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Addiction recovery space in Sharpsburg expands with hopes of reaching more people

SHARPSBURG, Pa. — A new study finds 42% of American adults know someone who has died from a drug overdose. That startling statistic is why a nonprofit is hoping to reach more people struggling with addiction before it’s too late.

The Addiction Recovery Ministry opened its doors Sunday at a new location in Sharpsburg. The space is new, but the mission is the same.

“This is what the mission’s about - to help the person that needs additional help,” said Larry, who’s been sober for a few years.

Larry has been on the path of recovery for three and a half years. He said the Addiction Recovery Ministry has helped him stay on that path.

“It’s a place of healing,” Larry said. “It’s a place where we gather to share our journey, past and future. We get strength and hope from places like this.”

The 74-year-old has struggled with alcohol addiction for much of his life. He said it started in his mid-20s.

“I was just tired of being sick and tired,” Larry said.

The nonprofit is hoping to help more people like Larry at the much bigger space in Sharpsburg.

The Addiction Recovery Ministry’s interim executive director Rosemarie Haas said the new space will be easier to get to.

“Even though we are based on faith, we help anyone,” she said.

The Addiction Recovery Ministry was started by the late Father Michael Decewicz five years ago in Harmar.

Anyone battling alcohol addiction and substance use disorder can come to the building for AA and narcotics meetings, grief support, or even just to play games with others.

“Recovery is a life-long journey,” Haas said. “Addiction is a disease. It’s not a moral failing.”

There is also support for families so they can understand the disease better and break down the stigma surrounding it.

“There’s such a stigma of shame, not just for the person suffering but also for the family,” said Haas. “No one ever wants to discuss it and we need to break those walls down.”

The Addiction Recovery Ministry is hoping to expand by bringing more events there and more people.

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