When drug users become addicted, their problems affect more than themselves. A community center in Northampton County has it's grand opening today, and their mission is to help the family members who suffer as a result of someone else's addiction.
The founder of the center was devastated by the loss of her son, and wants to share her story while helping others.
"Let's cut the ribbon and celebrate the opening of Oasis." said Rhonda Miller, founder of Oasis Community Center
It was a day Miller has been working toward for years. Her son Ben Miller died nearly three years ago from fentanyl poisoning, and she was there trying to help him survive. He battled addiction for several years. But like most people in her position, it became overbearing.
"We get caretaker's burnout." Miller said, "And so family members and also friends, co workers, neighbors, often times are neglected and overlooked. And we become depleted."
She wants to help people learn how to live again since addiction often consumes entire lives. The Oasis Community Center right of Route 22 will have seven different support groups working out of it, and there will also be yoga, cooking, and art therapy classes. Miller wants this to be a place of relaxation, and a place to find answers.
"We're going to be providing free services to the community, beginning with support groups. Such as ACA, CODA, parent and family support groups. Grief recovery groups." Miller said.
She thanks Northampton County officials for their unwavering support. About 26 weeks ago, she went to a county meeting with her vision. County Executive Lamont McCLure and his staff helped make it a reality.
"In Northampton County, I am always saying we do not have one person to give up on." McClure said, "And we don't ever give up on anyone in Northampton County. And in Northampton County we have some folks working for you."
He then gave thanks to the state drug and alcohol program for the part it plays in lending resources, but Jennifer Smith says it doesn't happen without the community level people putting it together.
"And we can give resources to you all, but you are the ones. You, as community members, are the ones that are really doing something with those resources." said Smith.
Because Rhonda Miller understands what families go through as a result of their family members substance abuse, she says no matter where you're from you are always welcome here.