WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now) — September is known as drug prevention and recovery month, and one Hagerstown organization is helping support women who have survived drug overdoses.
Lasting Change is a recovery center where women can live and participate in their career development program.
One woman tells DC News Now that the program has led her to recover in a different way.
“I tried a few different times to get clean, but this time it’s a little different,” Mary Yoder said.
Yoder was 16 years old when her life changed. She was given pain pills when she was in a car accident. From that moment on, it would lead Yoder down a darker path, using heroin and other drugs to stop the pain before she overdosed.
“Waking up from that overdose and just looking around, it was like a movie, people surrounding me, my loved ones like, ‘Am I dead,” Yoder said. “It was so scary, and I decided I would live my life.”
Shannon Cianelli is one of the directors of Lasting Change.
“It is a 10-week program, and each week has its own topic, so if they come in [at] week five, they can join the class right away that way no client feels left out,” Cianelli said. “So, we cover a lot of different topics in that professionalism class.
Topics include resume building, networking and how to fill out job applications.
“We want to give them goals and aspirations to have once they’re done at the addiction center,” Cianelli said. “That way they always will be able to stand on their own two feet.”
In the last few years, Lasting Change has had over 100 graduates who are either working, volunteering or went back to school.
“It means a lot, [it] makes you feel good that people do care,” Yoder said.