How many can say that?
The men and women in the HARP (Heroin Addiction Recovery Program) at Chesterfield County jail are normal people like you and me. They are sons, daughters. They have aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers, and children who are showing signs of addiction. They have a disease called addiction and they volunteered from this program and they desperately want to stay in recovery.
After speaking to the women, to whom I was privileged to address, Sheriff Leonard asked me to speak to the men. So I did!
Men and women told their stories of suicide attempts and regrets for having hurt their families. They expressed shame and gratitude. They were open about their feelings and do public speaking at events and local high schools, too.
There is compassion, respect, hope, support in this jail– an attitude you would not expect in the criminal justice system. This model is so successful, it’s being copied throughout the country and Sheriff Leonard has become something of a celebrity and not just a local one.
If a program like this is not in your neck of the woods, please bring it to the attention of someone. Because this program rocks and it works. (Statistics below.)
This young lady is 23 years old and her mother wrote the book below about suffering the addiction of a child which she has shared with her friends at the HARP pod. I loved talking to them and hearing their stories and I think I will be getting some of their stories!
I should have sat for this photo (the one below), too. I then had a webinar presentation with a Rotary club in North Texas in the evening so it was a long day. But a damn good one.
You can check out the statistics to date on this program. Amazing results shared with my heroin task force by Dr. Gay, a physician at the jail.
I’m not sure what the white figures are. I go the the meetings but cannot remember. I hope it’s not that they died. But clearly the program has some good results.
I’ve now spoken about suicide/addiction/mental illness at jail, NIMH, chambers of commerce, Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions Clubs, women’s groups, nonprofits, medical conferences, high schools, YMCAs, business groups, colleges, donor events, trauma informed groups, suicide prevention groups, grief groups, author groups, support groups, military bases, mental health symposiums and conferences, addiction rallies, political panels, worship leader groups and legislatures.