The organization, A Way Forward, offers hope to those who struggle with substance abuse.  Debbie Platts, Executive Director and LSW Counselor, Mark Rogers, spoke to our club about this important local non-profit organization.  The mission of A Way Forward is to eliminate financial barriers to recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) and provide a trusting, welcoming, diverse and non-judgmental environment for families and individuals seeking help in the St. Vrain Valley.  Their goals include:  1) Inspire hope that people do and can recover, 2) Walk with people of their recovery journey, 3) Dispel myths about what it means to have a mental health condition or substance abuse disorder, 4) Provide self-help education and link people to tools and resources and ,5) Support people in identifying their goals, and building a path forward.

Debbie reported that throughout the pandemic, problems with use of substance abuse and alcohol  increased.  In fact the rate of alcohol-related deaths outpaced the rate of deaths for all other causes (JAMA March 2022 study).  Debbie mentioned that the staff are available 7 days a week. They are not a franchise, but rather "a community recovery center, for the community by the community". A Way Forward provides structured recovery programs, including services for Veterans, individual and family support, mental and emotional health programming and wellness and community groups.  Debbie reminded the club that A Way Forward recently received a grant from the Charity Fund for the purchase of The Hazelden Betty Ford Mental Health Series.

Mark Rogers spoke about the ever growing problem with drugs, specifically Fentanyl  and Methamphetamine (“meth”).   Fentanyl is a synthetic man made opiate, which is 50-100 times more potent than morphine. It is often mixed with other drugs.  Fentanyl deaths rose from 709 in 2015 to 907 in 2021.   The spray Narcan is a member of the antidotes drug class and is used for Opioid overdose and reversal of opioid sedation. The spray blocks or reverses the effects of opioid medications.  Narcan is saving life’s!

Methamphetamine is a powerful, highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system.  For more information about A Way Forward contact