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Drop-In Center’s second location sees success during first year of operation

Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 6:32 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Change is inevitable, and at the Drop-In Center, it marks time.

“We have about 115 people enrolled, and over the course of the entire year we have distributed 25,000 syringes, and we have taken back 21,700-ish,” said Lisa Via, the comprehensive harm reduction coordinator for the center.

From the needle exchange program to free Narcan, and Hepatitis C testing, the goal is meeting people where they are, and keeping them alive.

“I had heard about the Drop-In Center, I went in and done the intake and everything, but at this time I still hadn’t decided that I wanted to quit, didn’t want any type of help. I was independent, drugs were my life, I needed my next fix, if you will,” said former participant, Becky Asbury.

For Asbury, that next fix didn’t always come safely.

“And at the time before the Drop-In Center became a big thing or whatever, it was hard to find the stuff you needed to do your drugs if you will,” said Asbury.

Asbury says throughout 2020 she experienced her worst relapse but was also able to break free of addiction.

She credits Keith Childress.

”I got off work and I see a young lady walking down Williamson Road and she was crying, I pull over, ask her if she needs a ride,” said Childress.

”I don’t know, something about him was comforting and warming and I started talking to him and crying and he tried to convince me to go to treatment,” said Asbury.

Keith, who’s been clean himself since June of 2018, is a peer recovery specialist for the Drop-In Center. He didn’t know if he would hear from Becky again after that night, but he did, and to this day, they remain friends.

“He would pray for me and talk with me and he was a constant in my life, after burning every bridge that I had and because of staying clean, I’m getting my family back. I had the drive once before but its much stronger this time,” said Asbury.

It’s that strength that keeps the vision of the drop-in center alive, and there’s hope that in another year, even more lives will change.

“Our participants are all our success stories, walking through that door is a success for someone,” said Via.

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