TOBYHANNA — State Rep. Maureen Madden recently hosted the annual Celebrate Recovery event at The Mountain Center on Route 611.
Opened a year ago in the former Coolbaugh Elementary Center building, The Mountain Center has provided a location for community resource agencies such as PSFC, Head Start, Catholic Social Services, Feeding Families Ministry and Habitat For Humanity.
Celebrate Recovery honors those who have gotten clean from drug or alcohol addiction and are now working to help others struggling with addictions. The various community resource agencies located at The Mountain Center had tables of information set up for the public at the event.
The event’s keynote speaker was Jason Snyder, special assistant to the state Office of the Secretary of Human Services. Clean for almost six years from a painkiller addiction after losing both of his brothers to heroin overdoses, Snyder told the gathering that treatment does work and recovery is possible.
Two other speakers included the Rev. Rae Fletcher, an elder at Shiloh Baptist Church North in Stroudsburg. The church also has an Easton location.
Clean for 27 years, Fletcher described how falling in with the wrong crowd led to a 21-year heroin addiction that almost led to one of her arms being amputated from constant needle use. She warned that heroin is now cut with fentanyl, a substance that has killed many users in their 20s and 30s.
Fletcher overcame her addiction through her Christian faith, inspiring others to turn to a Higher Power for help.
A third speaker related the pain of being the parent of a drug user and how her daughter got help in overcoming addiction.
The event also included Madden recognizing Celebrate Recovery’s key organizers. They are PSFC Executive Director Tim Lee and administrative assistant Doreen Shook and Ken Gustafson, executive director of business development for Catholic Social Services in the Poconos.