Posted by Sean Friedland on Jun 18, 2019
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Warminster Rotary Foundation has been awarded a matching Grant from Rotary District 7430 for the implementation of a new YMCA program; YMCA of Bucks County's Back to You Substance Recovery Program. All dollars raised will be gifted to the program with a match up to $2625.00 by the district.
 
Substance abuse is significantly impacting communities across Pennsylvania. Y’s are experiencing the impact of this crisis first-hand in our facilities, early childhood education centers, school age programs and summer day camps as we care for children whose parents are struggling with addiction. It is an issue changing the dynamics of entire families and many generations. The impact of substance abuse upon the families we serve is substantial and our staff and volunteers have witnessed the significant impact of the opioid epidemic. We recognize the need to offer resources for the community and prepare our staff to deal with challenges associated with addictive behaviors. After researching extensively, we found that there are no health/wellness programs available in Bucks County to support people in the maintenance stages of recovery.
In 2017, Y staff assembled a committee of community leaders on the front line in substance abuse issues and treatment. The goal of this committee has been to create an evidence-based program that will allow participants to embrace healthier lifestyles, reduce cravings and achieve important social milestones that lead to overall wellness and stability. Together, with the Y, the committee created Back to You (B2U) to address the needs of those in recovery in Bucks County.

B2U is a free "pathway" program which serves small groups of 8-10 adults, 18+, who are currently in the active stages of treatment or recently post treatment in Bucks County.  B2U is not a treatment program.  The goal of B2U is to help increase the level of success in addiction recovery through nutrition, exercise and positive peer support. B2U program components include group physical health/wellness training, nutrition, YMCA family memberships and a community service project. Child care is offered during program sessions. Preand post program assessments are used to determine the effectiveness of the program and make quality improvements.

B2U was launched successfully at our Warminster Y branch in March 2018 after a year of planning. The program is open to all YMCA members and non-members and includes components of exercise, recreation and social support. Participants meet twice per week, for 1.5 hours for 12 weeks. Classes focus on strength, cardio, flexibility, nutrition and meditation. All participants must be referred to the program by their counselor. The Y partners with treatment programs and counselors in the area who are on our approved mental health professional list for participant referrals.
100% participant attendance at all 24 sessions is optimal. Participants are required to attend at least 20 of the 24 classes and perform a community service project as a group. During the program, all participants receive a free 12-week family YMCA membership. Upon successful completion of the program, each participant receives an additional 12-week free membership to the YMCA. Participants have access to Stay and Play which is a safe and engaging program for all children while their parents enjoy the benefits of YMCA’s wellness programs.
The program is implemented by a YMCA facilitator, personal trainer and group exercise instructor.  Staff who are working directly with program participants are HIPAA certified with enhanced focus on privacy for participants and their families. We are collaborating with Doylestown Hospital staff who will serve as the HIPAA training center.  In addition, the Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission has provided Narcan training and supplies to YMCA staff at all locations. Resources for those struggling with substance abuse issues will be available on the YMCA’s website.

The Warminster Rotary Club’s involvement in programs like YMCA’s B2U program reflect the challenges many members face in their professional careers. The Warminster Club’s membership includes active participation from Chief of Police James Donnelly, District Judge Daniel Finello, CEO of Warminster Hospital Katie Farrell, Township Supervisor Greg Schuster, YMCA Development Staff Ahema Asare, Board of Supervisors Mark Mckee, and Dr. David Baugh, Superintendent of Centennial School District. The Rotary members mentioned above and many other members have been directly impacted professionally and personally by family of friends dealing with addiction.  In this capacity many Rotarians will be able to provide information to the Warminster community about B2U as a resource to aid and supplement the recovery process from opioid abuse.