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Watertown nonprofit will open a resource center to help heroin addicts stay clean

Julia Botero
Pivot's community center will be located in Watertown's Marcy building.

A nonprofit in Watertown will receive $1.7 million to open a resource center for recovering drug addicts and their families. PIVOT is one of six non-profits throughout New York state to receive funding to help stop the heroin crisis in their communities.

Anita Seefried-Brown, who works with PIVOT, said the center is a culmination of everything she and the community have worked for since heroin first hit Jefferson County hard.

“I am absolutely ecstatic," said Seefried-Brown who lost her son to heroin addiction the day after his 33rd birthday. She has since worked with families throughout the county who all want the same thing -- to stop witnessing friends and loved ones die from their drug addiction. The group called The Alliance for Better Communities applied for the state grant in October.

“It became apparent that our area is severely underserved as far as addiction and recovery services so when the opportunity arose, that really was a godsend.”

Seefried-Brown said the center will now be a place for anyone who is affected by addiction. If a current user comes in off the street, a professional at the center can direct them to the kind of treatment they need. A mother, father or friend of someone struggling will be able to find support groups and other kinds of information. The center will also be a place where a person in early recovery can go to do yoga, meditate and talk to people during the days and weekends.

“It’s becoming more recognized that alternative of methods of helping to treat addiction is a great advantage. Those services will also be eventually be offered in the recovery center.”

Plans are to open the center in the Marcy Building in downtown Watertown just downstairs from PIVOT's offices. Seefried-Brown says the group hopes to open the center by the beginning of next year.