Speech made at Race to Recovery - 5/7/2017

I'm glad to see so many people supporting this cause today. I don't think there is anyone here today who would disagree with the fact that drug addiction, drug overdoses and drug overdose deaths have been skyrocketing. No longer is this just an inner city issue. It is in suburbia, in our communities, and in our neighborhoods. Everyone knows someone or some family member who has been affected by the dark disease of drug addiction.

Today my son, Steven, Gilly to his friends, would have been 26 years old. He passed away 6 months ago from a drug overdose. He had a fabulous smile that instantly made you feel like his closest friend. He was generous. He was funny. He loved making connections with people. However, he struggled for many years with drug addiction. He was in detox, residential treatment facilities and sober recovery houses. Treatment for drug addiction is very scattered, it is difficult to find resources, it is difficult to find coordinated treatment, it's difficult to know what to do and where to go. 

With the amazing work of the dedicated Safe Coalition organization and its volunteers, now many parents, and friends and those suffering from this awful disease will be able to find the proper treatment for loved ones. 

In addition to the Safe Coalition resource, right here in our area, my husband, David and I and Jamie Desilets, Steven's girlfriend, are committed to adding another much needed resource here. We are going to establish a sober recovery house in this area. This sober recovery house will provide a safe, supportive and structured environment for those young men who want to change their lives and be able to successfully join life back in the community. This will be a memorial to my son and will be known as Gilly's House. 

To make this happen, it needs to be a community effort. We cannot do it alone. This is a disease that affects all our communities. So we will be looking for much support with funding, in-kind donations, and corporate sponsors. This sober recovery house will be a caring safe community for loved ones to learn the skills to recover and gain back their lives. 

Rabbi Shneur Zalman teaches that just a small amount of light can dispel a great amount of darkness. Each of us has the ability to bring some light to this darkness. Think of how much light we have together. Please visit gillyshouse.com and tell us how you can help. 

Thank you for your time, thank you, in advance, for your support. 

A mother's story, addiction struggles, counseling, Massachusetts, Addiction Treatment Center, 12-step AAA program, abstinence from drugs,alcohol treatment program, mentorship, 24 hr support, sober house, sober home, sober living, sobriety,  life skills, self-help skills