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Brockport receives Gates to Recovery location

by Shelby Toth - News Editor
Wed, Oct 10th 2018 12:15 pm

Local communities have been facing an opioid epidemic for many years now. While rates have decreased recently in Monroe county, fighting the death toll caused by opioids is still an uphill battle. 

Many do their best to try and help the community in every way they can, but providing education on opioid addiction can be difficult. That’s where Gates to Recovery comes in.

Gates to Recovery is a drop-in center for those who are or know someone who is struggling with opioid addiction. According to the Democrat & Chronicle, Gates to Recovery started in Gates, NY. The group is part of a larger organization known as Recovery NOW.

Lieutenant Stephen Mesiti of the Brockport Police Department (BPD) said the location of The Village of Brockport, situated perfectly on the Western part of Monroe county and close to the Eastern part of Orleans county, was a big factor in bringing Gates to Recovery here. He also said that BPD Chief Mark Cuzzupoli was instrumental to bringing the group to the village, and that The College at Brockport had a role as well.

According to the Democrat & Chronicle, “approximately 33 suspected opioid overdoses occurred in west side communities other than Greece and Gates, according to unofficial data compiled by law enforcement.” 

While some might look at this number and already have a picture in their head of what someone who overdosed might look like, the people falling victim to this lifestyle aren’t always what we imagine them to be.

“The big thing, if you take a look at the big picture of the opioid crisis, I think a lot of people feel that these are just drug addicts… it’s their problem...” Mesiti said. “A lot of people, which I did not realize until, say, somewhat recently, that are addicts today start off with an injury, are prescribed an opioid pain medication and then turned into an addict. I think it helps people to maybe sympathize a little bit more [knowing that].”

This stigma is just one reason learning about the topic of drug addiction is important in communities. According to Mesiti, a major goal of Gates to Recovery is being able to educate those who visit on many different aspects of drug addiction, as well as being able to help them.

“The main focus of the Gates to Recovery program is to provide resources for people,” Mesiti said. “If someone is an addict they can walk in there and they will get help, they will get information where they can go for a detox or some program. It’s also a big resource for families, so if you have a family member or loved one or friend who has someone who is addicted to heroin, opioids, they can go there and they can also get resources and information on how to help.”

A huge part of the drop-in center coming to Brockport is the training that will be provided. The center will be teaching about the life saving narcan, as well as giving out narcan to those who come, according to Mesiti.

Narcan is a nasal spray that “counteracts the life-threatening effects of an opioid overdose,” according to its website. It was designed so “first responders, as well as family, friends and caregivers” can easily administer the treatment, whether it be in a home setting or elsewhere.

Gates for Recovery will provide a trained staff for the drop-in hours. While the team is no doubt hopeful to be able to help many people, people also recognize it might not be the easiest thing to get the courage to bring yourself to.

“A lot of people are embarrassed to admit that they have a problem,” Mesiti said. “The stigma of being an addict... that’s one of the things that they do have to overcome. It’s an embarrassing to come out and come to a meeting and say ‘you know what I need help.’”

The center is available the first Tuesday of every month, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. It is located in the Brockport Village Court, on 49 State St.

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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