Addiction awareness program set for St. Juan Diego Parish
With drug overdoses in the Alle-Kiski Valley on the rise and following national trends, St. Juan Diego Parish in Sharpsburg will host a presentation about addiction and the impact on loved ones.
Brother Mark Lowery, outreach manager of a voluntary residential program for addicts, will offer the free presentation to the community at 1 p.m. Sunday in the John Paul Center, along Ninth Street.
“We want to make people aware of what addiction is about,” Lowery said, “And how they can work on getting into recovery.”
Lowery has for 13 years run Michael's Place in Pittsburgh's Garfield neighborhood, a voluntary, residential program for ex-offenders who are making the transition from jail or prison to independent living.
The program provides compassionate help for spiritual, physical, psychological and social well-being, Lowery said.
Of the 3,000 men in jail, 92 percent need recovery, Lowery said.
“But not everybody wants it,” he said.
Describing Michael's Place as a house of hope, Lowery said it is home to 12 men who spend two years transitioning back into daily life.
“These people want to be here. They are not court-ordered,” he said.
The Rev. Michael Decewicz, pastor of St. Juan Diego, said he believes in the program and that the presentation could help many people.
He helped arrange for the free session.
“It is a marvelous facility that helps those who are struggling with addiction and who have been released from incarceration to transition into healthy living,” he said.
Some of Lowery's residents will be on hand Sunday to talk about their battles with addiction and the impact of their ongoing struggles.
Lowery said his job is to give residents a foundation.
“We help them begin to deal with problems they didn't know how to deal with before,” he said.
Lowery helps residents get acclimated with everyday life by providing help with a variety of tasks, such as seeking a sponsor to getting a state photo-identification card.
He helps them find a job, go back to school and attend recovery meetings.
He accepts as residents only people who are willing to participate fully, but in exchange, they graduate from the program, and most are fully employed, which earns them credibility and stability.
“We just had a fellow move on, and he had a job, he reunited with his family,” he said.
Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Affordable housing on the way to Lower Valley communities
- Council to consider bike trail in Blawnox
- Annual paving work set to begin in Blawnox
- Photos: Sharpsburg celebrates Guyasuta Days
- Photos: Adventure program offers zip line rides at O’Hara camp
- Fulbright Scholarship sends Indiana Twp. man to Indonesia
- St. Margaret doctor delivers keynote speech during Orlando conference
- Aspinwall Meals on Wheels reaching out for new customers
- Indiana Twp. siblings place in Bible Bowl