2020 LIRA Newsletter
LIRA CELEBRATES 20 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!
Hard to believe that more than 20 years have passed since a group of 50+ invitees gathered in Mineola back in January of 2000 to explore the need for creating an advocacy voice for individuals in recovery and family’s affected by addiction. That very night LIRA was born. Among those attending the initial meeting were: Stu Astor, Maureen Borkowski, Richard Buckman, Gary Butchen, Jim Devine, Joanne Devitt, Leo Hurley, Bert Johnson, Bobby Moore, Claudia Ragni, Dan Rehman, Peter Schweitzer and Bruce Till. Each have played an important role in our success and longevity! Thank you to these visionaries and recovery advocacy pioneers!
RECOVERY IMPACTED BY COVID-19:
Overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic is the resurgent overdose epidemic. After a glimmer of hope with modest decreases in the recent past, overdose deaths skyrocketed in the first quarter of 2020 (up 40% in Suffolk and 50% in Nassau) compared to last year. Nationwide the rates climbed 16% in February 18% in March 29% in April and 42% in May over 2019. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported the highest ever one-year total of overdose deaths surpassing 72,000 in 2019.
While we are not yet able to fully calculate the total impact of COVID-19, we do know is that the increase can be attributed in part to restrictions in access to inpatient treatment programs and hospital-based detox beds. In some instances, admissions were halted and in others beds were reapportioned to accommodate COVID patients. In addition, recovery coaches, peer advocates, and treatment professionals have shared a noticeable increase in the number of folks in early recovery who have returned to active substance and alcohol use during the pandemic. The forced isolation is in direct contrast to human connection and a sense of community that adds so much to the addiction solution and recovery support for our people. Despite the setbacks and obstacles, we are steadfast in our belief that there is no group of people more resilient or better equipped to handle these unforeseen challenges. A Siena College poll indicated 59% of New Yorkers have been touched by the epidemic overall.
2019 ROCK N RECOVERY XI CELEBRATION
LIRA hosted our 11th Annual Rock N Recovery celebration at St Peters Lutheran Church in Huntington Station in September. As usual >- over 200 joined together to celebrate recovery.
Thanks to the generous donations of baskets, gift cards and merchandise more than $3,000.00 in prizes were given away to attendees. LIRA presented our Friend of Recovery Award………………