In recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day, the lives lost to drug addiction and overdose will be commemorated individually in a special voluntary ceremony at 3 PM on August 31 by over 200 staff members and 160 patients at the Devon, Pennsylvania campus of Recovery Centers of America.
RCA Devon patients who choose to participate will wear purple ribbons and staff will wear purple clothing to signify a unified voice for lives lost to drug overdose and addiction. There will be a tree lit with small purple string lights in the courtyard at the Devon RCA campus and patients will be able to hang a purple heart on the tree with the name of someone struggling with addiction or someone they have lost to an overdose.
"This is personal to our patients and staff. We all know someone who has died from the disease of addiction. Drug overdoses were already at epidemic levels before the pandemic, and now we are seeing people with addiction really struggling with social distancing restrictions. Additional lives are being lost as the COVID and addiction crises continue," said Steve Wicke, CEO of RCA at Devon.
Some members of RCA's 20,000 plus alumni network will also participate in the event. RCA's alumni network provides patients with a solid foundation to continue their recovery after "graduation" from RCA treatment.
"For too many of us, this is a day of grieving for those we have lost due to the drug epidemic. We also want this to be a day of hope; a day to recognize the tens of thousands of lives that have been saved from overdose. This is a day to recognize the connections, friendships, and family that RCA and the Alumni Association have had a part in building," said Christy Eichinger, Alumni Relations Coordinator at RCA Devon.
During the COVID-19 pandemic and post-pandemic, RCA at Devon and all RCA facilities are committed to providing a safe and successful treatment environment for all patients, staff, and family, complying with state and CDC prevention measures. Additionally, all new RCA patients are screened for the COVID-19 virus prior to admission, and staff are tested on a weekly basis using the GENETWORx diagnostic viral test which has an accuracy rate in the 99th percentile. GENETWORx Laboratories, a subsidiary of Recovery Centers of America, is a CLIA certified and CAP accredited molecular diagnostic laboratory, designations considered the gold standard in the testing industry.
"We are in a unique position to ensure the safety of our patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, with our ability to conduct testing for the virus with quick turnaround times through access to our nationally accredited laboratory," said Steve Wicke. "Devon patients are quarantined at admission until their COVID-19 test result is received to provide patients with a safe setting in which to gain the tools needed to pursue a lifetime of recovery," he said.
Recovery Centers of America (1-800 Recovery) provides comprehensive addiction treatment at seven inpatient facilities in Devon, Pennsylvania; South Amboy and Mays Landing, NJ; Westminster and Danvers, Massachusetts; and Earleville and Waldorf, Maryland. A full spectrum of Outpatient treatment is also provided at many of these facilities and in Voorhees, NJ. RCA also provides Medication-Assisted-Treatment (MAT) at its treatment centers and at standalone facilities in Trenton and Somerdale, NJ and at our newest opioid treatment program, the Delaware County Healthcare Clinic in Lansdowne, PA.