As the end of September approaches, CASA (Community Action for Safe Alternatives) Executive Director, LeighAnn Eruzione and Public Health Nurse Meredith Hurley, are urging the community to continue a commitment to recovery throughout the entire year.
In this week’s recovery month highlight, Deanna Todisco, shares her connection to recovery from a different perspective. As a parent of an addict, Todisco is a devoted supporter of CASA, and she hopes that her personal story will be provide hope in the community. On June 19, 2016, her son Michael, took his life after struggling with addiction.
“I didn’t realize there was a serious drug problem in Winthrop until it came to my home. Even then I was in complete denial when it came to my son Michael. Consequences of my son’s addiction landed him in jail. This is where he initially got clean from heroin. Upon release he began rebuilding his life. He did still drink alcohol. My mindset was that he was 22, it’s not drugs, his life is going well, I didn’t understand how opiates change brain chemistry. I didn’t understand the internal struggle my son faced daily.”
Todisco’s heartbreak has transformed her into a committed supporter of CASA and she hopes that the resources and education that CASA provides, will help others who are faced with addiction.
“If I knew then what I know now, I hope things would be different,” she said. “When he was younger, I honestly didn’t know he was using opiates. When I found out, I was in denial, which progressed to full blown despair. CASA’s role is to educate and offer resources to addicts and their friends and family. It’s not just drugs-alcohol use in our society sends a mixed message, especially to kids. Engaging the community in events provides the opportunity for conversations and encourages us to come together and overcome the isolating world of addiction and the shameful stigma attached to it. CASA encourages our community to stop judging and start healing.