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29 women graduate from Cobb County Community Services Board’s Mothers Making A Change program

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When women from Cobb County Community Services Board’s Mothers Making A Change program spoke at their graduation this month, they talked about the trauma they have overcome in their life. They spoke about moments of being at their lowest due to the ravages of substance use.

They also spoke about a new life. One where recovery is the focus and resiliency is the guide.

“I am in recovery now and recently started a new job,” one mother said. “This program embraced me when I was at my lowest, taught me how to deal with the trauma in my life, and led me on a path were I am in control of my own life. This has made me the mother I am today. A mother I am proud to be.”

On Nov. 12, 29 women graduated from MMAC, a highly structured, gender-specific, trauma responsive program that offers intensive services to pregnant women and women with children who are 18 years and older who have substance use disorders.

The event marked the program participants’ successful completion of the program and their continuous growth as individuals in long-term recovery. More than 75 people attended the ceremony at Worship With Wonders Church in Marietta.

“Women come into the MMAC program and heal parts of themselves that have been broken and hurt for many years,” said Princess Odom, clinical program coordinator of MMAC. “The world was fighting a pandemic, but in the walls of MMAC, these ladies were fighting a pandemic of their own and were able to learn the true meaning of connection in recovery.”

“With the faith and hope that these women have held in their recovery, we were able to celebrate 29 women in this graduating class, 71 children whose lives were touched by their mother’s recovery, and eight drug-free, healthy babies born in this graduating class,” Odom said.

The effort does not end at completing the MMAC program. Odom points out that the public will see these women in the community doing more to stay connected. This includes working in law offices, as peer specialist and counselors, and serving others in recovery. Many of the women from MMAC have purchased homes and vehicles of their own and contribute to society in a more productive way.

“One of the most important things we can offer to individuals with addiction — and anyone can offer this — is compassion,” said Melanie Dallas, CCCSB interim CEO. “Let’s remember, no one chooses addiction — it is a disease after all — but many people with this disease choose recovery. We support that choice and celebrate it.”

Through MMAC, individuals are empowered to get treatment and maintain their recovery, obtain and maintain employment, and consistently meet familial responsibilities. CCCSB assists in treatment, recovery and therapeutic childcare. They also help in resolving legal obligations, and make referrals for safe, affordable housing to set up a seamless transition when individuals complete the program.

CCCSB works with the Department of Family & Children Services and the courts to safely transition children back into the care of their mothers, as appropriate. Priority admission is given to pregnant mothers, IV users, individuals in inpatient treatment and Cobb County residents.

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