MARC’s 39th annual luncheon was held on May 6, 2016, at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel with approximately 150 guests in attendance. Speakers included local officials and MARC alumni.
Steven Pressman, MARC Executive Director, spoke about the heroin epidemic and the evolution of the organization’s programs to provide appropriate recovery services. According to patient responses, there is a substantial increase is opioid addiction with 65 percent listing heroin or pain killers as the substance of their addiction.
Long time supporter and one of the founders of MARC, Joanne Perkins, is also a participant in the founding of Mid-Hudson Addiction Recovery Centers and talked about how recovery services are a work in progress. “They stay faithful to seeing that they get better and can provide more services which are much needed.”
Adam P. shared his recovery experience with the audience and described a long battle to overcome his addiction to heroin. He is now sober, engaged to be married and buying his first home. He explained how MARC’s programs played an essential part in his recovery.
Poughkeepsie Mayor, Robert Rolison, talked about the importance of the Crisis Stabilization Center and the need to provide recovery services outside of a jail setting.
The Keynote Speaker was County Executive, Marcus Molinaro, reinforced the need to reduce the stigma of addiction and treating people as having a disorder, not as criminals. “Every individual deserves to have an opportunity. Should they have an earnest desire to improve their life, they need to have the support of their family, their friends and neighbors,” Molinaro said. “So, the fact is, we have to start by confronting the stigma and then make sure the resource is available. MARC is one of the most important resources we provide individuals, totally stigma free, entirely caring, without judgment, providing addiction services and support to individuals who are struggling to overcome the demons of addiction.”