Governor Wes Moore Visits Voices of Hope Elkton Location

In a gesture of solidarity and commitment to battling addiction and promoting recovery, Governor Wes Moore paid a visit to Voices of Hope’s Elkton location on Friday. The visit underscored the state’s dedication to addressing the ongoing challenges posed by substance abuse and its unwavering support for grassroots efforts in rehabilitation and recovery.

Accompanied by key officials from Cecil County Health Department, Cecil County Sheriffs Office, and local stakeholders, the Governor was also warmly welcomed by staff and members of the recovery community. Voices of Hope, known for its holistic approach to recovery, provides vital resources, peer support, and a conducive environment for individuals striving to overcome barriers regularly faced in the pursuit of lasting recovery from substance use disorder.

During the visit, the Governor engaged in candid conversations with participants, hearing firsthand accounts of their struggles, triumphs, and the pivotal role the organization has played in their journey to sobriety. These personal stories resonated deeply, reaffirming the importance of continued investment in recovery services and community support networks.

Governor Moore visits with a participant of Voices of Hope.

In a brief address to attendees, the Governor expressed admiration for the resilience and determination displayed by those working in the peer recovery field, emphasizing the need for lived experience to combat addiction. Governor Moore was led on a private tour of the recovery center by Aaron Wright, Programs and Data Manager. This tour included an in-depth look at our RAD Testing Board. RAD Testing, or Rapid Analysis Drug Testing, is a program offered by Voices of Hope where participants can turn in paraphernalia with drug residue and have it tested for its contents. Voices of Hope sends the samples out for testing, and as results come in, they are added to the RAD Testing Board. This is done in an effort to help reduce harm, so that participants can be made aware of what substances are being added to their drugs. With this tool, we have found that Xylazine is apparent in almost every instance.

The tour ended with a private audience between the Governor, health department officials, and Voices of Hope’s Executive Director, Jennifer Tuerke. Governor Moore reaffirmed his commitment to advocating for more funding for recovery community organizations, like Voices of Hope.

The visit concluded with expressions of gratitude from the organization’s leadership, staff, and participants, who welcomed the Governor’s pledge of support and expressed optimism for the positive impact it would have on their ongoing efforts in the fight against addiction. Governor Moore also took the time to add a bandana to our Safety Net to Survive Addiction – a visual representation of the love and care Maryland residents have for our family members, neighbors, and friends who struggle with substance use disorder. Governor Moore chose a white bandana, representing that you have lost someone you loved to addiction.

The governor’s visit served as a powerful reminder of the collective responsibility to address addiction as a public health crisis and the importance of fostering a compassionate and supportive environment for individuals seeking recovery. As the state moves forward in its efforts to tackle substance abuse, the governor’s commitment to partnership and advocacy offers hope for a brighter future for all those affected by addiction.

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