To the editor:

It is a sad day in the Berlin-Gorham area with those struggling with addiction or in recovery with the sudden closing of the Hope Center. I am a clinician at a local agency doing both drug and alcohol and mental health counseling with clients who use peer based recovery services like Hope, it saves lives. Coming to this area from southern N.H. I had worked with clients at clinics and counseling services as a counselor and graduate intern in Concord and Laconia. I knew Hope and their programs and services in Manchester and Berlin and had referred clients there for the last several years. Peer recovery works and many clients tell me they don't need someone with fancy degrees on the wall to support them. They prefer to have someone who has lived experience as an addict who has found recovery band and is now helping others do the same. This story is anecdotal but is true and the Hope Centers provided such a valuable service in our communities especially in Berlin.

Help is available and it can be done via recovery coaching Hope will continue to do according to their postings on social media. It can be found online on websites for virtual 12 step meetings such as "in the rooms" and there is the Doorway at AVH and Littleton Hospital a wonderful place for walk in help with addiction and recovery resources. Or calling NH 211 for assistance outside of business hours.

However, peer-based recovery centers like Hope provide a safe environment for persons to come, attend meetings and get help. I am hoping that those from others from the recovery community, other agencies can step up and help save this center.

Jack Dunn


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