Hand holding prescription mediactions

Practicing Hope New Toolkit on Recovery Support in Communities

A Letter from the HHS Partnership Center Director

Greetings friends,
The data is in and, as many would have anticipated, the COVID-19 pandemic was experienced with particular hardship among those with substance use disorders. In 2020, the rate of drug overdose deaths accelerated and increased 31% from the year before – usually from opioids – but also increasingly from the use of more than one drug at the same time, or poly substance use. (1)

Today is International Overdose Prevention Awareness Day and the HHS Federal Drug Administration has released its Overdose Prevention Framework outlining the agency’s approach to the overdose crisis as it continues to evolve.

As a faith or community leader you know that the road to recovery from addiction is lived out in community where challenges to maintaining sobriety are most often encountered- whether it’s access to health care services, recovery support groups, employment, or in meeting housing and other basic needs.

Around the country, faith and community members are saving people from dying of overdoses, connecting them to treatment and recovery support programs, bringing restoration to the lives of individuals and families who have suffered the consequences of addiction, and are strengthening the resilience of younger generations.

To further encourage these efforts, the HHS Partnership Center has released its newly revised Practical Toolkit for Preventing Drug Overdose and Supporting Recovery in Faith and Community Settings as a guide for the practical actions communities can take to support those seeking freedom from addiction and the restoration of their lives and livelihoods.

And, this year, the toolkit has been translated into Spanish for use by leaders serving Spanish-speaking congregations and communities.

We remain grateful for your efforts in communities around the country to address this crisis. Thank you for being an agent of hope and a beacon of light to those who need you most in your communities.

Rev. Dr. Que English
Director, The Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships
U.S. Dept. Health and Human Services

Rev. Dr. Que English

View posts by Rev. Dr. Que English
As a coalition builder and network strategist, Rev. Dr. Que English joins HHS from the State of New York where she served as the Deputy Director of Faith-Based Initiatives for the Governor’s Office of Faith and Community Development Services.  Here she identified opportunities for the State of NY and HCR to elevate strengths and identify new opportunities to build relationships with the faith-based community.  She also conceptualized and was instrumental in forming the faith-based office in the Office of the Mayor of New York City.  She has brought together several roundtables and interfaith coalitions to create and implement strategic plans to tackle NY’s most problematic issues. She is the Founder and past President of Not On My Watch, an organization formed to combat human trafficking and domestic violence through education, training and community and policy advocacy.  Named 1 of 25 Most Influential Women in the Bronx, Dr. English brings to HHS a wealth of knowledge in working with the criminal justice system, substance abuse issues, health and mental health, human trafficking, domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, civil rights and more.  She received her masters and doctorate degrees from New York Theological Seminary where she was the recipient of the Excellence in Ministry Award, the highest award given to a graduating doctoral student.

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