David Washington, coordinator of Harm Reduction for the Health Department, Meets People Where They Are
David Washington knew before his tenth grade year in high school that he was meant to serve others and support them right where they are, especially in their storms.
“I had a serious health scare as a teen, which ended up not affecting me just physically, but significantly changed the way I thought about the life I wanted when I grew up,” he says.
Since 2017, David has been the coordinator of the Washington County Health Department’s Harm Reduction program. It’s not his first go-around in public health, having worked in substance abuse prevention outreach and as a trauma specialist in the Washington County Detention Center.
Harm Reduction is not a new concept in community health, but is still sometimes misunderstood.
Read more here.
Originally published July 2022.
Lisa Blair, Peer Recovery Specialist, Shares How Affliction Brings Understanding
Recovery Month celebrations are more of a daily event year-round for Lisa Blair – not just something that happens in September. As a peer recovery specialist with Behavioral Health Services, her lived experience with addiction makes her empathetic to the core.
Lisa now has 15 years of “being clean” under her belt. She remembers being what she calls a “functioning addict,” before she walked into a rehabilitation program on Halloween, two days after trying to kill herself.
Lisa’s mental health and substance use issues can be traced back to a trauma she experienced at the age of 10. She began acting out in high school, first smoking pot before beginning cocaine use her senior year. Her father died a year after she graduated from high school, but her mother
supported her and never gave up on her until Lisa lost her in 2021.
Read more here.