The road to recovery in Surry County

The road to recovery in Surry County


SURRY COUNTY, N.C. – One rural North Carolina county is fighting the opioid crisis with a program designed to connect those in recovery with the care they need, and they’re asking for volunteers to help. 

Ride the Road to Recovery is a free transportation program, specifically designed for patients recovering from substance abuse disorder. Surry County Transportation Coordinator Deborah Giep said recovery is made up of an interconnected web of needs, and the service takes people to multiple destinations to help meet them. 

 

What You Need to Know 

Ride the Road to Recovery is a free transportation program for substance abuse recovery patients in Surry County 

The Surry County Substance Abuse Recovery Department said the service takes riders to destinations related to recovery 

They’re seeking volunteer drivers to help meet the need 

 

“The transportation we offer is not only to recovery programs. It’s to go get their medication after they’ve been prescribed their medication for recovery,” Giep said. “It’s to probation, it’s to court, it’s to TASC appointments, it’s to medical appointments, it’s to rehabilitation, it’s to [the] driver’s license office.” 

According to the county, potential riders can fill out an online form to request a trip, then the Substance Abuse Recovery Department team will verify that the patient does not have another means of transportation with their treatment provider. 

As of December 2021, Ride the Road to Recovery had five drivers to transport people in vehicles with names like “Ambition” and “Opportunity.” Giep said the need is growing, and they are seeking volunteer drivers to build a network. 

“I think rural areas are forgotten. When the roadblock is, they just don’t have the money, they just don’t have a way, they have no way to get where they need to go. If we can provide that first mile to their last mile, that’s what we’re here for,” Giep said. 

Getting there is more important than ever, especially for rural counties in North Carolina. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, North Carolina was one of only five states with higher overdose rates in rural counties than urban counties. Data from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services shows almost 3,000 people across the state died from accidental drug overdoses last year – the highest number it has recorded. 

For some on the Surry County Substance Abuse Department team, the push to help is personal. Community Outreach Coordinator Charlotte Reeves has lived her own version of this story. 

“I was addicted for about 15 years, on and off,” Reeves said. 

She believes the program would have helped her when she was climbing out of addiction. 

“It puts you into where you can develop a healthy relationship with a driver, and you can talk to them. Anything you can do to put yourself one step closer to reality is healthier for you,” Reeves said. 

More information about requesting a ride and how to become a volunteer driver is available here



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