Finding the Road to Recovery

A partnership for positive change.

Earlier this year, James struggled to find Brad treatment for his addiction. Like many people, Brad began using pain medication for a legitimate medical reason, but before long he was taking more than prescribed.

By the time his doctor suspected that he was abusing his medication — it was already too late. Those around him searched for treatment options but didn’t know where to turn. Brad’s addiction continued until he eventually suffered an overdose.

Unfortunately, stories like Brads’ have become all too common in the Ocean State as a growing number of Rhode Islanders are personally affected by substance abuse.

Rhode Island, the state with the highest rate of substance abuse-related deaths in New England, is home to an estimated 20,000 people struggling with opioid addiction. Since those impacted need help finding treatment options, United Way of Rhode Island and CVS Health Foundation have partnered to guide them on their road to recovery.

This partnership aims to raise public awareness and increase people’s access to treatment resources through United Way’s 2-1-1. “We hope to make it easier for patients, family members, and caregivers to find resources in our home state of Rhode Island,” explained Eileen Howard Boone, President of CVS Health Foundation.

A grant from CVS Health Foundation enabled United Way’s 2-1-1 to provide addiction training to call center specialists, set up three-way calling with Anchor Recovery, a comprehensive substance abuse treatment organization, and create a webpage dedicated to recovery that includes a list of addiction resources. Anthony Maione, President of United Way of Rhode Island, said, “CVS Health Foundation’s generosity allows us to assist people affected by this growing crisis. Their dedication to the community aligns with the work 2-1-1 does every day.”

United Way’s purpose is: changing lives and strengthening communities, together — this statement underscores the fact that lasting change only occurs when people, businesses, and nonprofits stand together. Rhode Island’s communities are determined to leave the destruction of addiction in the past. Now, thanks to the partnership between United Way of Rhode Island and CVS Health Foundation the state is one step closer to ensuring stories like Brad’s are no longer commonplace.

By: Jason Boulay, Communications Coordinator, UWRI