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Coalition Meeting Attempts to Break Social Stigma

 

Certified Recovery Specialist Supervisor Mike Krafick talks in front of about 50 local residents yesterday at the second monthly Armstrong Drug Free Communities Coalition meeting. Meetings will be held the second Thursday of each month at the Belmont Complex in West Kittanning Borough.

Certified Recovery Specialist Supervisor Mike Krafick talks in front of about 50 local residents yesterday at the second monthly Armstrong Drug Free Communities Coalition meeting. Meetings will be held the second Thursday of each month at the Belmont Complex in West Kittanning Borough.

by Jonathan Weaver

Support groups, medication and faith-based activities all can help those addicted to drugs and alcohol, but a community often focuses on an addict’s criminal behavior rather than the compulsive acts.

At yesterday’s Armstrong Drug Free Communities Coalition meeting, Certified Recovery Specialist Supervisor Mike Krafick explained the science of how drugs change an addict’s brain chemistry – especially those under the age of 25 – and pinpointed public perception.

Krafick – who himself has been in drug recovery for about nine years – told the about 50 community residents at the meeting (held in the Belmont Complex in West Kittanning Borough) that alcohol and drug abuse are preventable behaviors, but some communities need to push past that stigma.

“When you think about mutual aid groups – like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous – , the fact that it’s anonymous has kind-of held back the public perception of people getting well and people recovering,” Krafick said. “People don’t often know if they are in long-term recovery unless they speak out about it. By speaking out about it and sharing our stories of recovery, we are able to change that stigma that goes with addiction.”

“Alcohol and drug addiction is a disease people can recover from. Recovery’s a reality and happens every day.”

The American Medical Association first diagnosed alcoholism and addiction a disease in 1956.

“But, I don’t know if we as a society, as a culture, fully buy into that,” Krafick said.

Armstrong-Indiana-Clarion Drug and Alcohol Commission Project Coordinator and Prevention Specialist Jennifer McCrosky has heard Krafick’s presentation before. She hopes his story is another positive example that can educate local residents and someone they can look up to.

“Mike is a very dedicated, passionate speaker. We think he does a fantastic job sharing his story – showing that recovery is possible and the struggles he has gone through,” McCrosky said.

There are also between 82 and 95 opioid prescription pain killers in the state.

Pastor Mike Bobbitt, of Cornerstone Assembly of God in East Franklin Township, has attended the past two coalition meetings. He has been approached by his congregation about drug and alcohol addicted behaviors, but has an idea how to help.

“I believe education, along with our faith, is what we need. I believe faith and education together will be effective,” Pastor Bobbitt said.

Members will next meet at 10AM Thurs., March 9. All from the community are welcome.

Reader Feedback

3 Responses to “Coalition Meeting Attempts to Break Social Stigma”

  1. mark says:

    2 words. Teen Challenge. This faith based program works.

  2. Ron Townsend Jr. says:

    And it’s very tough to be sympathetic to their plight when they are constantly trying to steal from you. I have had 3 attempted vehicle break-ins at our home since December. And we live out in the country so it isn’t just happening in town. We have had to invest a significant amount of money into security cameras and alarms. It’s sad when you have to escort your daughter and girlfriend out to their vehicles at your own house because they don’t feel safe there anymore. But hey, keep giving them slaps on the rest. This will be the major issue for me on who I vote for as our next D.A. We the public are the true victims but we are made to feel guilty because we don’t feel sorry for these people who prey on our society everyday. Too bad…

  3. worthingtonman says:

    I am so tired of everyone and their brother coming up with excuses for addicts. Do people realize how much money we spend hauling these junkies down to get there alternative drug? And that is what methadone is. An alternative drug. A family member of mine overdosed on methadone to their death. I am at the point of saying legalize the drugs and the problem will take care of itself. These addicts do not want all your concern. The. Adt majority of them are just looking to get high. All the feel good work all these folks do is not going to reverse this problem. Being from Kittanning I have known many of junkies. Not one of them started because of pain pills. And many of them are now dead. You become numb to it. And tired of tax dollars and more tax dollars literally keeping Aire Ride afloat. Recently a family member of mine who claimed to be on methadone for pain control got themselves clean and off the Methadone. Guess what the clinic in vandergrift did? Called her and called her until she went back on got back on it. So much money and efforts have been wasted. Either make it legal or enforce the law and lock them up.

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