Drug recovery program to expand with $3 million federal grant

Drug recovery program to expand with $3 million federal grant

A unique recovery program in Sauk County dedicated to helping addicts through counseling and medication is being award a multimillion-dollar federal grant. The C.A.R.E. program , which is funded by St. Vincent De Paul in Prairie Du Sac, will use the money to expand into surrounding counties dealing with heroin addiction.

While program officials said the expansion won’t end drug addiction altogether, they believe it will certainly help save more lives, like it helped save former addict Adele Mack.

Growing up  Mack thought she lead a pretty typical life.

“I partied on the weekends and dabbled in some party drugs but I still had straight A’s, high honors, and a good family, I didn’t see a problem,” she said.

That is until her on and off partying turned into a full blown-heroin addiction.

“I tried it the first time I snorted it, and the next day I shot it, and then every day for two years heroin took me,” she said.

The addiction soon became her sole focus. She said it made her make bad choices and alienated her from her family, including her grandmother, Joan Mack.

“The hell of not knowing if she was going to be O.K., where she was, if she had a place to sleep at night, and if she had food I can’t tell you what it did to me and to my family,” Joan Mack said.

By the age of 23, Adele had served a year in the Sauk County Jail. During that time she achieved sobriety, but Joan Mack, a registered nurse, knew of heroin is ighly addictive and often leads to relapses. Determined to help her granddaughter stay clean for good she developed the C.A.R.E. program. C.A.R.E. stands for community, activated, recovery, and enhancement.

Combining the help of Sauk County law enforcement officers, doctors, counselors and Vivitrol,a medication used to prevent relapse and heroin cravings, the yearlong program uses a multi-step approach to end addiction. So far there have been 15 success stories including Mack’s.

“I think with all of that support the wrap around services that were provided to me with the C.A.R.E. program I truly believe that that was a huge factor in how I got where I am today,” Adele Mack said.

Now the federal government is awarding $3 million to help it expand in Sauk , Columbia , and Richland Counties.

“We are going to be teaching different community members, doctors and so forth how to navigate through the insurances and getting the patients set up with the Vivitrol shots and setting up for counseling,” Joan Mack said.

Mack said more money is needed to end addiction, but seeing her granddaughter thrive shows her the C.A.R.E. program is a huge step in the right direction.

“To see her now like she is, it’s fantastic it’s like this is my girl back, this is who Adele was before,” Joan Mack said.

For more information on the C.A.R.E. program call (608)644-0504.