Mornings at the main office of the Alcohol/Drug Council of North Carolina (ADCNC), you will find Keith Kimbro and Danny O’Brian at their desks, telephone headsets fixed and listening intently to the person who has called for their assistance.
“Sometimes we have to just teach family members you can’t love away this disease. We spend lot of time sharing facts about substance use disorders that the public doesn’t understand,” states Kimbro. Danny adds, “Everyday this job allows me to give back what was given to me! I am so grateful.”
Since 1988. the Alcohol/Drug Council of North Carolina has been working to advocate for people with substance use disorders through its education programs. Under long-time Executive Director Tony Mulvihill, ADCNC has been a strong voice for access to prevention and treatment. In 2006, the Board of Directors transformed the organization into a Recovery Community Organization.
Anne Doolen, then Executive Director, hired people in long-term recovery to staff the information and referral line. While call responders still teach callers how to access treatment, this brief intervention now stresses the need to access personalized recovery supports. Teaching self-advocacy is a principle of ADCNC’s focus on addressing substance use disorders as a chronic disease. New programs have expanded this focus, including:
Healthcare Insurance Access: ADCNC provides service to enrollment people in insurance through the federal Healthcare Marketplace by providing mobile outreach with its partner, Oxford House of North Carolina. “Access to quality medical care is critical for people in recovery,” stated Mary Powell, ADCNC’s Executive Director. “We provide medical/dental/eye insurance to staff and we wanted to help all people in recovery obtain benefits.” “We are the only primary substance use disorder community organization in the nation to be funded by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid to provide health insurance navigation” noted Project Director, Tiona Washington, “and we also can teach enrollees about smoking cessation through a grant from the Self Made Health Network.”
Community Recovery Resource Center: Funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), ADCNC operates Sunrise Recovery Resource Center, a peer-governed and operated program located in a residential neighborhood. Sunrise also focuses on improving health as an important aspect of recovery; members of the smoking cessation support group meet weekly to support each other while trying to quit. Dance class and a basketball tournament in a nearby public park are part of the program and have been popular events.
This summer these projects come together in one funded by SAMHSA’s “Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center.” ADCNC staff and Sunrise peers are writing and starring in a photo novel (a book with photos and conversation bubbles like in the comics) to teach about health insurance enrollment and about talking to doctors about recovery. “I have taken over 200 photos already and the stories are outlined. It’s really an exciting project that everyone at Sunrise can contribute to creatively.” touts Project Director Darryl Hubbard.
For more information:
Alcohol/Drug Council of North Carolina