May 4, 2017 – Jackson, WI – Elevate Community Resource Center in Jackson held its annual dinner Wednesday evening at the West Bend Mutual Insurance Prairie Center.
Elevate is a non-profit corporation of the past NOVA and Washington County AODA, which joined together approximately 3 years ago. The community non-profit serving those with additions and families affected by those with addiction operates by the motto—“We don’t just change lives, we save lives.”
Mary Simon, executive director of Elevate, was commentator of the program. She was recognized by many as a leader with a desire to help others.
The keynote speaker was Washington County Judge Todd K. Martens.
He spoke about the ripple effects of the heroin epidemic.
When Martens came to the Washington County District Attorney’s office in 1999 there were zero cases related to opiate/opioid; the first case came about 2004.
By 2014 there were 191 cases tried in Washington County courts.
Martens pointed out the present way the judicial system, by law, treats this terrible addiction is by punishing the addict.
“The opiate/opioid epidemic affects not only the addicted, it affects the parents, the spouses, most tragically it affects the kids of the addict,” Martens said.
But starting July 1, Martens said Washington County will receive a $500,000 grant to expand the Treatment Alternatives and Diversion [TAD] program for the addicts of opiates and opioids.
This new program is the result of some very good work by Andrew Freeman of Elevate.
Studies have shown the TAD program for alcoholics has been very successful. Those involved with the fight against the opioid/opiate addiction believe its seen similar successes with the new TAD program.
Martens was followed by a very moving joint testimony from Dennis and Cindy Roos. The Roos’ have two adult children who are in recovery from their addiction to opiates/opioids.
Simon also recognized Lou Hermann for her work with the Family Education and Support Group and the great positive affect the program has had on those families involved.