Few things make Amy Parker happier than being with her nearly 3-year-old daughter, even when they’re at a place where addiction is everywhere.
“With BrightView, we have 24 hours, seven days a week access,” Parker said, with her daughter by her side.
Parker works at BrightView, a treatment facility, as a peer recovery supporter. Her position is certified by Ohio’s Mental Health and Addiction Services agency.
“I was battling substance use disorder for about 16 years,” Parker said. “Most of the more hardcore, more dangerous substances, but it was opioids consistently throughout that time. And it was usually pain medicine from being over-prescribed, and then it led to heroin.”
Parker, sober for six years, is on a mission to help anyone battling a substance use disorder.
“It’s an incredible experience to be able to have a career that requires that I’m in recovery for my substance use disorder,” Parker said. “I am literally turning my past into an empowered place for me and for so many other people.”
People like Parker are becoming commonplace at BrightView, which operates treatment facilities in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Walnut Hills, as well as Norwood, Colerain Township and Fairfield.
“We’re realizing how important it is,” said Hanna McGrath, BrightView’s community outreach manager. “People want to talk to somebody that understands what they’re going through.”
McGrath said people seeking help also need to know that old treatment methods are rapidly evolving.
“We really believe in giving people an exceptional level of compassion and care,” McGrath said. “When people come in, they’re connected with a full medical, clinical team with us within the first 48 hours.”
Parker knows just how valuable that kind of approach is.
“Extremely powerful, extremely,” she said.
Parker said she’s grateful for each new day, her faith and the support she’s received from her family. She said when she was using drugs, her parents expected to receive a phone call to find out she was dead.