As a resident of Dixfield and ally for those in recovery, I am writing to share and illustrate the impact recovery community centers have in combating substance use disorder.

Although I don’t face the daily struggles of SUD, I have physical disabilities and have family battling addiction all of my life. These experiences have instilled in me an understanding of those suffering from SUD and the power of compassion.

I work at the Larry Labonte Recovery Center in Rumford and travel to the recently established The Hills Recovery Center in Norway. As I witnessed the transformative potential of recovery centers, this led me to recovery coaching training through Portland Recovery Community Center, which profoundly transformed my perspective on addiction and community support.

I educate the public on the signs of an opioid overdose, the physiological effects of an overdose, and the provisions of the Good Samaritan law. These efforts empower individuals and provide them with life-saving knowledge.

I have witnessed a remarkable shift in our community’s attitudes. The prevailing sentiment has changed from indifference to genuine care and support. This reflects a growing understanding of the importance of supporting individuals with SUD.

Sustainable funding for recovery centers, as proposed in LD 1714, is crucial. Investing in these resources can make a lasting positive impact on individuals, families and communities.

Our community and elected officials must recognize the significance of sustainable funding for recovery centers like LLRC and The Hills.

Tommy Hayes, Dixfield

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