One organization supporting the community to tackle opioid addiction

POCOMOKE, Md. – The opioid epidemic is on the rise, but one organization in Pocomoke is helping the community to reduce overdose deaths.

To jump into their second chance, your second chance does exist, jump into it and give it all you’ve got. We do recover,” says Tamara Spates, a Peer Support Specialist at Open Arms and Hearts Health Services LLC.¬†That is the advice Tamara Spates would give to anyone suffering from addiction.

After one experience under the influence, landing her in jail Spates had a change of heart. “When I was in prison I wrote my judge and I basically told her that I didn’t want to live like this anymore. I didn’t want prison, I didn’t want the drugs and I didn’t want the alcohol and I asked her to send me to treatment,” says Spates.

Spates went to a treatment facility that changed her life. She’s now 10 years sober and paying it forward. “I came out wanting to give people that same type of motivation and so that’s what caused me to get into the field, to let people know that second chances do exist,” says Spates.

Spates works at the Open Arms and Hearts Health Services in Pocomoke, a facility providing substance abuse and mental health resources to those in the community. “We’re helping the individuals that have an opioid addiction and they’re coming in here to stop using heroin, fentanyl, or the opioid pills and we are assisting them either with drug-free treatment or medication-assisted treatment,” says CEO Toni Royer, at Open Arms and Hearts Health Services LLC.

CEO Toni Royer says it’s important that these types of treatment facilities are available on Delmarva. “For us at open arms, we’re the only facility for 120 miles of the eastern shore in Maryland and Virginia,” the CEO adds.

Just as their name suggests, Open Arms and Hearts provides their patients care through compassion and love. “My arms and the staff are compassionate, we want to have the patients get a normal life of what normal is for them to get a job and become a productive member of society,” says Royer.

Both Toni Royer and Tamara Spates say if you know or have a loved one looking for help to check out Open Arms and Hearts Health Services because it can be anyone, even those you least expect.

Pocomoke Police Department mirrors that to keep opioid-related deaths low, it takes a community effort. “It’s low, I think it has to do with the citizens of Pocomoke, we have a good relationship with them. The citizen’s buy-in on trying to keep everyone safe, and then you have businesses and community organizations that are actually provided to help,” says Lieutenant D. McGlotten with the Pocomoke Police Department.

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