Northampton Recovery Center fighting addiction with unique approach

Hampshire County

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Drug addiction skyrocketed during the pandemic. However, despite the end of lockdowns, drug use hasn’t decreased the way people might expect.

Drug addiction is very much an issue locally and across the state. The Northampton Recovery Center (NRC) is a peer driven community, just last month celebrating five years in Northampton.

There is a life after addiction. That’s what’s really important. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has reported large increases of in drug use since the beginning of the pandemic. Across the Commonwealth, the opioid related overdose death rate went up one percent in the first nine months of 2021.

The NRC is trying to change these statistics in western Massachusetts, with a peer to peer approach. Outreach Coordinator of NRC, Trevor Dayton, told 22News, “Peer to peer recovery embraces the community aspect of, embraces the fellowship aspect of recovery. Everything that happens here, happens because a community member wanted it to happen.”

Unlike other recovery programs, the NRC doesn’t require members to stop using. After a year as a member, Deb Wyand decided to become a coach and peer specialist.

“If I can, anybody can. You know, I struggled for many, many years. I was a kid when I was drinking and then I got into other things and there are people that are the same way as that,” said Wyand.

Wyand says there’s a powerful ability to connect and help someone if you understand what they’re going through, “If people are going through something, there’s nothing like meeting with someone who’s been through it, because then you realize that you can do it. This place is full of hope, we want people to come and we’re here for them.”

The NRC has worked with over 800 individuals and because of funding form the state, all services are free.

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