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A Candid Conversation to Combat the Opioid Epidemic in SE Michigan and Gala Benefiting Youth Affected by Substance Abuse Disorders

Detroit Recovery Project (DRP) will host its inaugural Gala, Recovery Unmasked 30/30 – A Celebration of Recovery, Friday, July 13 at The Garden Theater, 3929 Woodward Ave in Midtown. Proceeds from this event will benefit 30 deserving college-bound young men and women whose lives have been affected by substance abuse disorders. The Gala will commemorate the 30 year sobriety anniversary of Andre Johnson, President & CEO of DRP and its 13 years of service in the community.

“I was a direct recipient of financial aid during my undergraduate studies at Morehouse College. The Joe Adams Scholarship was my saving grace for two years,” says Johnson. My goal is to pay it forward, supporting youth who often go unnoticed and who need financial support in achieving a college degree. They deserve a fighting chance for a great future.”

The day will kick off with a morning town hall meeting, “Solutions to Combating the Opioid Epidemic in Southeastern Michigan” from 8:30 a.m. until noon. Civic leaders, medical professionals and influencers dedicated to stemming the tide of addiction, will serve as facilitators. Brandon Novak, Star of MTV’s Jackass and Author of Dreamseller, will share his testimony as the keynote speaker. Confirmed panelists include Darlene Owens, Director of Substance Use Disorder Initiatives of Detroit Wayne Medical Health Association (DWMHA), Monique Stanton, President & CEO of CARE of SE Michigan, Detroit City Councilman Scott Benson, and Lt. Governor Brian Calley. WXYZ Channel 7 reporter Andrea Isom will serve as Mistress of Ceremony during the morning session. The event will culminate with the release of 30 white doves that symbolize healing and recovery.

Over the past ten years, the number of deaths from prescription drugs and illicit opioids doubled from 21,089 deaths across the nation in 2010 to 42,249 in 2016. From 1999 to 2016, the total number of overdose deaths involving any type of opioid increased more than 17 times in Michigan, from 99 to 1,699. Although there exists a high-level of concerted efforts around addressing the opioid epidemic in our nation, the urban and inner city communities still lack sufficient resources to address this crisis. Detroit Recovery Project has been instrumental in providing recovery support services to people affected by the opioid crisis in these communities.

The Inaugural Gala will culminate with a VIP networking mixer and dinner, from 6-7:30 p.m. and a Black & White Gala from 8:00 p.m. until midnight which includes live music, a special performance by National R&B artist Chante Moore, and a non-alcoholic celebratory toast. Tickets range from $30-$150 and include giveaways, medicated assisted therapy, overdose strategies, book signing and autograph and photo opportunities with special guests.

To purchase tickets, visit Eventbrite at http://www.recoveryunmasked3030.eventbrite.com. Sponsors have a choice to select the various level of exposure and benefits from sponsorship. Packages are available and customizable upon request. The Detroit Recovery Project Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, visit recovery4detroit.com to learn more. For more information email Nicole Lee at nicole.lee@recovery4detroit.com or Kau Gofan at kgofan@recovery4detroit.com

About the Detroit Recovery Project

Detroit Recovery Project (DRP) is an established peer-led, peer-ran, peer-driven, premiere Recovery Community Organization. Since 2005, DRP has successfully provided substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery services in the metropolitan Detroit area. DRP is a multi-service agency that provides a source of support for individuals with a desire to maintain long-term recovery and has been successful in assisting members with rebuilding and reshaping their lives utilizing peer-to-peer recovery support strategies.

DRP is a private non-profit corporation dedicated to supporting recovery which strengthens, rebuilds, and empowers individuals, families and communities who are experiencing co-occurring mental illness, and substance use disorders. This is accomplished by ensuring access to integrated networks of effective and culturally competent holistic health services.

The Detroit Recovery Project Coalition evolved from the creation of the Detroit Recovery Project, Inc. and its birth was catalyzed by the concern of recovery-parents who wanted to ensure that their children do not return to substance abuse.

Once the foundation was incorporated, Andre Johnson began seeking partnerships with various stakeholders in the city of Detroit that previously had a relationship with the Detroit Recovery Project, Inc. Today, the Detroit Recovery Project Coalition is comprised of a variety of state, local, and community agencies, and individuals that have a passion and commitment to keeping youth in the city of Detroit drug free.

DRP also oversees an ex-offender program that helps them reintegrate successfully into the Detroit community with an aim of reducing recidivism. Since its inception in 2005, the DRP has devoted more than $15 million (via federal, county and local funding) to its mission to help Detroiters become drug-free and productive citizens.

About Andre Johnson

Andre L. Johnson, a native Detroiter, is currently the President/CEO of the Detroit Recovery Project–a multi-service agency that provides a wide spectrum of support services to the city’s recovery community. Mr. Johnson has over 23 years of professional work experience, exemplifying a long-standing commitment and dedication to the field of substance abuse. Respected also for his people and negotiation skills, Mr. Johnson played an integral role in re-establishing positive relationships between adolescents and their families at the Wolverine Human Services (Detroit). Moreover, Andre worked with the Fulton County Juvenile Detention Center and Youthful Survivors where he spoke to over 20,000 students in the Atlanta Metropolitan Public School System while pursuing academic studies in Atlanta, Georgia.

Mr. Johnson sits on a variety of committees and advisory boards. Mr. Johnson was recently appointed by U.S. Secretary of Health of Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) – National Advisory Council. He is a member of the Detroit-Wayne Mental Health Authority Implementation Committee. Mr. Johnson is a board member of the Wayne Center–an agency that provides services for the mentally ill and the developmentally disabled.

Mr. Johnson is a former faculty member for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals/Drug Court Planning Initiative of the Faculty Training Institute. Mr. Johnson was also co-host of the “Beating the Odds” and “Recovery Talk”; radio programs discussing various issues as it relates to the prevention and treatment of substance abuse and the curtailing of tobacco usage throughout the city of Detroit. Mr. Johnson was also the co-host of “Total Recovery” radio program in Detroit, Michigan. Mr. Johnson provided consultation on behalf of the United States President Emergency Plan Against Aids abroad to the Department of Ministry of Health, in Dar Es Salaam, Zanzibar, Tanzania.

Mr. Johnson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Morehouse College (Atlanta, Georgia) and a Masters of Arts degree in organizational management from the University of Phoenix. Mr. Johnson is trained certified recovery coach and considered an expert in his field he is invited frequently to present at seminars, workshops, and as a keynote or motivational speaker to not only those in recovery but youth, adults, families, and substance abuse professionals. In addition, he is currently a national trainer for Great Lakes Addiction Transfer Technology Center. In 2013 was the recipient of the prestigious Vernon Johnson award from Faces and Voices of Recovery.

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