By Peter Finney Jr., Clarion Herald
Against the backdrop of the nation’s opioid epidemic, the Metairie Substance Addiction Ministry (SAM) will host a resource and information fair Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. at the St. Angela Merici Church gymnasium, 901 Beverly Garden Drive, Metairie.
The SAM group is a parish-based ministry that offers those afflicted with or affected by alcohol or drugs needed help, healing, hope and support through education, prevention, support and referrals.
The information night is for anyone seeking help and information about addiction and is open to members of all faiths, especially those who are having issues with alcohol or drug use as well as those who have been affected by someone else’s alcohol or drug use.
“This is for someone who is looking for a change in their life,” said Deacon Louie Bauer of St. Margaret Mary Parish in Slidell, who has coordinated the establishment of six SAM groups in the archdiocese. “This is either for people who are addicted or for persons whose loved ones are addicted. They can come and look over the resources and make an appointment later. This is like the doctors making house calls.
“With the present opioid epidemic, we see this as the perfect opportunity for the Catholic Church to offer help through counseling and resources brought together for those afflicted or affected by addiction.”
The gathering will feature speakers from AA, Al-anon and Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans as well as counselors, therapists and professionals in the field of addiction. In addition, representatives from many local addiction treatment facilities will answer questions about substance abuse and addiction.
Brochures and other resources will be available from the professionals who will introduce themselves and explain what services they provide. The evening’s purpose is to connect people who are seeking help for substance addiction with professionals who can offer their help.
The six SAM groups in the archdiocese are as follows:
- SAM Slidell, St. Margaret Mary Church, 1050 Robert Blvd., meets second and fourth Wednesdays of the month; Deacon Louie Bauer, (985) 707-7261; http://saintmmchurch.org/substance-adddiction-ministry-sam; SAM.Slidell@yahoo.com.
- SAM Mandeville, Mary Queen of Peace Church, 1501 W. Causeway Approach, meets the fourth Tuesday of the month; Nettie, (985) 626-7905.
- SAM New Orleans, St. Dominic Church, 775 Harrison Ave., meets first and third Wednesdays of the month; Mic Hartenstein, 494-4787.
- SAM Destrehan, St. Charles Borromeo Church, 13396 River Rd., meets first and third Wednesdays of the month; Mary Engler, 912-5137.
- SAM Metairie, St. Angela Merici Church, 901 Beverly Garden Drive, meets the second and fourth Mondays of the month; Lisa Carroll, 314-8271.
- SAM Marrero, Visitation of Our Lady Church, 3500 Ames Blvd., meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month; Deacon Jerry Labadot, 495-5820.Other helpful websites:
Resources of prevention, treatment and recovery: http://media.wix.com/ugd/bfe1ed_439f2d84f59c4461a4eef39a7b00596d.pdf
Substance abuse treatment facility locator: http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: http://www.samhsa.gov/
The National Institute of Drug Abuse: www.drugabuse.gov/
State of Louisiana Office of Behavioral Health (Large Addiction Recovery Resources Q&A about addiction: http://www.arrno.com/understanding-addiction/addiction-information/
AA meeting list: http://www.aaneworleans.org/meetings
Alanon meetings in Louisiana: http://www.la-al-anon.org/by-city.html
Narcotics Anonymous meeting locator: http://www.noana.org