The fight against prescription drug abuse and heroin addiction is an uphill one. The State’s and the nation’s problem is only worsening with the increased accessibility to these life altering drugs. Countless lives have been wasted, families torn apart, and cities brought into despair by these divisive forces. Some choose to fight this seemingly unfair battle against addiction. Ruth’s Miracle Group Home Foundation is just one of those organizations that stands up for those who have fallen victim to physical and substance abuse.

Ruth’s Miracle Home is a place for women to heal and overcome physical abuse, alcoholism, drug addiction, and incarceration. It was founded in 2009 by Veronica Alston. Ms. Alston was once in the shoes of many of the women she helps today. She admits that she was once addicted to crack cocaine, speed, marijuana and countless other illegal substances. However, what defines her is not her past, but rather her ability to overcome such addictions and become a beacon of hope for other women who are currently in dire straits with nowhere to turn.

In a recent interview with Ms. Alston and Rhonda Crawley, a member of the Board of Directors, they described how they have worked to counter the recent increase in prescription drug and heroin abuse within the region. They first cite the problem saying that many “…women start out taking medications, e.g. Percocet, Xanax, for a medical issue, e.g. back pain, arthritis, or other physical condition, and become addicted to the prescription.”

The problem arises once these patients have either run out of their prescriptions, or they are no longer prescribed more medication from their doctors. The patients struggle to find a way to cope with their pain or addiction. Ms. Alston and Ms. Crawley agree that when this happens patients “… use other illicit drugs such as heroin…” which is an easy choice for those addicted to prescription opioids as heroin has essentially the same high as most prescription drugs and is affordable as well as readily available.

Veronica Alston with Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford at the 2015 Moonlight Dance on the Bay Fundraiser
Veronica Alston with Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford at the 2015 Moonlight Dance on the Bay Fundraiser

Recently, Ruth’s Miracle Home Group held one of its annual fundraisers, the Moonlight Dance on the Bay. Fundraisers such as these are critical to the organization being able to offset some of their additional expenses and maintain their ability to provide for the women they help. This year’s guest of honor was Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford.

Amid rumblings that some members of the Democrat Central Committee were supporting a boycott of this event due to the attendance of the Lt. Governor, a republican,  the “2015 Moonlight Dance on the Bay fundraiser was a success and the number of participants exceeded last years turnout” said Ms. Alston.

The attendance of the Lt. Governor was important for Ruth’s Miracle Group as he is the newly appointed head of the State’s Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force. Ms. Alston and Ms. Crawley state that this task force, chaired by Rutherford, “…has brought together addiction experts, mental health professionals, law enforcement, family members, and those who have struggled with addiction to recommend holistic, comprehensive solutions to ending the heroin epidemic for good.” Ms. Alston herself may end up serving on the task force as a recovery expert.

Delegate Mark N. Fisher (27C) addressed those in attendance at the regional summit.
Delegate Mark N. Fisher (27C) addressed those in attendance at the regional summit.

The Task Force recently visited the College of Southern Maryland, Prince Frederick Campus, in April where it held one of it’s Regional Summits. State representatives, local county officials, law enforcement, medical experts, and citizens alike were invited to attend the summit to discuss the heroin epidemic and opioid abuse problem within the region.

There is no doubt that Ruth’s Miracle Group Home Foundation is in an uphill battle against the addiction problem facing the Southern Maryland region and the State. They can use all of the help they can get from the community.

If you are interested in supporting Ruth’s Miracle Group Home Foundation please visit their website.

There you will find a list of needed items, ways you can get involved, and even some of their success stories. Any help they receive will be a step toward defeating addiction and restoring hope in our community.

 

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Andrew Fulginiti was born and raised in Prince George's County. He moved to Calvert County in 2001 where he graduated from Huntingtown High School. He attained his Bachelors of Science Degree in Political Science from Towson University. Andrew currently works as a member of the Editorial Staff at the Patuxent Post.

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