SANFORD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A couple in Sanford plans to open a new recovery center for people struggling with substance use disorder.
Rob and Jess Libby are opening the third "Celebrate Recovery" center at the New Beginnings Church on Graham Road. "Celebrate Recovery" is a national, faith-based recovery program that was created 26 years ago. Rob is the Maine representative for the organization.
”Recovery has given me everything that substances promised," said Jess.
Both Jess and Rob struggled with substance use disorder. Jess was prescribed pain pills after suffering a neck injury, and eventually turned to heroin as a cheaper option. She has now been clean for more than three years. Her husband, Rob, broke has back in an IED explosion when he was serving as a Marine in Iraq in 2006. He struggled with abusing pain pills, but is now sober.
”I always said I would never use heroin," said Jess. "My habit was ranging from $150 to $300 a day.”
She said she required 24-hour support to finally break away from drug use, and that the process did not happen overnight.
”I still lived in the area I used. Every time I left the house, everything was a trigger for me," said Jess.
”I think one of the biggest struggles people have is they don’t have support from their families and friends. They’re looked down upon negatively by their family and friends, and lot of them don’t have the financial means. If it saves just one person’s life, it’s worth it," said Rob Libby.
Libby said "Celebrate Recovery" is a free program.
Sanford Police Chief Thomas Connolly said that in addition to support through treatment, a person must want to stop using.
”If you don’t have that, then you’re wasting your time. And you have to have readily available evidence based treatment. If you don’t have both, then the system can’t work," said Chief Connolly.
The Libbys lost a friend of 30 years just a month ago to an overdose. Now, in the sanctuary at the church, are two plants, dedicated to her. They held her funeral at their church.
“It was the phone call I dreaded for years before. It opened my eyes to my own family and what I had put them through as well. It could have been them receiving that phone call," said Jess.
There are 22 "Celebrate Recovery" locations in Maine, including two in state correctional facilities: the Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset, and the Women's Correctional Facility in Windham. Rob said they plan to open another in Lincoln this year.