FAVOR holds forum on free addiction recovery services

Published 1:25 pm Thursday, January 25, 2024

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Speakers reach out to community about life-saving efforts


CAMPOBELLO—On Tuesday, January 23, FAVOR, an upstate South Carolina drug recovery service program, held an open meeting to inform the public about the free services that they offer for addiction and substance abuse.

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FAVOR (Faces And Voices Of Recovery) held the open forum, which they called a Hope and Healing Hour, in the Campobello fire station located at 50 Broad St. The Greenville-based organization offers free addiction recovery services to individuals and family members suffering from substance abuse disorders, with recovery centers in Spartanburg, Greenville, Anderson and Oconee counties.

“FAVOR exists so that everyone in the upstate has a fighting chance of recovery,” explained CEO Lesley Pregenzer. “We know that it’s painful to watch other people struggle. FAVOR provides a compassionate response to the suffering caused by substance abuse disorder.”

Several recovery coaches told their stories of addiction and spoke about how FAVOR helped them. The speakers shared information on recovery coaching, peer recovery groups and telephone recovery support. FAVOR also provides therapeutic support to police, firefighters and first responders in their mission to prevent lives being lost to drug addiction, and grief support meetings for those who have lost loved ones.

They also offer daily recovery meetings, a women’s group and a narcotics anonymous group. 

FAVOR CEO Lesley Pregenzer speaks at the Hope and Healing Hour at the Campobello Fire Department on Tuesday, January 24. (Photo by Grant Langston)

“The ultimate goal would be to save somebody’s life, to find recovery before it’s too late,” said Hope and Healing Hour organizer and Ambassador Alician Sprouse, who has been with the program since the summer of 2020. “Right now, we have a lot of families in our community that have lost loved ones due to fentanyl, and I feel like if I can just take their hand, it helps to know that you’re not the only one that has walked that way.” 

In 2023, FAVOR hosted 368 family and support group meetings, serving over 5,500 people across the Upstate. They also fielded almost 3,300 phone calls from their telephone support line, with roughly half of these calls leading to direct referrals to recovery agencies and partners. 

The group also distributed 4,583 doses of Narcan (a drug that treats opioid overdose), with confirmation that those kits directly saved 56 lives. 

Pregenzer reported that about 35% of the population struggles with substance abuse disorders, which equates to an average of roughly 44,000 people across the Upstate. 

Speaker and Recovery Coach Chris Shipman also elaborated on FAVOR’s efforts to help Veterans in their struggles with substance abuse. 

“We’re really trying to reach the veteran community and get guys help because there’s not a ton of it out there,” said Shipman, a Marine Veteran himself. “That’s something that’s really near and dear to my heart.”

FAVOR also works with other local recovery programs, including the Phoenix Center of Greenville and the Forrester Center of Spartanburg.

“All of these recovery coaches go through 40 hours of training and ongoing supervision,” said Recovery Coach Carroll Easterling. “And all of these services are free of charge.”

The Campobello fire station will host another FAVOR meeting on February 13 at 6 p.m. 

FAVOR’s free confidential helpline can be reached at 864-430-1802, seven days a week 365 days a year. More information on the group, its meetings and services can be found at favorsc.org.

“I want to thank the FAVOR family for sharing their stories, and thank you to the officials that came out to support us,” said  Sprouse. “God’s grace is sufficient through this, but it sure helps when you have a village standing behind you, building up the hedge.”