Changing the Conversation One Wristband at a Time
Recovery, Life, Beautiful, Stigma, Education, Individuals, Clients, Families, Treatment, Healthcare, People, Experiences, Recovery is Beautiful, Treatment Works, People Recover, Blueprint, Recovery Vision, Recovery-Oriented System of Care, ROSC
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Changing the Conversation One Wristband at a Time

Recovery Is Beautiful would like to share the excerpt of a conversation with Officer Mike McRill of the Sidney Police Department. Please see below:

I went to a funeral for a fatal OD on Tuesday evening.  I spoke with mother of the addict and his children.  I shared with them that the Recovery Is Beautiful wristbands were about changing the conversation and the more people that do that, the better chance that we can reduce the number of deaths. They were appreciative of hearing the message and all wore the wristbands immediately. Several other persons there saw the bands and asked me for one as well. Some said they had their own family members fighting addiction! 

After the funeral, another family member of the person who passed contacted the pastor to contact me.  A ‘cousin’ of the victim, is a pregnant 25 year old woman who is addicted to heroin and also uses meth, marijuana, etc. After the funeral, she decided to quit and seek help. The pastor called me on Saturday night and I spent 2.5 hours calling every facility I could find from Toledo to Cincinnati and Columbus to Ft Wayne….nobody could take her that night. In fact, several hospitals had stopped their detox services altogether for opiates.  I was able to work through our local mental health clinic (Shelby County Counseling and also Tri-County Board) to get her an initial appointment on that Monday and then a follow up on Thursday but the end result is that this young pregnant woman who is addicted is now at a detox/rehabilitation center, and then we can look at the longer residential sober-living homes here in town! I gave this girl a wristband and also to her Aunt who was helping her and who is also in recovery.

The wristbands at the funeral are what this girl saw that caused her to reach out to the Sidney Police Department and connect to the mental health/addiction agencies!!!!  One person, one day at a time!!!!

Strange (but somehow appropriate) to be an officer and give or get hugs from family of a “criminal” though I share with them that we don’t criminalize cancer patients who continue to smoke or victims of diabetes who continue to eat the wrong things! I also explain that though there loved one and I might seem to be on opposite sides of the law, I mourn the death none the less. It always reminds me of the old cartoons where the sheepdog and the coyote clock into work then go
guard and hunt the sheep before clocking out at the end of the day.

This story provides such a great example of how the Recovery Is Beautiful wristbands gave the opportunity to have a conversation on recovery from a mental illness and/or addiction. Recovery Is Beautiful is thrilled and thankful to have advocates out there like Officer McRill!