Writing Group at NRC 1-29-19PICTURED: Judy Ryan, a retired teacher and facilitator of one of the writing groups, reads a piece by a participant, as other writers look on. She said she “got to know a group of seven courageous men who shared their experiences honestly and openly.”About 30 people took part in writing groups about how the opioid crisis has impacted their lives. The experience culminated in a reading and reception at the Northampton Recovery Center last month.

By Laurie Loisel
For the Gazette

Published: 1/29/2019 10:21:37 AM

“That is heroin. The eraser, the slate wiper. Emotional anesthetic. Love, sympathy, forgiveness, truth and beauty all in one fantastic lie. The warm embrace.”

Those powerful words are an excerpt from a piece written by Thomas Miklovich as part of a writing group for people whose lives have been impacted by the opioid crisis. I had the privilege to facilitate that four-session group in November.

Participants included parents whose adult children struggled with opioid addiction, including some who had lost the battle, as well as younger people at various stages and on various paths of recovery. Like Miklovich, they had lots to say.

Hampshire HOPE teamed up with the Academy of Music for what might seem an unlikely collaboration, resulting in a set of writing groups whose members bravely and boldly wrote about the harrowing toll opioid misuse has taken on their lives. The project aims to harness the arts to raise awareness about the opioid epidemic, possibly increasing understanding and reducing the stigma associated with the disease of addiction, which can be a barrier to people seeking help.

(Continue reading…)