(TASC, Inc. of Illinois) — As daily news headlines announce the tragedies wrought by violence, mental illness, and addiction, communities across the country are searching for solutions. It is important to remember that amidst the many challenges and tragedies, there is solid evidence of progress and everyday success. TASC’s spring newsletter highlights some of these inspiring stories of personal and programmatic triumph.
Women’s Prison Program Fosters Family Unity, Community Reentry
The Moms and Babies program at the Decatur Correctional Center allows incarcerated mothers of newborns to receive counseling and parenting training while their infants remain in their care. A key aim of the program is to provide mothers with training and hands-on experience that will help them parent their children in healthy ways when they return to the community. Since its inception, only one of 50 moms has returned to prison following participation in the program. (See page 1.)
Hope in Fighting Heroin Epidemic in Madison County
In Madison County just east of St. Louis, heroin has taken the lives of dozens of people, including TASC clients. Studies have shown that there is an extremely elevated risk for overdose when someone with an opiate addition leaves a structured environment such as jail or residential treatment. Last July, the Madison County Opiate Alert Project was initiated to prevent heroin overdose deaths among people who were being released from incarceration or residential treatment services. Not a single TASC client has died from an overdose since the program began last summer. (See page 4.)
Celebrations of Recovery
Each September, communities across the country commemorate National Recovery Month to promote the message that millions of people can and do recover from addiction and mental health problems. Forty-two events took place last September across Illinois, with TASC participating in family days, recovery walks, conferences, and rallies across the state. The national theme for Recovery Month 2013 will be Join the Voices for Recovery: Together on Pathways to Wellness. To plan your 2013 Recovery Month celebrations, please visit http://www.recoverymonth.gov/. (See pages 5, 8).