Meet Liz Gaynes Of The Osborne Association

Circumstances beyond one’s control…

As you know September is National Recovery Month and it’s an opportunity to celebrate recovery, alcohol and drug rehab treatment programs, treatment professionals and those individuals and families who are in recovery.

An important fact to remember about individual’s ability to access recovery treatment is that where and how you find treatment might be totally controlled by your current circumstances.  These controlling circumstances can include health insurance restrictions or guidelines, your finances or your family’s finances, your current employment status or family responsibilities may require you to opt for outpatient programs and your current legal status can play a major role. By legal status we are not talking about your citizenship or your alien status, but whether or not your addiction has impacted your life to the degree that you have been arrested and/or incarcerated as a result of your addiction. If this is the case, then your sentence may require that you remain in your current jurisdiction and complete your sentence and/or a treatment program in your county.

The court system and your sentence…

If you find that you or your loved one has been arrested as a result of a driving under the influence conviction or possession, then depending on your location you might be able to select drug court or alternative sentencing. Basically, you agree to go for treatment: primary care, extended residential treatment, intensive outpatient care, or outpatient care. If you successfully complete treatment, then you can, in most states, apply to have your record expunged.  If you are not offered the opportunity to go into treatment, then more than likely you will serve a sentence in a county jail or a prison. In a Business Insider article from last March it was reported that there are now six million Americans in prison and more than half that number are serving time for drug convictions, with 80% of those are in jail for possession. This gets very expensive for everyone concerned. For example, last week it was reported the State of California is now spending more money on prisons than higher education.

The fact is many people who go to jail or prison do find sobriety and recovery. 

In honor of National Recovery Month we would like to introduce you to Elizabeth Gaynes…

Elizabeth Gaynes is the Executive Director of The Osborne Association. This is a 75 year old non-profit organization. Their mission:

“The Osborne Association offers opportunities for individuals who have been in conflict with the law to transform their lives through innovative, effective, and replicable programs that serve the community by reducing crime and its human and economic costs. We offer opportunities for reform and rehabilitation through public education, advocacy, and alternatives to incarceration that respect the dignity of people and honor their capacity to change.”

While The Osborne Association has many programs, their substance abuse program has been helping residents of New York State for more than 20 years.  The name of this program is El Rio. According to their website:

“For over two decades, Osborne’s substance abuse treatment program – El Rio – has been providing day treatment as an alternative to incarceration and helping men and women involved in the criminal justice system live drug free in their communities. Created in 1989 in response to the crack epidemic, El Rio continually evolves, keeping pace with new evidence-based practices. Adapting and innovating treatment options, such as marijuana-specific treatment, trauma-informed care, gender-responsive treatment and integration of family, health education, GED, vocational training and employment services allows El Rio to meet the changing needs of participants.”

Elizabeth Gaynes was featured as the “Foot Soldier of the Week”

This past week Melissa Harris-Perry featured Elizabeth Gaynes and the Osborne Fresh Start Program. Take a couple of minutes to meet Elizabeth…

If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here.

Finding your own fresh start

Many people that suffer from the disease of addiction do get a fresh start. They find it in treatment, once they accept going to treatment, they find it with therapy, they find it in an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting…they find it each day…one day at a time.

Sadly, many addicts do end up in the criminal justice system and while most news articles we read about this subject has to do with celebrities, the truth is every day families throughout this country deal with their loved one’s incarceration as a result of addiction.  We can only hope that many will find an organization like The Osbourne Association or a person like Elizabeth Gaynes.

Today in honor of National Recovery Month we raise our voices to honor Elizabeth Gaynes!

As always, your comments are welcome…

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