During our Hope & Resources community event on substance use disorder and mental health challenges, hear from speakers from the Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Network (PAHRN), Primary Health Network, Synchronicity Recovery Foundation, the ReDCo Group and more.
Matthew D. Eckley, LCSW
Executive Director of Behavioral Health, Primary Health Network
Certified Recovery Specialist, Lehigh Valley Health Network
When Mahute had surgery at the age of 34, she was a wife, a mom, and a business owner who loved her life. But the oxycontin she was prescribed to manage pain post-surgery sent her into an unexpected spiral into substance use disorder. To hear Mahute tell it, the oxycontin "woke a beast that I didn’t realize was lying dormant." By the time she was 40, Mahute had been kicked out of her home, was sleeping on her mother’s couch, facing divorce, and she was falling short as a mom to her kids. Despite the challenges of those five years of addiction, Mahute earned a degree as a surgical technician, which, she says, "helped me continue the lie to myself that I didn’t have a problem." But in a moment of clarity, Mahute found herself at her first 12-Step Program meeting, which got her started on a journey back to health. She will share her personal story during the Hope & Resources event.
Certified Recovery Specialist, Gaudenzia Pottsville Outpatient
Mull struggled with alcohol and drug use disorder for 31 years. In December 2016, he was finally arrested for the last time after breaking into a house. As a result, Mull was connected to the Schuylkill County Drug Treatment Court, a court-supervised, comprehensive treatment program for non-violent defendants. Since being in recovery, Mull has worked with Clinical Outcomes Group, Inc., the CMSU, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency reentry program, and for the past four years has served as a certified recovery specialist for Gaudenzia. He is an active member of the Alcoholic Anonymous community and helps facilitate SMART Recovery meetings. Mull will share his personal story during the Hope & Resources event.
Certified Peer Specialist, The ReDCo Group
Smith uses his lived experience with substance use disorder to help others as a certified peer specialist with The ReDCo Group. Across 32 years of living with alcohol and drug use disorder, Smith found himself in prison, at psychiatric facilities, and in rehabs and halfway houses. He changed his life when he got honest with himself, formed a support system, and learned how to forgive himself and give back to the community. Over the last 9 years of his recovery, Smith has completed his GED, gotten his driver's license and a car, and maintained consistent employment. He will share his personal story during the Hope & Resources event.
Executive Director and Co-Founder, Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Network (PAHRN)
A passionate advocate, speaker, and community organizer, Sofronski brings perspective as a person who has lost family members to preventable overdose deaths and as an individual with lived experience in substance use and navigating the criminal justice and behavioral healthcare system. PAHRN envisions a future where Pennsylvanians who use drugs are treated with dignity and compassion, and the state's drug policies are built on principles of equity, self-determination, bodily autonomy, and public health.
Founder, Synchronicity Recovery Foundation
Since 2012, Laura Waits has identified as a person in recovery and dedicated time to research the tools that are significant to a healthy lifestyle. Waits has found a balance of four core components to be beneficial in her personal journey: social connection, health and wellness, spirituality, and service. As a founder of Synchronicity Recovery Foundation, Waits uses these elements to drive the organization’s mission. Sync is committed to helping people sustain long-term recovery, increase their appreciation for wellness, build caring relationships, and find purpose in community.