Team Recovery Helps Fight Toledo’s Heroin Epidemic

The words “heroin addiction” can be very frightening. It’s something that has affected millions of people in recent years, whether they had a loved one with an addiction, or struggled with an addiction themselves.

Often times, those affected by a heroin addiction feel as though they have nowhere to turn. In October of 2015, a glimmer of hope came for addicts and their families in Toledo, Ohio, called Team Recovery.

According to the organization’s Facebook page, “Team Recovery is an organization striving to help addicts find help and resources to get sober and fight Toledo’s heroin epidemic.”

For ProMedica Clinical Research Coordinator Susan Shuman, RN, Team Recovery has served as much more than that.

Building Connections

“We know our loved one would not be here if it wasn’t for Team Recovery,” says Susan. “If there is someone in trouble, they are going to help, and they don’t mess around.”

Team Recovery offers FAAD (Family After Addiction or Death) meetings on a weekly basis. It’s a support group for anyone who has been impacted by heroin addiction. The group meets at the Kellermeyer Education Center at ProMedica Toledo Hospital on Tuesdays, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., and at Epworth United Methodist Church on Thursdays, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Susan’s son, Jordan, says Team Recovery has turned his life around from heroin. After living in Columbus, Ohio, and losing much of what he had because of his addiction, Jordan agreed to move back home to Toledo and seek treatment. Now, he attends the Tuesday Team Recovery meetings with his mom

“I genuinely look forward to Tuesday nights. I look forward to the camaraderie, the love and just the support to know that you’re really not alone,” says Susan. “I was alone for so long, and thinking that I was the only one. I felt guilty, I was in denial and I was embarrassed.”

Breaking the Stigma

“The stigma out there is so against addicts, that people just get scared to come out and say that they’re an addict,” admits Jordan.

Since its beginnings, Team Recovery has worked to shatter that stigma.

“People shouldn’t be ashamed anymore,” says Shuman. “Because of Team Recovery, I’m no longer afraid to tell people that my son is a recovering heroin addict, because it’s everywhere.”

Team Recovery aims to be reachable to anyone who wants to talk about the impact of addiction.

Matt, a founder of Team Recovery and a recovering addict says that when the group was created, they had “an overwhelming amount of people who reached out and just simply needed someone,”

“Heroin can impact all walks of life,” says Matt. “It doesn’t care whether you come from money, or what race you are, or any of that, anyone can get addicted”

For Matt, Jordan and many others, Team Recovery has played an important part in helping them recover and get back into the world.

Team Recovery can be reached 24 hours a day by phone at 419-561-LIFE, or can also be contacted through their Facebook page. *Cover image courtesy of Team Recovery.

Learn more about ProMedica services available for those facing addiction.