Group gives makeovers to clients recovering from addiction

WCPOPublished: December 6, 2017
Published: December 6, 2017

Deborah Corey hadn't worn makeup in 30 years, but getting a makeover meant a lot to her. "It felt kind of good, really," she said. Corey is a recovering addict, 15 months clean.  "I put a lot of work into it," she said. "But UMADAOP has put as much work into it as I have." UMADAOP is the Urban Minority Alcohol and Drug Abuse Outreach Program. This holiday season, the addiction treatment program has arranged free makeovers for some clients, putting a face on recovery from heroin addiction.  "It's important to build self-esteem and to allow other people to see that treatment really does work," Dr. Kamaria Tyehimba, the president and CEO of UMADAOP of Cincinnati said.  UMADAOP says the majority of their clients are African-American. But they say that population has been left out of the discussion on opioid addiction.  "We do have African-Americans using opioid-based drugs," Tyehimba said. "And we're not necessarily proud of that. It just is." The 38-year-old organization serves about 300 people each year. It was founded by the late state Rep. William Mallory Sr. UMADAOP Board Chair De Asa Nichols also said the issue has impacted the African American community. "We want to turn that around and show that there is hope," Nichols said. Their average client is male, African-American, between the ages of 45 and 65 and has been using drugs for 20-30 years. But they see clients from all backgrounds finding success with medically-assisted treatment, counseling and other services.  "I've been given a second chance," Corey said.

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