LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WKBW) — Even though opioid overdose deaths are trending down, the number of people struggling with addiction continues to be a major concern - especially among women addicts who are often overlooked in male-oriented recovery programs.
"There are so many sources for men and so little sources for women," said Elizabeth Miller, a former x-ray technician who is trying to recover from a heroin addiction.
"Women are still considered a second-class citizen, especially when it comes to addiction," added Avi & Julie Israel, co-founders of "Save the Michaels of the World."
During a ceremony attended by many dignitaries, including Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, Save the Michaels cut the ribbon on a new "House of Hope Niagara" recovery center at 81 Walnut Street in Lockport.
The center is the second House of Hope and the first in Niagara County (The other House of Hope is in Buffalo). It was created with the idea of being a true "walk in" recovery center where addicts can enter and get immediate action for treatment options.
In addition, House of Hope Niagara will offer several women-only programs to make it more comfortable for women, and women with babies, to stay with their recovery effort.
"We did a movie night, we did facials, we did hair and nails . . . just a safe environment to get together," said Angela Fox, a former heroin addict who is now working as a recovery coach and creating programs tailored for women in House of Hope Niagara.
Fox said she was shocked at how few women-oriented recovery programs are out there, and using co-ed programs ended up with her being "hit on" by male addicts in recovery looking to pick her up.
Co-ed programs can also be difficult for mothers with young children because of babysitting issues and less-understanding men who are annoyed by babies acting like babies, explained Fox.
As a result, House of Hope Niagara was designed to be child friendly.
House of Hope Niagara can be reached at 716.302.3960