Within its first five months, Dan’s Foundation for Recovery, a nonprofit organization seeking to assist those struggling with substance abuse, successfully guided 25 substance abusers into rehab through meetings for both addicts themselves and the parents of addicts.
The organization was founded in April of 2014. Over the course of the past two years, Dan’s Foundation has raised money through public donations and corporate support in order to help those seeking assistance.
Dori Scofield created the organization three years after her son died from a heroin overdose. As the founder, Scofield’s daily tasks range from speaking one-on-one with those struggling with addiction to providing money for copayments or plane tickets for trips to rehab facilities.
Aside from her work with animal rescue groups, running the foundation is Scofield’s full-time occupation. She has recently been accredited by New York State as a recovery specialist in drugs and alcohol.
She has found that a major obstacle for those seeking recovery is the cost of treatment. Even some of the simplest expenses, such as copayments, can prove burdensome.
“It could be $400 a month just for copays,” Scofield said.
Scheduling appointments with outpatient centers can also be challenging and frustrating. Inpatient recovery commonly includes a 28- day program, which is followed up with an outpatient program.
“When somebody says to me, ‘I need to go to detox, I really want to get help,’ that’s when they need help,” Scofield said. “Not an hour from now, not tomorrow, not when they have an appointment for intake. They need it now.”
Dan’s Foundation works with The Recovery Team, a rehabilitation facility in West Palm Beach, Florida. The foundation sends many recovering addicts there because it is often hard to get into rehabilitation facilities on Long Island on short notice.
“I was getting declined from every place on Long Island because of insurance,” a recovering addict who asked to remain anonymous in order to protect her job, said.
She received help from Dan’s Foundation to pay for a plane ticket to Florida.
“I couldn’t come up with $200, $300 to get on a plane,” she said. “I was able to get on the flight and go down to Recovery Team, and I stayed there for three months.”
Currently, the foundation is sponsoring three young women going through outpatient treatment at the Long Island Center for Recovery in Hampton Bays. The foundation is helping with each woman’s copayments, which range from $100 to $400 a month.
“They’re trying to get a job,” Scofield said. “They’re trying to do the right thing, but they can’t do it all at once.”
Another obstacle addicts encounter when reaching out for recovery is the stigma attached to addiction.
“I came from an affluent family in East Setauket, so what I viewed an addict as was not me, and then I became that person that I used to see in the movies,” said the anonymous woman, who has been clean for two years and cites spirituality and a 12-step program as the means to her sobriety.
The fear that comes with being labeled a “user” can cause addicts to retreat further into their addiction. Because of this reason, it can be hard for those in need to reach out for help.
However, it is widely the case that many recovering drug addicts are not like those depicted in movies.
“There’s lawyers, doctors, business owners, all kinds of people that have a problem with addiction,” said the anonymous woman, who has a degree in marketing and finance. She has also held top positions in her field.
Currently, the biggest challenge for Dan’s Foundation is fundraising. The organization hosts several events a year to be able to help those struggling with addiction. This summer, the foundation will host a golf outing to help with program costs.
On August 31, 2014, Dan’s Foundation hosted the first International Overdose Awareness Day, and it continues the tradition every year. The event hosts guest speakers and features a candle lighting in memory of those who have overdosed.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, contact Dan’s Foundation at 631- 946-0807 or send an email to [email protected]
“Sometimes it takes one person to make a difference,” Scofield said.