Rock Against Heroin aims to help addicts recover

recovery-festThe heroin addiction problem in the Mahoning Valley is so severe that most people know at least one person whose life has been ravaged – or even taken – by the drug, or its synthetic substitutes.

It’s a scourge that cuts across all social strata.

California Palms Hotel and nightclub in Austintown is trying to help addicts who are trying to reclaim their lives.

The popular place with the faux palm trees will play host to a three-day rock music festival Friday through Sunday, with at least three dozen of the area’s top bands.

There also will be dozens of guest speakers, ranging from state-level politicians to addiction recovery specialists.

Admission is $10, all of which will be donated to the effort. Proceeds from the sale of alcohol will not be donated, and alcohol will not be sold from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday to allow those in recovery to participate.

Rock Against Heroin was started by Sebastian Rucci, who owns the hotel. With the help of a dozen volunteers, his group formulated a plan to reverse the heroin problem one person at a time.

After looking into the field of addiction recovery programs in the Valley, the group decided to partner with First Step Recovery of Warren. First Step’s program begins with on-site detox and ends with placing the clients in off-site group housing to complete their recovery.

Government funding often covers most of the costs, except for the off-site housing, which is $450 per month.

The goal of Rock Against Heroin is to fund one-month scholarships to pay for this housing. All money raised will go directly to First Step, and those who contribute will receive a letter from the person they have helped.

Rock Against Heroin also has started a support group and is seeking volunteers who want to encourage recovering addicts.  Read more…

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