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Avivo attends Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit

The current opioid crisis in America is impacting people coast to coast, including those in Minnesota and the Twin Cities. The national numbers are staggering: 174 Americans die every day from opioids, and more than 66,000 people died between June 2016 and June 2017 (find these stats here).

It’s important that Avivo stays on top of the most current techniques to combat the crisis, according to Claude Maddox, Avivo’s director of recovery support services. Claude recently attended the 2018 National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta, Georgia.

View from 2018 summit in Atlanta, GA. Image courtesy of National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit

“When you talk about opioid users, the cravings are so intense,” says Claude. “Many things people are buying illegally are laced with fentanyl, which is often used as an elephant or rhinoceros tranquilizer. People take it and they overdose.”

“Employment and housing. Those things are important in helping people have purpose and recover from addiction,” says Claude Maddox, Avivo’s director of recovery support services. “Peer mentors are one of those programs that are huge. It was a theme of the summit.”

The summit has included significant public figures in the past, including President Barrack Obama and former Dept. of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.  This year’s summit featured speakers such as former President Bill Clinton and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, as well as speakers from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and U.S. Surgeon General VADM Jerome M. Adams.

Claude was particularly interested in one program that reminded him a bit of the holistic services (recovery, career education and advancement, and housing) that Avivo offers. He returned from the summit with additional knowledge about the nationwide crisis, as well as how Avivo can continue to combat it locally.

“Employment and housing. Those things are important in helping people have purpose and recover from addiction,” he says. “Peer mentors are one of those programs that are huge. It was a theme of the summit.”

Avivo offers peer support, as well as peer mentors, which is important because of the similar past experiences peers have.

“The whole notion of housing and peers – all of those things support a person in recovery to become healthier.”