MOUNTAIN TOP CARES COALITION

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WHAT IS A "RECOVERY COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION (RCO)?"


Recovery Community Organizations (RCOs) are independent, non-profit organizations led by local recovery allies. Allies may be people in long-term recovery, their families and friends, recovery-focused professionals or simply concerned citizens with an interest in providing support.


The Difference Between Achieving Recovery and Sustaining Recovery


In practice, achieving recovery deals with the short-term treatment of addiction, whereas sustaining recovery brings in the long-term process of developing healthy and meaningful lives. According to the Association of Recovery Community Organizations (ARCO) at Faces and Voices of Recovery, RCOs help to bridge the gap between professional treatment and building healthy and successful lives in long-term recovery. They increase the visibility and influence of the recovery community and engage in one or more of three core activities:

  • Educating the public about the reality of recovery
  • Advocating on behalf of the recovery community
  • Delivering peer recovery support services


Recovery Community Organizations in New York State


Ultimately, RCOs create a culture that supports and sustains recovery for individuals and their families. While these vital organizations are making a difference in their communities, far too many communities still don’t have one of their own.

FOR-NY is committed to helping to develop a Recovery Community Organization in every county across the state. "We’re providing technical assistance and support to existing RCOs and helping others to start them in counties where none yet exist. FOR-NY is committed to supporting Mountaintop Cares Coalition in any and all capacities that we are able.

Looking for even more information about Recovery Community Organizations? Examples of best practices for creating and organizing structure, working with the community and more, can be found in our RCO Toolkit". ~FOR-NY


You can find some valuable data concerning Recovery Community Centers at the link below:

https://www.recoveryanswers.org/resource/recovery-community-centers/

Answers to your questions. 

We have done our best to gather questions from the Friends Of Windham Mountain Facebook page, conversations we’ve had with interested townspeople and other relevant sources.  Because we will not be locating in Windham, some of the questions may no longer apply.

Does the facility make a difference in addiction rates in the area? 
Given the lack of transportation issues and an often-unreliable Internet, a resource center located on the mountaintop would likely be a lifeline for those suffering from Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and help them to access care, treatment and systems that support recovery. No medical treatment would occur at the Center.

What obligation, if any, would MCC have to show that the Center is contributing to the 40 percent reduction of opioid abuse deaths (as cited in the grant study as the goal)?
None.  However, MCC has the obligation to provide data related to approved initiatives that the healing community study supports. Data is compiled and reported over time so that interventions, programs, communications, etc., can be improved upon in order to reach the 40% goal outlined by the National Institute of Health.  Our intent is to develop and provide access to resources which the data and experience show likely to provide the best results. Mountain Top Cares Coalition has trained close to ninety people over the last five months in the use of the lifesaving drug Narcan (Naloxone), reducing the possibility of fatal overdoses.  

Will services be expanded once we are established?
Yes. A Recovery Community Center has a full range of services geared specifically towards recovery.  Expanded services will not be clinical and will be focused on the wide variety of support services available, bringing in new services as the need arises.

Are we using taxpayer money? 
The Healing Community Study is federally funded, but is not funded through local taxes. MCC also receives private donations, has fundraisers and applies for grants.

Can you provide overdose data and the use of Narcan?
From 2019 to the present, the overdose data for Windham and surrounding towns is as follows:  Total number of suspected overdoses:16. Naloxone administered during 11 of those suspected overdoses.  Number of Fatal Overdoses: 4.

Are there any paid staff at MCC?
All staff are volunteers with one paid peer that is shared with Greene County Mental Health Association.

Is the Board paid?
No.

Is there a plan to build a new structure?
No.

The present location is too close to Crystal Pond where there are many Children. Why this location?
Finding an affordable office space on the outskirts of Windham was not easy. This became available and was an option the board agreed to rent after inspection. Being out of town and away from the school was what we agreed to when we left the last location so this seemed like a good choice.  People coming for services, or anyone else, would not be allowed to loiter on the property. There would be strict security and more oversight than in most establishments in town.  All this said, and as we have shared, we will not be opening at the 4802 St Rt 23 Windham location, or at any other Windham location at this time, but are and will be looking for other space in surrounding communities.

Is this just for Windham or will people be brought in from other areas such as Hudson or Catskill?
MCC’s mission is to serve the communities and people on the mountain top. We do not have a bus or vehicle, nor any plans to “bus people in”. We have verbally committed to not transporting people from outside the mountaintop communities and area.  It is our present intention to not provide in-person resources at the Center to those outside the mountaintop (though we do intend to provide support to residents, family members, employers, and mountaintop employed employees (and their families).  Likewise, it’s not our intent to ‘bus people’ to our Recovery Center, but we will not turn people away seeking recovery.

Will people in active addiction be at your place?
Possibly. Breaking addictions frequently requires a recovery community’s emotional support to help sever the addictive ties. We meet with anyone struggling with addiction, whether in active addiction or recovery, who look to be in or stay in recovery.  Most people that walk through the door are seeking recovery support, are closely supervised on-site, and are there because they seek support and change.

Will there be needle exchange?
No.

Have you seen an increase in overdoses in the County during the pandemic? 
Yes, overdoses in Greene County have almost doubled during the pandemic.

Why Windham and why this location? Why would this Center be in Windham along State Route 23, an easy drive to Catskill and other agencies, when the supposed purpose is to reach people in isolated or under-served areas of the mountaintop?
Windham made the most sense because of the locations of various board members and volunteers and its accessibility in the mountain top region.  We began with two successful Outreach Opioid Forums in Windham with close to 300 people attending in total and it is where most of the original volunteers lived.  It is central to the area we wish to serve as part of our mission-which includes all of the mountain top towns. Many volunteers live in Windham and many of the Windham service groups, agencies, organizations, and churches were welcoming.

Why wasn’t the town involved in the decision-making process?
Because we are, and were, a grass-roots organization. Many in our community supported our formation and operation and there is no legal requirement for town government to be involved, unless and until an organization, such as ours, requires a government approval.  We do believe in working for the benefit of the community and, when necessary or helpful, working with the town government.  At our prior town hall meeting, towns-folk said they would support us if we moved from the building across from the school to the outskirts. We felt that this new location was on the outskirts, two miles from the center of town.

There are plenty of services elsewhere, 911 center in Cairo and 12 steps in churches. Why do we need a recovery center?
Many people on the mountain top do not have transportation or internet services, or money to pay for transportation off the mountain. We wanted to provide a mountain top location that would be more accessible to those people. We are also the only Recovery Community Center in Greene County.

MCC announced this center in a press release in March 2021, before applying for required local planning board approvals and that process is still "incomplete" generating official and public questioning.
We announced our opening before any formal approval process because we did not feel that the Planning Board had any intention to prevent us from opening an office, one of three, in a building. We have submitted our site plan, and were in the process of working with the Planning Board for approval. We sent out 2000 postcards followed by a press release stating what services we would offer and asked for emails with questions. We do not think that the Planning Board has the authority to determine what the ‘right’ business is and do not believe they can prevent a legitimate business from opening. That is up to the will of the town and the business occupying that space. That is why we are listening to the townspeople and not having our right to exist arbitrarily dictated by the Planning Board. We submitted a site plan application because we wanted to follow town regulations like any other local business.  To us it appeared, and appears, that the site had the necessary approval-we would not be doing anything, we believed, for which any additional construction activities (authorized by state statute for Planning Boards approval) or any uses constituting Tier I, Tier II or any other state Environmental Statute uses which could be required by the Planning Board (as the local agency).  We did not choose to leave because of the Planning Board, but rather because we did not want a legal or extended fight.  That serves--in the short term-- no one and would cost the town, and MCC, too much money and time. There is enough misunderstanding and lack of trust.  We are leaving because there seems to be enough opposition to our Recovery Center to prevent us from carrying out our mission successfully. We feel like people coming or going would be judged, and we are concerned about their, and our own, safety and reputations due to social media postings.  Future determinations by our Board of Directors will not exclude any mountaintop community, including Windham.

Can you clarify the funding trail and what the MCC told Columbia university to obtain the funding?
MCC met with Columbia University and Healing Communities Study (HCS)and provided a plan to implement approved National Institute of Health life saving strategies on the mountaintop and thus received ‘Community Impact Dollars’ to start these efforts.

Why is a "pass through" agency needed and why did Greene County withdraw its involvement? MCC, in a recent press release, stated that "proper channeling" was the issue.
That is not what Greene County officials said was the issue, being quoted in a recent story in our newspaper. Greene county officials said the issue was a lack of clear and reliable information being provided by the MCC.  We do not believe the information we provided was either unclear or unreliable.  We would have been happy to provide any needed clarity and to provide any markers of reliability.  To avoid unnecessary delays HCS used a pass-through model that has been used in County Government for years.  MHACG, is a privately held organization that is more aligned with our mission.  It has been, and shall remain, our intention to always provide the County with clear and reliable information. We have shared challenges: successfully addressing addiction and substance use issues on the mountaintop.  It is always our intention to work with communities, counties, state and other governmental agencies to advance MCC’s mission.

Who certifies MCC?
There is neither any certification or requirement for certification.  A certification speaks to regulatory or licensing issues that does not pertain to the efforts MCC is promoting.

Who has medical and counseling oversight?
No one has medical or counseling oversight as the Center will not be providing medical care nor counseling requiring governmental supervision or licensure.  Recovery Community Organizations (RCOs) and Recovery Community and Outreach Centers (RCOCs) do NOT provide clinical services, medical or counseling. These organizations-of which we are one-offer Peer to Peer Support Services. One person with lived experience walking alongside another as they navigate systems/seek wellness. Certified Recovery Peer Advocates (CRPAs) and/or Certified Addiction Recovery Coaches (CARCs), are people with lived experience and formalized training which help individuals remove personal and environmental barriers for individuals seeking or trying to sustain recovery. Peers are resource brokers, connecting program participants to relevant clinical services. Should Mountain Top Cares eventually expand services to include formal peer support services, The Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) and the New York Certification Board (ASAP-NYCB) would provide Peer Services oversight as it does with the 34 other New York State Counties that currently have an RCOC.

Who is MCC accountable to?  Who has oversight?
Like other nonprofits, such as the YMCA and the Boys Club-their Board, for oversight and accountability, and, indirectly, to their members. On a broader basis, though not legally, Recovery Community Organizations and Recovery Community and Outreach Centers are accountable to their local Recovery Community and their greater local communities at-large. RCOC’s operations, policy and procedures, and programming should reflect needs of the community in which it operates.  In addition to a non-profit board of directors which oversees the RCO, the eventual RCOC, as a best practice, we will be establishing an Advisory Committee, made up of local members of the recovery community as well as other local community members.  These may include faith leaders, law enforcement, educators, family members, local elected officials and the like. Again, the center’s programming should be a reflection of the identified needs of the community. In addition to mutual aid (self-help) meetings, programming may include wellness classes (yoga/meditation), soft skills workshops (resume building, etc.), therapeutic non-medical arts, family support and resources, etc. Any workshops, services or programming are generally open to ALL community members, not exclusive to members of the recovery community. Should MCC eventually receive OASAS/SAMHSA grant funding, additional administrative oversight would come down from those entities as conditions of funding or continued funding.

Is it accurate that MHA is serving as the conduit for MCC for this money and if so, what were you told to agree to it?
MHA is a willing participant in this arrangement and enthusiastically supports our mission. We made a request, making supporting materials available, and were approved.

I’m worried about you opening a center anywhere near WAJ-Jewett, Ashland etc. because of our kids. 
We do not believe any evidence exists that a center, such as what we propose and has been implemented in many other communities, increases risks of either exposure, use, or abuse of drugs. The evidence shows that it reduces such risks to children and adults in the communities which have one. The opioid epidemic--across all communities in our nation, cannot be ignored and is now widely recognized as one of the most important public health issues of our time. Eric Hargan, the acting secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, declared the “opioid crisis” a nationwide public health emergency, a declaration owing at least partly to a dramatic increase in prescription opioid overdose deaths. The collateral consequences associated with the opioid epidemic - family members who suffer from substance-use disorder, parents lost to opioid overdose, diverted community resources, and the fraying of neighborhood social connections - have the potential to negatively impact the educational outcomes of children. This may especially be the case for children who grow up in communities hardest hit by the epidemic in rural communities, and potentially exacerbating already existing educational achievement gaps and thus future economic opportunity. Children see people buying alcohol in grocery stores, gas stations, and liquor stores.  That is accepted, regulated, and, a part of everyday life for children as well as adults. Why then would one find a problem with a person going to an office for support services, where that person is stopping or trying to stop all use of the illegal or prescription substance causing the addition? A Community Center is not a detox center, or any clinical medical-treatment setting. There would be nothing to see or be afraid of any more than a person walking into any other business.  A person entering might have a problem, or might have a family member who does, but is taking positive actions for her or his and affected family and other community members. We believe that such centers can be a positive example of individual development with community support.  Does an AA meeting at a church worry parents of the children who attend or live near that church?

Will anyone be mandated by any court down the mountain, to come up the mountain to your center for a referral? 
No. And our local judge confirmed that.  MCC is not a treatment Center in any way.  There is no medical/clinical treatment being provided and therefore no mandated participation.  A Treatment Court attendee is not threatened with jail time if they choose to or choose not to be involved in recovery services with MCC or any organization. There is no more risk posed with MCC’s work than that found in a church basement where AA meetings are being held. We are an RCO, not a treatment center, so most referrals would probably be from us to a treatment center, not the other way around.  We will work with Treatment Court for people that live on the mountaintop to help them make their court dates. These people are in court mandated treatment and recovery programs elsewhere, and closely monitored. We would provide to them any services we have to offer that helps them with their program.

Is part of the Transportation contract you’re looking to get for transporting people from court, jail, or anywhere off the mountaintop?
While we hope to one day be able to provide assistance with transportation to people in need on the mountaintop, we do not presently have such a program. There are successful transportation models throughout the country that we have spoken with and will share details with the whole mountaintop community before the program is implemented.

If yes, would anyone with very serious charges (guns pedophilia etc.) be allowed into the community to get their referral go to a meetings, etc. at your facility? This was answered above (limiting on-site access to the mountaintop served communities). 
No business or not-for-profit ever knows if anyone pending or convicted of charges is entering its premises--unless it has been aware of a lawful court order or indictment.  If we are aware of a court order which we believe would have a reasonable likelihood of endangering our staff, visitors, or community, it is our intent to take prudent steps to prohibit on-site visitations.  We do believe in rehabilitation, which requires support, yet public safety is always in the forefront of our minds.

Will (resource help-related) Zoom meetings involve getting a bed in a facility that requires driving that person to the facility on the spot?
We are acting as a link and affiliate to other agencies.  All arrangements will be made through them. If a call is made where a person does agree to go to an inpatient facility, we could use our transportation contact to provide a ride, if needed.

If yes, and the client is driven there by your transportation team, and is not ready and refuses to go, leaves or runs out the door, are you equipped to go get them? Or will the local police Greene County Sheriff's office be called in to intervene? 
Law enforcement will be aware of our work and we are in close contact with them.  Like any other citizen or business, we would call law enforcement to intervene if necessary. If it is a volunteer inpatient appointment and the person decides not to go, that is their choice unless we have reason to believe that the person should be arrested. Court ordered situations would be different and MCC     would not be helping arrange those intakes.
  
Is your facility licensed by OASAS.? (Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services?)
We are not, nor are required to be licensed by OASAS, though we work with them with various programs.

Have you ever done any one on one or group counseling in a licensed therapeutic setting for any extended period of time and listen to people cry their hearts out of the horrific things they had done while active?
It is important to again note that there is no intention to provide clinical services, only referrals to clinical services. One on one and group counseling fall squarely outside the lane of peer support. The roles of Peer Support Workers include:
  •    Motivator and Cheerleader - Believes in the capacity for change, encourages celebrates positive decision making
  •    Ally to the person seeking recovery - Listens and shares their own experiential knowledge of the recovery process.
  •    Truth-Teller - Offers suggestions, helps identify patterns of behavior, does not “sugar coat” the realities of addiction
  •    Role Model - Offers one’s own life as an example of healthy living.
  •    Problem Solver - Helps to identify potential problem areas and helps the participant discover options for resolution.
  •    Resource Broker - Provides linkages to the recovery community, clinical services and other supports. Understands the system of           care and how to navigate it.
  •    Advocate - Assists the individual with protecting their rights including health insurance and other barriers to services, including           stigma.
  •    Lifestyle Consultant - Helps individuals to establish a support network. Offers feedback on life choices (How’s that working for             you?). Focuses on holistic wellness.
  
A Recovery Coach or Peer Advocate is NOT a 12-step sponsor, a counselor/therapist, a nurse/doctor, lawyer or minister/priest/rabbi.
  •     The goals of a Recovery Coach/Recovery Peer Advocate are to promote recovery, remove barriers, connect people with support services and to encourage hope, optimism and healthy living.
  •     Peer Advocates are often people who have themselves cried their eyes out over horrific things they themselves had done while actively in addiction, and then successfully navigated the often very messy and difficult process of finding wellness and rebuilding interpersonal relationships and community connections. A Peer Advocate strategically shares their own story in order to help another.
  
If crime rates expand as a direct result of those being brought into the community (a statistical occurrence) who will be liable? 
If a crime is committed, the criminal will be liable. Our organization is neither an aider abettor, nor an attractive nuisance, but rather a community organization supporting those on the mountaintop.  If someone from one mountaintop community commits a crime in another mountaintop community, the business, person, place, or thing which drew the person committing that crime is not liable, nor should it be for a center such as ours-or any center.  No business, center, or organization can ever say-statistically-that the person who came from another community to their community and who commits a crime while in it should have liability fall on anyone other than the criminal.  Nor are we aware of any evidence which establishes or tends to establish that visitors from another community who have a substance problem are likely to commit a crime in the community in which the center is located.  We believe that it is far more likely that such persons, living in another community, will not commit any crimes in the community in which the center is. This is due in large part because they will be going to or coming from a center supporting their recovery.  We expect a reduction in crime when    issues of substance abuse are addressed by the community.  Less petty crime, more positive engagement with the community by those seeking to change their lives and finding the support to do so.

And most importantly, where is your next location attempt going to be-because on the mountaintop outside of 12496 doesn't answer the question, Thanks! 
We have not yet decided and it will be dependent upon a number of factors. Mountain Top Cares Coalition's mission is to serve the whole mountain top community.  We will find a suitable location on the mountaintop. And some, perhaps vocal, opposition will not be a deterrent.  We will exist somewhere and as the last few months have demonstrated, the need is there and the support of the mountaintop communities is there as a result of growing community engagement.

Who will be providing the funds for MCC to purchase and lease the land where the MCC Facility will be located?
As with most 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations, all funding will come from private or public donations, fundraisers and grants.

Please provide a copy of all government grant requests which have been made by MCC to date and current status of each request.  To date, we have received two grants- Grant #1 for $22,500.  MCC met with Columbia University and The Healing Communities Study (HCS) and provided a plan to implement approved National Institute of Health life saving strategies on the mountaintop and thus received ‘Community Impact Dollars’ to start these efforts.  Grant #2 is for our ‘Women in Recovery’ program and is from the Greene County Rural Healthcare Network for $1,480.  The money will be used for materials for a facilitated workshop curriculum.  The MCC facilitator is a volunteer and unpaid.  There are twelve women signed up for this course beginning on June 23rd.
We are a not-for-profit organization with volunteers.  We lack, and are unlikely to ask for or to devote resource to every request made of us, and this is one. When there is a legal requirement, we try our best to comply.  If the person who asked this believes we have an obligation to provide such information, then please provide us with the legal citation so requiring. When there are reasonable requests, we try, within our resources and good judgment to comply.  But like each not-for-profit, we are not required to submit or publish each request and which request, if complied with, may not be in our own interest and may frustrate our purposes in serving the community.  While we respect requests for information, we believe we have been more than forthcoming.  We are obligated to annually file various reports with the State of New York and with agencies to whom we owe a duty to report.  We do believe that, as time goes on, we will likely announce various grants after awarded and, perhaps that we have applied for various grants.

What will be the estimated cost annually of the operation and maintenance of the MCC facility and what will be the amount of insurance maintained by the MCC facility?
This is difficult to say until we find another location. Rent, electric and utilities for the center is estimated at between $18,000 to $35,000 per year depending on the space we find.  Insurance is currently $809 for general liability for the abandoned office space and $605 currently in place for Directors and Officers Liability Policy.  We are insured by Alliance of Nonprofits for Insurance, Inc.  In the future, while we do report to and are governed by our board of directors, and, as shared, make annual filings with the state and as a general policy, we do not intend to share or publish specific information.

What are the estimated capital costs to build and renovate the MCC facility and who will be providing the funds to build and renovate the Facility?
We do not plan on building or renovating the current space since we are leaving. We will announce future plans as may be determined by our Board and President.  We do not commit to providing details on funding in advance, but as stated, our funding sources, like most nonprofits will be fundraising, private donations and grants.

Is there anything plan for MCC providing methadone and needles in the future?
There is nothing in MCC’s certificate of incorporation which provides for supplying methadone or needles in the future. We have no present intent to go down such a path. Methadone clinics operate under strict regulations by state and federal law and require a clinical staff and also usually require community input. MCC is non clinical and neither plans to become a methadone clinic or meet the legal requirements to do so.

Please provide copies of the incorporation papers for MCC and MCC Charter and Bylaws.
We are registered with the Charities Bureau of the State Attorney General's Office. All relevant documents are available from the Charities Bureau.

Mountain Top Cares Coalition, Inc.

Who is MCC?

Mountain Top Cares Coalition is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, a non-clinical recovery community organization (RCO), serving people with substance use disorders, people in recovery, their families, and allies to recovery, in the mountain top communities of Greene County New York.

What are RCOs?

Recovery Community Organizations (RCOs) Provides a community based, non-clinical setting that is safe, welcoming, and alcohol and drug free.  The RCO promotes long term recovery through skill building, recreation, wellness education, employment readiness, civic restoration opportunities and other social activities.  Access to peer advocates, recovery coaches and addiction peer specialists help to further enhance the recovery process.

What is the mission of MCC?

Our mission is to promote recovery and empower those we serve and their families through advocacy, referrals, education, and peer support.

What is MCC’s vision?

We envision a world in which recovery from addiction is not only possible but celebrated, and where effective prevention, treatment and support services are accessible and that all who seek recovery have access to the care and resources they need to achieve their goals.  We believe in community action, neighbor helping neighbor and ensuring that no one is left behind.

What we believe:

  1. Addiction is a chronic brain disease
  2. Recovery is possible
  3. Every life has value
  4. We can best accomplish our mission with a neighbor helping neighbor approach
  5. A stigma free and non-discriminatory world is needed for full recovery.

 

What MCC is not:

MCC is not a halfway house, a detox center, a treatment center, a rehab center, an acute care center, a residential center, or a clinical or medical facility. MCC does not dispense or prescribe medications.


What are the hours of operation at MCC’s physical location?

Once open, hours will be set by community need will remain flexible.  We envision using the space with set drop-in hours and also appointments for individuals to provide resource options for recovery such as peer to peer support services, training and skills development. The Recovery center will have a welcoming atmosphere to discover oneself in a loving and safe community.


What are the services -now and in the future -provided at the physical location?

·Peer to Peer support services with our Certified Recovery Peer Advocates

            o   CRPAs will be available by phone, and in person by appointment, for non-clinical peer support, advocacy support, and linkage to services

· Organize and administrate Narcan trainings

·   Access to Telehealth

            o   There have been problems with transportation and connectivity in the homes of clients on the mountain. This may be a solution for many, and assist a client in staying connected to health services.

· Host trainings such as ‘the Science of Addiction’

· Host Community Forums-expert panels and Q&A

·   Family Support Groups

·   Recovery Oriented Employment Services

·   Recovery Friendly social events

·   Transportation

            o   Program in development. Details to be discussed.

·   Community Outreach-serving the community-food deliveries, cloths drive etc.

·   Supervised and supported access to phone, computer, internet, and/or telehealth for.

 

What other services does MCC provide outside of the physical location?

·   We offer a helpline where people in need of support can call for support or referrals,

·   We are working with many mountaintop food pantries to help deliver food to those in recovery who are in need of food who do not have transportation,

·   Connecting people in recovery with recovery friendly employers

·   Offering peer support meetings out of a private Wellness Rx Pharmacy consultation room in Tannersville,

·   Women in recovery workshops (helps keep families together and functioning, helps woman know about pregnancy and substance use, and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome),

·   Hosting monthly virtual Naloxone trainings,

·   Hosting educational community forums dealing with issues of substance use disorder

·   Monthly Friends and Volunteer meetings once COVID-19 restrictions lifted.

            o   Host meetings for members of the community who wished to learn about our work and wanted to volunteer their time in different ways

 

Who will be offering each of the services?

·   We have 3 certified CRPAs, 3 certified Naloxone trainers, a board of volunteers with diverse backgrounds who are in recovery or who have/had family members or friends with issues of addiction. Several board members are also certified as trainers in the science of addiction, and naloxone administration training.  We are a referral service as well, working with other agencies in the field of recovery.     

 

What is a Certified Recovery Peer Advocates (CRPA)

·   CRPAs provide non-clinical, face-to-face peer support service designed to initiate recovery, maintain recovery and maintain the quality of personal and family life in long-term recovery.

·   Utilizing their recovery expertise and experience, CRPAs may also provide the following services:

            o   Develop recovery plans

            o   Raise awareness of existing social and other support services

            o   Model coping skill and assist with applying for benefits

            o   Provide non-clinical crisis support

            o   Work with participants to identify strengths

            o   Link participants to formal recovery supports

            o   Educate program participants about various modes of recovery

            o   Engage individuals to consider entering addiction treatment programs

 

·   A CRPA is not authorized to assess, diagnose or treat addiction or mental health issues.

 

What is Naloxone/Narcan?  

·   There seems to be quite a bit of confusion about the medication Naloxone (brand name, Narcan) that we hope to clarify. Narcan is not a medication that is used on a regular basis. Narcan is an antidote for an acute opioid overdose. It is given as a single use nasal spray, and is only used for saving a life in an overdose situation. It is currently used by fire, police and EMS personnel. It has few side effects and has been shown to be extremely safe.

·   Narcan has no value to anyone other than in a life-saving situation to reverse an overdose. It can not be used to get high. Because Narcan blocks the effects of opioid drugs its use will prevent a high.

·   Mountain Top Cares Coalition conducts training sessions on the use of Narcan. Such training must be conducted by an approved trainer who has undergone the appropriate education as defined by the NYS Department of Health.  We provide this service to help educate people in the community on the proper use of Narcan as a way to help prevent overdose deaths.  This is similar to CPR training or training for the use of AEDs.

 

Will Naloxone be available at the physical location, and if so, how much?

·   A small amount of Narcan may be available on our site for use in the rare case that an overdose victim presents in the vicinity.

·   To clarify a statement in a newspaper article, Narcan will not be “administered” at MCC. One does not administer Narcan to a person for any other reason than in an emergency situation to try to save someone’s life from an overdose. If there is a life-threatening overdose situation, which we do not anticipate, we intend to be prepared, just as anyone would be who carries Narcan such as fire, police, or EMS personnel.

 

What organizations will MCC be working with in Greene and/or Columbia County?

·   MCC will help facilitate and refer people to social services, recovery resources and any other county agencies available that we feel fit the need of the person coming to us for support. We can assist people with making phone calls or filling out paperwork for recovery or other needed services.

 

Is there a need for a Recovery Center?

·   Greene County has one of the highest rates of overprescribing in the state

·   Rural communities are three times more likely to suffer from substance use issues than urban areas

·   Since the COVID-19 Virus, overdoses have nearly doubled.

·   This rate increase is greater than any other New York County (excluding New York City), including neighboring Columbia and Albany Counties per capita

 

What is the overall benefit to the Taxpayer and the town?

From the Surgeon General:

  • $442 Billion are spent per year combatting the impact of alcohol and drug addiction.
  • Alcohol and substance abuse create economic hardship, particularly in rural communities. 
  • Both political parties agree that treatment options are essential to economic health.

 

Local Impact:

  • Tax dollars going to increased law enforcement, police, EMS, public safety and mental health.
  • Youth at risk: not addressing addiction and the opportunity for recovery🡪 increased petty (and not so petty) crime; use/abuse and drug dealing are increasing. 
  • Family chaos: addiction in families🡪loss of work, loss of education, poor nutrition, health of caretakers such as parents and grandparents. Children who live in homes with parents/siblings who have substance abuse issues suffer from a poor role model, instability, unreliability, fear, erratic behavior, etc.
  • Real Estate Values: Contrary to the opinion of some, real estate values are negatively affected when people who are considering relocation to the area (which leads to economic development) read that Greene County and the mountain top has one of the highest rates of overdoses and fatalities in the state.


Benefits of active recovery services:

  • Reduced crime
  • Reduced taxes
  • Engaged, educated and protected youth
  • Reduced stress on all local services
  • Knowing we are a community of public-spirited neighbors helping neighbors
  • Helps reduce the emotional cost of losing a child, sibling, parent, relative or neighbor


We hope that this information is helpful in understanding the purpose and mission of our nonprofit.  We want to be a beacon of light in our community to help those in recovery stay in recovery, and those who are seeking help get the support needed to become drug or alcohol free. We celebrate each individual's journey into recovery and hope to help prevent and reduce addiction in our community.


- Mountain Top Cares Coalition