Catholic Charities New Hampshire Work to Fight Opioid Addiction

A team of addiction counselors from Catholic Charities New Hampshire are going across New Hampshire in an effort to meet with families of opioid addicts.

These spiritual addiction counselors are going to be giving presentations about substance abuse to families in the state during the month of November and December in Epping, Rochester and Manchester, with the hopes of expanding the program to Upper Valley and North Country in early 2017.

According to the state Medical Examiner’s Office, there are projected to be 488 opioid related deaths in 2016.

As of right now, CCNH Counseling Services has six clinical mental-health counselors on staff who are experienced in treating substance abuse disorder. This includes two master licensed drug and alcohol counselors.

“This is the first initiative to go into the communities in New Hampshire and offer our services,” said the Rev. John J. Mahoney Jr., who is CCNH director of clinical services. “We treat people from every walk of life and every faith tradition.”

The idea behind the program is that rather than waiting for clients to come to them, CCNH is going out into the community to find and address those who may be suffering or know someone suffering from opioid addiction.

“I’ve seen the miracles that can happen in the counseling room as they sit with a counselor who is committed to walk with them through their recovery. That’s why I’m so committed to this,” said Mahoney, a licensed clinical mental health counselor and canon lawyer.

The “Families Coping with the Opioid Crisis” presentations puts an emphasis on opioid addiction and how it is a disease that affects the entire family. The sessions are conducted by a licensed professional counselor who is trained in substance abuse and uses the medical model of addiction counseling. The session will cover a few topics such as opioids and the brain, signs of opioid use, setting boundaries with an addicted person, and avoiding enabling behavior.

“We hope to educate, heal and move lives forward,” said Mahoney.

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