Local program aims to help people trying to overcome addiction

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The opiate problem in Western New York is showing no sign of slowing down. But there are local programs available to help people trying to overcome addiction.

More than half of the people who come in to Cazenovia Recovery Systems have an opiate dependency. Through a series of programs the organization aims to provide those struggling with addiction the tools they need to overcome it.

“I found myself drinking and one thing led to another and I got hooked back again on crack and it took me downhill,” said Marsha Callahan, Cazenovia Recovery Systems resident.

Marsha Callahan says Cazenovia  programs changed her life during a difficult time.

“It’s helping me feel whole again and I know I have a cushion underneath me and I have a nice apartment,” said Callahan.

Marsha has been clean for two years. She’s one of several success stories.

“Once they go through the whole process there’s a good percentage that usually do well. We have individuals that been clean and sober for 8, 10, 12 years,” said Gregory Fulgham, Cazenovia Recovery Systems Interim Housing Program Director.

The recovery involves a series of steps, starting first with a residential program which is the most intensive. Residents then move onto the supportive living program, in which they live in apartments rented by Cazenovia. Through the process residents are involved in group therapy and vocational programs. The final part of the program involves transitioning into housing.

“We have a close relationship with different out patient providers and then we just do weekly and monthly follow ups to make sure residents and contine making their outpatient appointments,” said Fulgham.

Marsha says help she received through the vocational program and housing program has helped boost her self esteem.

“Not a lot of society accepts us and a lot of them feel we will stay the same but it’s not the same people do change if you give them a chance and they have to want to change too,” said Callahan.

There are several sites throughout the region, including three in Buffalo, two in Niagara County, one in Batavia and Eden.

Anyone struggling with an addiction can fill out an application to be considered for Cazenovia’s programs. Cazenovia also takes referrals from in patient programs.

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