By Kathy L. Collins

If you or someone you know or love is struggling with addiction to opioids, a new organization located in the South Shore area has been formed to help. The CATE Foundation (Combat Addiction Through Education) was founded in October by a group of like-minded individuals who have been personally affected by the Opioid Crisis.

President and co-founder, Tina Patch said, “I want to lessen the chances of another parent going through years of anguish and desperation like I did.”
The mission of the CATE Foundation is to educate the community about the scientific nature of addiction; to provide educational and treatment resources for those who are in recovery; to empower those in recovery to be better community members; and to help conquer the stigma of addiction.

CATE Foundation will begin holding monthly forums where attendees will discuss ways the community can help combat this epidemic. The forums will feature speakers who are experts in treatment and recovery. Specifically, each forum will have an educational portion which explains to the community why the Opioid Crisis is harmful and why it is happening.

The first such forum will be held on Saturday, January 27, 2018 from 12 to 9 p.m. at the Event Hall at the Barn at Winthrop located in Riverview. According to Patch, “After each forum, a fundraising event will be held. The fundraiser will start with a vendor/business showcase, a quarter auction and a silent auction.” The funds raised will go toward opening an outpatient resource center in the South Shore community. The forums will be held at various venues. The cost for vendors will be $25 per table. The CATE Foundation is seeking business vendors for these upcoming forums.

The CATE Foundation is a registered Non-Profit Corporation with the state of Florida, and will be a 501 (c )(3) as soon as the IRS approves their application. The CATE Foundation hopes to provide many services for individuals and families dealing with the Opioid Crisis. These will include a resource center; peer, family and group counseling sessions designed to rebuild self-esteem and teach life/coping skills; and provide educational and job opportunities for those in recovery. Additionally, they hope to provide transportation, communication devices, hygiene and clothing for those who are transitioning to work or school.
As opioid overdoses continue to rise, the crisis affects the entire community socially, economically and physically. As such, classes on various subjects will be open to the community.

For more information on the CATE Foundation, please visit www.2cate.org.