Rogue Valley nonprofit to get $2.2 million grant to train addiction counselors

Good News Notes:

A Southern Oregon nonprofit organization that provides services to those struggling with addiction will receive a $2.2 million grant over the next four years to create a program that will train future counselors in behavioral health and addiction treatment.

The executive director of OnTrack Rogue Valley, Sommer Wolcott said the organization will use the federal funding to train and certify drug and alcohol counselors and mental health associates.

“One of the really devastating impacts of the coronavirus pandemic for the most vulnerable people in our community is that all of the providers at one time or another had to reduce access or services,” Wolcott said.

Wolcott explained that the reduction in addiction and mental health services was due to short staffing and outbreaks of the virus.

Michael River Rain said having access to those types of services is the reason he is alive today.

“I was going down, it was obvious and that’s what Misty saw because Misty does this for a living, and because of her input I was able to sit and began to get into treatment,” River Rain said.

The 71-year-old explained that he began to drink alcohol at the age of 16 and later developed an addiction to it.

He said when he met Misty, an OnTrack Rogue Valley Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor in October 2020, he had been drinking for over 50 years.

“If it wasn’t for this program or programs like it, God help us all because none of us would be able to come out of our addictions,” he added. “It’s like being in the darkness and all of sudden OnTrack is this little bitty light, and it shows you a way out of the misery and depth of your addiction.”

The Rogue Valley resident said he is now more than 250 days clean and is looking forward to helping others in the future….”

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