providing our patients with the best possible care and treatment during their stay. Scholarships are often the only way many patients can get the treatment they desperately need.
Whether for scholarship, programming or other area of need, establishing a Named Fund will provide a source of funding for the organization while offering the donor a sense of recognition and accomplishment. These gifts have a tremendous impact on the lives of those who are experiencing the pain and devastation inflicted by the disease of addiction.
Named Funds are an excellent way to honor / memorialize a loved one, or to demonstrate your own commitment and service.
For more information about the Ashley Named Fund, contact our Development Office at 410-273-2205, or at MCohen@AshleyTreatment.org. Additional information is also available on our website at www.AshleyTreatment.org/NamedFunds.
RED is back!
Recovery Enrichment Day (RED), an alumni favorite, has returned to the Ashley campus with a quarterly event typically held the third Saturday of the month. The first in our revamped program was held on Saturday, October 21st, as recovery artist Robin Gilliam offered an interactive presentation on how to “Create Your Own Recovery Journal!” More than 40 attendees worked with Robin to create their own personal recovery art journal, to help them continue to grow stronger recovery, manage their triggers, and forge positive thoughts.
Look for information on our next RED event in January in upcoming editions of this e-Newsletter or on our website, www.AshleyTreatment.org/RED
Strengthening Our Recovery
The Ashley Alumni Services Department is holding Strengthening our Recovery events in New York City and in the Philadelphia area in the weeks ahead.
Come out and see us at the New York Center for Living on Thursday, November 16, 2017 where we will have back to back events! Our morning session, “Addressing Grief and Loss,” will be held from 10:00 – 11:30am and will offer 1 CEU for MLSW/LCSW and CASAC.
At the evening session, we will present: “The Relapse Process: How relapse happens, how it can be prevented, and how we can return to joyful recovery!”
Ashley Assistant Program Director, James Ryan will facilitate both sessions.
In December, we will partner with the Limen House at Salesanium High School in Wilmington, as we present “Staying Sober One Holiday at a Time” on December 5, 2017. Panelists Martha Meehan-Cohen, Stephen Nutter and Michael Duffy will provide tips for navigating the perilous holiday season while strengthening your recovery!
All of our Strengthening our Recovery events are free and open to everyone – for more information, visit our website at www.AshleyTreatment.org/SOR. We hope to see you there!
On Thursday, November 16, come see us in Manhattan at the NY Center for Living where Ass’t Program Director James Ryan will discuss The Relapse Process. During this workshop, James will walk through how relapse happens, how it can be prevented, and how we can return to joyful recovery.
Join us in Plymouth Meeting, PA on Thursday, November 30, for Connection: The Key to Recovery. Ashley Director of Advancement, Martha Meehan-Cohen and Sobriety Solutions Therapist, John Egan will discuss how the disease of addiction causes those suffering to isolate from friends, family, and their community. They will describe three keys to connection: courage, vulnerability and authenticity. These three keys, combined with the principles of a 12-step program, will lead an individual to a life of whole-hearted living.
Finally, we’ll usher in the holiday season with a timely event at Salesianum High School in Wilmington, DE, presented in partnership with the Limen House. Panelists Martha Meehan-Cohen, Stephen Nutter, and Michael Duffy will host an interactive conversation, providing tips and suggestions for navigating the tricky holiday season and Staying Sober One Holiday at a Time.
Our Strengthening our Recovery events are free of charge and open to all! For more information, visit our website at www.AshleyTreatment.org/SOR.