September 13, 2018. Our
program featured Phillip Chaney who serves as Northampton County Community Outreach Coordinator for the Lehigh Valley Drug and Alcohol Intake Unit. The purpose of the Unit is to serve as a gateway to treatment for all alcohol or drug-troubled residents. This includes those that are actively involved in the criminal justice system (probation, parole, DUI, etc.).
Addiction is nothing new and can manifest itself in many forms. Recent years have seen a surge in problems related to opioids. These problems are not limited to any definable demographic. Addicts are often fully employed and functioning adults. Many times, the addiction deepens as help from well-meaning family and friends enables the process to continue.
Phillip is also the Program Director for a related organization known as Change on 3rd Street. This organization offers a safe environment to those seeking recovery and/or who are part of the treatment continuum. This is not a treatment facility but they are able to refer those in need to community resources as needed. The Change is host to a variety of recovery-based support meetings. They coordinate special social and educational events such as movie night, karaoke, and holiday parties. It is operated by volunteers in recovery and managed by professional staff.
The Easton Police have recently entered the picture by forming EPAIR (Easton Police Assisting In recovery). If there is no room at the Intake Unit, a person with no open charges can go to the police where they will receive an immediate assessment and have a bed found at a treatment facility. Phillip is ideally suited for this line of work as he is a recovering addict.