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News / Health / Clark County Health

XChange Recovery hosts educational, supportive event for families impacted by substance use addiction

By Mia Ryder-Marks, Columbian staff reporter
Published: January 16, 2024, 6:08am

The Clark County nonprofit XChange Recovery is partnering with Vancouver’s Living Hope Church and Thrive2Survive to host its first Community Education Night, focused on supporting families impacted by substance use addictions.

The Jan. 31 event aims to bring together families who have loved ones struggling with addiction and community members seeking to support families in need. It will offer a supportive and educational environment where families can learn about available resources, said Vicky Smith, co-founder of XChange Recovery. She hopes it will become a semi-annual occurrence.

“There are a lot of families out there struggling silently by themselves,” Smith said. “If families knew that there are resources and support and education around us that can help (them) and their loved ones, it could help them figure out how to navigate it because there’s not just a one-size fits-all solution.”

During the event, Columbia River Mental Health’s Chief Medical Director Dr. Kevin Fischer will give a presentation on the current status of the opioid crisis in Clark County. There will also be a training on how to administer naloxone, commonly known as Narcan.

If You Go

What: XChange Recovery’s Community Education Night.

When: 7-8:30 p.m. Jan. 31.

Where: Living Hope XChange Church, 2711 N.E. Andresen Road, Vancouver.

Cost: Free.

XChange Recovery recently received a grant allowing it to provide free Narcan at the event to those who participate in the training, Smith said.

In Clark County, fentanyl drove overdoses up 500 percent between 2018 and 2022.

“We just want to have a way of helping the families and supporting the families that are watching their loved ones struggle (with addiction),” Smith said. “They’re in anguish watching their loved ones dying or afraid that they will be dying out there.”

Smith said the nonprofit recognizes the vast challenges families and community members face when supporting loved ones with substance-use disorders.

“People just need to know they’re not alone,” she said.

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This story was made possible by Community Funded Journalism, a project from The Columbian and the Local Media Foundation. Top donors include the Ed and Dollie Lynch Fund, Patricia, David and Jacob Nierenberg, Connie and Lee Kearney, Steve and Jan Oliva, The Cowlitz Tribal Foundation and the Mason E. Nolan Charitable Fund. The Columbian controls all content. For more information, visit columbian.com/cfj.

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