"I am truly blessed and grateful for your program. I went to you guys in early April completely beaten down and nowhere left to turn. You placed me in a detox, but unfortunately I used within an hour of leaving. I came back to you a week later and you were willing to help me without flinching (even tho I brought pills into your station). I do not have insurance, yet through your connections, you and new objectives in florida were willing to scholarship my stay down here. After 32 days I have now moved into a halfway down here and by God's grace, the halfway has also scholarshiped my intensive outpatient treatment! I am truly blessed and could not be happier to have been given this opportunity. Without your program, I'm not sure if I'd be alive today. Now I am 25 lbs healthier with a positive outlook on life for the first time in years. Your program and willingness to help is extraordinary. We addicts can't do it ourselves so I thank you each and everyday for helping me. Keep doing what your doing and I hope the public realizes what a great thing you are doing for the community. Again, I thank you for your willingness to help me and saving my life and giving me an opportunity to live the life I deserve. You will never be forgotten."
Another thank you note received today from an Operation HOPE placement at Milestone Foundation in Old Orchard Beach. Love these all letters we've been getting!
"Operation Hope, Just wanted to say thanks for what you guys do. You guys saved my life and I am so grateful that I can become a better father to my children, a better son, and brother to my family. I haven't been sober this long in a long time. This program isn't easy but I'll do whatever it takes to be there for my kids. I really hope that more people reach out to you guys for help, it's worth it. I'm so grateful again and my family is as well. Thank you."
It's notes like these that keep us going!
"Hello!! I was at Amethyst in patient for almost 60 days. Amethyst was an AMAZING program and I absolutely loved it. I had such a great time while I was there and they really helped me in my recovery. Learning how to have fun sober while also getting to the root of some of the things I needed to work on emotionally to prevent feeling the need to use again in the future. I have been sober since coming down here. Just about 5 months now!! I did their IOP for a little bit and then moved down to more southern Florida, lived in halfway and did IOP all up until about a month ago when I started to rent my own place. I have a job that I love, my own place, a scooter... It feels amazing. Thank you so much for everything operation hope did for me. I don't know where I would be if you guys hadn't helped me find a place to go as quickly as you did. It's an amazing program that can help hundreds and thousands just like me to get their lives on track. I have never been happier. I cannot thank you enough." Received April 25, 2016
"I went through operation hope back on December 17th. Still in Florida where I was placed. Wanted to thank you and the angels who helped me get here. I don't recall her name but she was a god send. I was still mentally unclear when it was happening. I wish I could just thank her for her time and help and love. Thank you all for making this possible. I'd like to help others from this end. If there's something I can do to help or participate please let me know. We only get to keep what we have by giving it back. Can the department relay the message to the angel for me that I'm doing well and that I thank her and wouldn't be where I'm at without her or the department?" Received April 7, 2016
Jim and Joanne Damicis, who live in Scarborough, are parents who know the opiate addiction crisis first-hand. They recently shared their perspective in the April 25th Forecaster. Jim and Joanne have taken the time to learn about the problems of addiction and mental illness so that they can not only better help their son, now 23 and in recovery, but also help others. Click the "Read More" link for the full article.
As of April 1st, we are currently at 137 placements for Mainers seeking treatment for Heroin/Opiate addiction. Huge thanks to our dedicated Angels, Portland Recovery Community Center, and everyone who has played a part in getting us here.
Thank you to the following treatment providers who've assisted us in placing the last 17 people: Liberty Bay Recovery Center, Milestone Foundation, Chestnut Street Sober Living, Evolutions Treatment Center, Crossroads, Central Maine Counseling Key 3 West, Inc, Simple Recovery, A Road To Recovery Substance Abuse Treatment Center, New Objectives, Fort Lauderdale Hospital, Port St. Lucie Hospital, Satori Waters, Amethyst Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center, Bella Monte Recovery Center, New Directions LLC, Of these newest 17 placements, seven were insured and 10 were scholarships. To date, 90 of the 137 placements have been scholarship beds.
If you are an addiction treatment provider and would like to assist Operation HOPE with placements please reach out to Niki or Steve from Portland Recovery Center at 207-553-2575. Thank you.
Today we had the honor of meeting with two people who had been placed in different treatment facilities through Operation HOPE. They have recently returned to Maine and are following after care plans. They both looked incredible, with so much health and happiness where there had been illness and despair. We wish them all the best on their path towards life long recovery.
When we launched Operation HOPE October 1st we had no idea if we would have any success, but we were willing to take a chance. As of today we've placed 133 Mainers into treatment across nine states. We are beginning to follow up with those completing their initial treatment and are hearing a lot of success stories so far. They still have a lot of work ahead of them to stay in recovery, and our partners at Portland Recovery Community Center have been amazing at connecting them with needed resources as they return home.
Thank you to everyone who has supported us along the way. It hasn't always been easy, but it's certainly been worth it.
We're happy to announce that as of this evening we are at 100 placements for Operation HOPE.
We realized a few months ago that we could talk about helping as much as we wanted, but until we did something nothing would change. Because we made that decision to jump off the cliff on October 1st, 100 people are still alive and working towards a healthy sober life. 100 families sleep a little better having HOPE for their loves ones who've struggled.
Endless thanks go out to our volunteer "Angels", Portland Recovery Community Center, the treatment facilities who've assisted us with placements, and everyone that has donated goods or funds to Operation HOPE to help keep us up and running. Mother Theresa said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” We can all be someone who creates a ripple that starts a tidal wave of change.
The first twenty days of Operation HOPE have been extremely busy. In addition to answering numerous phone inquiries and questions, Scarborough police saw thirty-one individuals walk in to the police station to request help with their addiction.
We have successfully placed twenty Mainers in treatment programs in Maine, New Hampshire, and Florida: Amethyst Recovery Center (FL), The Shores Treatment and Recovery (FL), The Program of West Palm Beach (FL), Satori Waters (FL), Road to Recovery (FL), Liberty Bay Recovery Center (ME), Crossroads (ME), Skip Murphy’s Structured Sober Living (ME), Phoenix House (ME), Plymouth House (NH), Just Believe Recovery (FL), and Malibu Renewal Centre (FL). We cannot thank you all enough for giving HOPE to Mainers choosing addiction treatment.
Our biggest challenge remains finding placements for uninsured folks, getting those detoxed who need it, and covering airfare and transportation costs to the treatment facilities. There are not enough detox and treatment facilities locally, which presents us with a significant challenge. On top of that, we have been told by the Maine Senate President’s office that only 12% of people showing up at hospital emergency rooms for substance abuse issues have insurance. And since Westbrook Mercy closed its doors, we have no local facilities available to detox those coming in for help. Of the twenty receiving placements through Operation HOPE so far, fifteen without insurance have received scholarships from Operation HOPE.
Ultimately, Maine’s heroin and opiate addiction problem will need to be solved by our politicians and government officials. Until that change comes, we will do what we can to help those in need. But we will need your help, too. Please give to Operation HOPE; together we can save lives!
Recent news coverage includes:
Scarborough police to launch innovative program to help drug addicts
Portland Press Herald / 9.17.2015
Scarborough Police Launch Addiction Initiative, Operation HOPE
The Current / 9.17.2015
Three People Take Advantage of Operation HOPE in Scarborough
WGME Channel 13 / 10.2.2015
Day one of Operation HOPE saw three individuals come forward to ask for our help.
1. A woman in her 20's is headed for a 90 day treatment program in Florida.
2. A man in his 30's is in detox and has been cleared for a treatment program in Florida.
3. A woman in her 40's is at a local hospital while awaiting clearance for treatment.
One life saved is worth every bit of time and effort put into launching this program. A program that wouldn't be possible without our strong partnership with Portland Recovery Community Center, our volunteer Angels, and the rehab centers that have offered us support.
Thank you to our "Angels" Krista and Donna for your hard work today. Thank you to our VIP Betty who helped save us when it got busy. And thank you Amethyst Recovery Center for your amazing response to help someone in need.