Access to Recovery (ATR) Provides Recovery Supports
for People with Substance Use Disorders
ATR UPDATE | April 2020
Magic for ATR Participants
ATR introduced “ unlikely magic” into one young girl’s life recently. When ATR Coordinator Jackie’s phone rang after work hours, she was not expecting the eager greeting she received. “Hi!!! Can I please talk to Miss Jackie?” a little girl asked politely. This precocious seven-year-old was calling to say thank you for the sparkly sandals ATR staff had chosen for her and that she just received in the mail. She sweetly believes these are “magic sandals".

During our current COVID-19 situation and the inability to take ATR participants on group shopping trips, the father of this little girl was one of the first ATR participants for whom we were able to safely transition from assisting with in-store purchasing to ordering items online. Her dad got on the phone too, and it was evident that this endeavor was a huge success. This single father was so appreciative of this surprise for his daughter, who rarely receives presents and who wanted to thank the giver so badly, that he allowed her to call -- after-hours or not. To top off this wonderful story, the father told Jackie that he and his daughter were planning to spend time at a local park and use the art supplies also sent by ATR to work on their own special art project together. These gifts to his daughter were this participant’s choice about how to spend his ATR funds.

In our books, we would call that a win-win all around and are grateful that ATR was able to quickly adapt to the new normal and maintain contact with participants by telephone and assist them, when and how they need it the most!

ATR Saves Lives
Just before the pandemic hit, ATR started enrolling participants in a new program to assist with Sober Housing costs. ATR was able to place 11 ATR participants into MASH-certified Sober Homes (before the regulations hit for coronavirus) and ATR is now paying for their rent. ATR will be opening up this program again in a few weeks now that the governor is cautiously lifting regulations.

Throughout this crisis, ATR has maintained close contact with the 11 placed participants, providing a variety of recovery supports such as technological assistance with using computers or tablets for social connectedness and online learning, making connections to virtual recovery meetings, assisting with unemployment benefits and job searches, and helping participants work through any issues that arise within the Sober Home. This connection to ATR participants has been an important and essential support during a difficult time.
This ongoing engagement allowed ATR to quickly intervene when two (of the 11 placed) participants reported relapses. ATR facilitated getting them into immediate substance use treatment, offered appropriate support, and stayed engaged with them, as well as their new treatment providers, each day throughout the course of their treatment. ATR then ensured that the participants had a safe place to go upon completion of their treatment and the participants were placed into new Sober Homes. These participants are safe and back on their road to recovery, thanks to ATR.
This critical support and the timely interventions of the ATR Sober Home Pilot staff helped give these participants another chance to reclaim their lives, for which we’re incredibly grateful. In a time where social wellness is difficult to achieve, it is wonderful to know that ATR is still connecting with people and making a life or death difference in our community. 

We are offering a Free Guide to Overcoming isolation During COVID-19:
Wellness Guide to Overcoming Isolation During COVID-19: Being Connected, Staying Connected, and Choosing Connection.
This guide provides practical guidance for overcoming feelings of isolation and loneliness by building connections with oneself and others.

We encourage you to download it and share as widely as you'd like.
For current information on ATR program news, other resources and class happenings, please visit our website.

ATR offers real solutions. Thousands of people in Massachusetts can now access desperately needed recovery support services to help them recover from addiction.

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