Addicts have new place to seek help in Northampton

The Northamtpon Recover Center is temporarily located at Edwards Church

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Northampton Recovery Center is open to recovering opiate addicts, as well as their friends and family, as a safe and supportive space. The facility in the Edwards Church provides resources recovering addicts need to stay clean.

According to Lynn Ferro, director of the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office Rx Drug Abuse Task Force, the program’s foundation is based on peer-mentoring by previous opiate and heroin users. “Their lived experience is crucial,” said Ferro. “This is a peer-driven, peer-oriented center.”

Sam Jackson is using his experience in recovery to now be a mentor. He told 22News, “You can only keep what you have by giving it away. That’s part of how the way this thing works.”

The trick now is making sure that these recovering addicts continue to come back, since new state research has found that 61% of all adult opiate addicts in Massachusetts do not complete their treatment.

Recovering addict Jamie Vermes of Northampton understands recovery is not a one-and-done process; it depends on the person. “Relapse triggers are a major role,” said Vermes, “and I believe as long as they are continuously welcome back, then they’ll keep coming back.”

The program will be in the Edwards Church until it receives state or federal funding to find a permanent location. Until then, the program’s operation depends on donations. So long as it’s open, Vermes said, “It works if you work it, so work it, you’re worth it.”

The Northampton Recovery Center is a collaboration involving the District Attorney Office, Recover Project of Greenfield and Hope for Holyoke.

A weekly Wednesday Community Meeting at 2:00 p.m. is open to anyone at Edwards Church on Main Street.