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Addiction recovery remains critical — and available — during the pandemic

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  • 2 min to read
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Trilogy Recovery Community’s Associate Director Megan Toliver and Executive Director Luis Rosales.

Even during this global pandemic, Trilogy Recovery Community is offering help for those struggling with addictions.

The nonprofit organization provides recovery support services for youth and adults trying to overcome problems with alcohol and drugs.

Family support is also a big part of the process.

Staff who normally work out of the office at 120 E. Birch St. No. 14 have learned to use telehealth to assist those seeking help with social distancing rules and while working from home.

That meant a lot of work right at the start, but it also meant staff had the ability to continue to provide help.

“From a team perspective, we had a quick turnaround to make sure all our staff and volunteers are safe, and we’re in government compliance,” Executive Director Luis Rosales said. “The work upfront was to set up new policies for working from home in Phase 1, and now in Phase 2 it looks like our peers want to come in.”

He warned that “it’s dangerous for them to isolate and become bored.”

That combination, especially with the fear and stress of the pandemic, could certainly trigger some backsliding into addictions.

Megan Toliver, who works for Trilogy as an associate director recovery counselor and ally, said that from her perspective, “there have been lots of challenges, for sure.

“A lot of the peers I work with see that you need to develop in recovery; they’re good with rolling with the punches. It’s a new way of reaching out. There are pluses and minuses.”

Those needing help can still reach out for a support, it’s just a different mode.

“AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous) platforms went virtual,” Toliver said.

“It could increase attendance. You’re able to attend groups all over the world. Some of our peers are attending groups in Australia. Addiction doesn’t discriminate, and COVID doesn’t discriminate.”

Toliver said some peers jumped into the new mode really easily.

“Others had challenges, maybe seeing themselves on the screen or not having the tech, or the space or the privacy. Space is so important. That’s why Trilogy space is inviting. It’s a time in a comforting physical space.”

Rosales said currently the organization has four people on staff, and there’s an expectation of adding one more in August.

The organization also has four others as independent contractors who work as the bookkeeper, clinical support, maintenance and as co-facilitator for groups in Spanish.

One AmeriCorps volunteer works there and potentially another could arrive in September.

Rosales said the number of volunteers fluctuates, with one person serving consistently.

Trilogy is still providing support, just in some new ways.

Groups had to stop meeting, so staff figured out new ways to hold virtual group meetings.

Rosales said, “Part of the goal is to still be able to be there for our peers. A lot of this is whatever we decide to do, make sure it’s meaningful to the person who needs support.

“Recovery is possible for anyone struggling or open to it. Don’t wait, there’s no cost. We are open, and if we’re not able to provide what they need, we will work hard to connect them to the resources to help them.”

Groups and counseling is available in English and in Spanish.

“Right now the Blue Mountain Community Foundation has been reminding our community of the importance of supporting nonprofits like Trilogy. I want to thank them for their focus on helping nonprofits with support during this difficult time and other donors for their support,” Rosales said.

“Our funding comes from grants, and a little over a third from contracts in the community, and a third from individual business donations and a third from foundations, trusts and clubs,” Rosales said.

Fundraising has had to change due to the pandemic.

Toliver said Trilogy’s annual fundraiser in September is a 5K Run For Recovery. This year it will be a virtual run, with more information to come.

Karlene Ponti can be reached at karleneponti@wwub.com or 509-526-8324.

Karlene Ponti began as Special Publications Writer in 1999, work includes Lifestyles, The Weekly and Business Monthly. After Wa-Hi, Ponti attended Whitman and is a UW graduate. Later she was ordained a Christian minister at CDM Spiritual Teaching Center.