When we, the Lorenzo family, lost our beloved son Bradley in February 2009 to the disease of drug addiction, we decided we needed to do whatever we could to help other addicts, families and our community in fighting this epidemic responsible for destroying so many lives....
In the first three years, a great deal of our focus was directed towards individual addicts and their recovery. With our resources, we assisted by paying for the initial treatment fee (including evaluations by physicians, laboratory tests, and medications) for eight addicts (all between the ages of 16 and 23 years of age); we continued to further assist three of these individuals with payment for their continued medical care, behavioral therapies and medications, the longest of which was for three years. Additionally, we assisted two other individuals with placement in half-way housing for recovery, and one individual with transportation costs to a recovery facility. Finally, we paid for the prescriptions of several individuals for the long-term use of Suboxone, a medication used in recovery treatment of opioid addiction Several local groups on the front in increasing community awareness benefited from our donations as well, including Toledo R House, Stand Against Heroin and RX Epidemic Memorial Foundation.
As time passed, our emphasis evolved more towards community awareness and the impact we could make when partnering with leading local and statewide organizations in the fight. We have made large financial donations and further commitments to each of the following:
F.A.N. (Families Against Narcotics - www.familiesagainstnarcotics.org), a non-profit organization founded in Fraser, Michigan, dedicated to raise awareness to the dangers of prescription narcotics, support those affected by narcotic addiction and erase the stigma of addiction. An important and vital aspect to this group's success comes from partnering of both the medical community and the legal community in fostering working relationships with those who are in recovery.
A Renwed Mind )www.arenewedmindservices.org), a non-profit organization providing addiction and mental health services to children, adolescents, adults and families in Lucas, Wood, Hancock, Fulton, Williams, Henry and Defiance counties in Ohio, with 4 out-patient offices, 2 residential centers and 12 school locations. Their services are tailored to the individual needs of behavioral illnesses, including depression, ADHD and addiction, which plays a crucial role in long-term recovery.
Additionally, we have been in contact with the Lucas County Sheriff's Office Drug Abuse Response Team (D.A.R.T.), a dedicated team of officers who meet with overdose victims and their families, transport addicts to local treatment facilities, and follow the addict and the family as they progress through their treatment and recovery process, developing strong trust relationships that bridge law enforcement and community awareness and assistance. We plan to provide financial assistance to their cause.
This year, we initiated a new program at Bedford High School, offering a $1000.00 and a $500.00 scholarship each year to those students who create a project, by essay, visual media or other format, to increase community awareness of the dangers of addiction. It is hoped these recipients will further inform, educate and provide ideas, especially appropriate to their age group, of which addiction is most prevalent.
And finally, we are currently working with legal consultants in order that we may be able to obtain and provide the medication Narcan )Naloxone) to families in our area, the antidote used in an overdose of narcotics that will temporarily restore respiration's and consciousness, while waiting for emergency first-responders. It is our belief, and hope, that "arming" family members with this life-saving medication will lessen the number of deaths that occur because of an overdose.
The stigma of addiction is changing nationwide - to one of compassion, to looking at it as a disease and not a choice, to understanding that lasting and permanent recovery can only happen when everyone gets involved. Thanks to the wonderful support of our families, our dear friends, our local community, and most especially, our amazing sponsors, we feel we have made a great deal of progress n the past seven years.
Did you know kids who learn about drug abuse from their parents are up to 50% less likely to use? T
Toledo-area nonprofits recognized for helping community. A Renewed Mind, which provides behavioral health care throughout northwest Ohio, received the innovation award for developing Project Direct Link in partnership with Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp and the Lucas County Corrections Center to better integrate those returning to society. Individuals are screened for opiate addiction upon detention, and they are referred to medical evaluation and recovery treatment while incarcerated.
With the help of our sponsors and those that participate in our Golf Tournament we are proud to help be a part of the family support that is so needed. It takes a community, we all have a part to play.
It's 10 years without Bradley, our son, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin. We will not stop reaching out, trying to prevent another family from going through the pain we have had to go through.