Bethlehem, PA - Today, Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) Secretary Jennifer Smith joined local officials and community members for the ribbon cutting of the OASIS Community Healing Center (OASIS) in Bethlehem.
The OASIS seeks to serve those who have experienced substance-related loss, as well as families and friends impacted by a love one’s active substance use. The center offers a variety of family support meetings, grief recovery groups, and experiential healing activities.
“As we continue to battle the opioid epidemic and start to see the rise in stimulant usage, we must always remember the toll substance use disorder can take on an entire family,” said Secretary Smith. “Often, family members are reeling from strained relations or the loss of their loved ones. Recovery centers like the OASIS Community Healing Center are a vital tool to help families cope and grieve in a safe environment.”
The drop-in center will be open weekdays for regular programs and on occasional weekends for special events with at least one Certified Family Recovery Specialist, an individual specifically trained to support family members seeking recovery from a loved one’s addiction, on-site during hours of operation. The OASIS was established by the local nonprofit organization Speak Up for Ben, Inc. and funded by the County of Northampton Department of Human Services Drug and Alcohol Division.
“Families often lack support when facing a loved one’s substance use,” explains Rhonda Miller, OASIS Executive Director. “The OASIS will provide a safe haven for our neighbors to come to for support, find resources, and experience holistic healing activities. The OASIS will provide a beacon of hope to Northampton County residents, and we expect to positively impact hundreds, perhaps thousands, of individuals.”
“The OASIS will provide a loving, supportive environment for families suffering loss or the impact of a loved one’s addiction on the family,” said Northampton County Drug & Alcohol Division Director Elizabeth Miller. “These supportive services are crucially necessary and are going to fill a void in this community. The opioid crisis continues to devastate families. They need a place to grieve and a place to heal. The OASIS is that place in our community.”
During the Wolf Administration’s second term, DDAP will place a heavy focus on reducing stigma associated with substance use disorder, intensifying primary prevention efforts, strengthening treatment systems, and empowering sustained recovery. The aim of these efforts will be to positively influence the knowledge and behavior around the topic of addiction.
“The OASIS is a prime example of how organizations can come together to help break stigma barriers and provide necessary, quality family recovery supports in their community,” said Secretary Smith. “The department recognizes the lack of support programs here in Pennsylvania and are excited to see the impact of the facility. It is our hope to expand successful programs, like the OASIS, across the commonwealth.”
For more information on the OASIS and Speak Up for Ben, click here.
Find more information on the state’s efforts to battle the opioid crisis here.