CARMEL, N.Y.— Drug Crisis in Our Backyard had a busy September, which was National Recovery Month.

The community action organization dedicated to raising awareness and providing education to families and individuals struggling with addiction, opened an office at 16 Fair St. in Carmel. It celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting on Sept. 22. 

The organization, which was started in 2012 by Susan and Steven Salomone and Carol and Lou Christiansen after they lost their sons to a battle with addiction, also held an inaugural “Dancing in our Backyard” gala on Sept. 10. 

Sign Up for E-News

The gala honoree was Patrice Wallace-Moore, vice president of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services for Liberty Behavioral Management Inc. and the CEO of Arms Acres, a 179-bed inpatient treatment facility in Carmel and four regional outpatient clinics.

The gala, which had over 200 attendees, featured volunteers showcasing their ballroom dancing skills during a dinner at Putnam County Golf Course.

Over the last four years, Drug Crisis in Our Backyard has made significant inroads in the battle against addiction in Putnam County by bringing awareness of the rampant use of opiates to the community. Working jointly with legislators and providers throughout Putnam County in an attempt to stem the tide of local overdoses, they have been facilitating Narcan trainings (an overdose antidote), presenting to PTA/PTO organizations and hosting biweekly support groups for families dealing with the addiction of a friend or family member. Since the inception of this non-profit organization in 2012, the awareness of the opioid and addiction epidemic has become more widely recognized and numerous elected officials have taken concrete action by enacting and supporting legislation to battle the widespread epidemic.

“We are so excited to have opened our office on Fair Street in Carmel,” said Susan Salomone, executive director of Drug Crisis in our Backyard. “It gives us the visibility in the community, which is critical in reducing the stigma associated with addiction. We need to bring the problem out into the open in order to deal with it effectively.”

Steven Salomone added, “With the excellent support we received by the strong attendance at our fundraiser, ‘Dancing In Our Backyard,’ we are able to continue the work of raising awareness and educating the public. We appreciate such huge support from our community.”