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Full Circle Recovery Center raises overdose awareness

Jun 22, 2023

The FDA has approved Opvee, which can reverse fentanyl and other opioid overdoses.

Full Circle Recovery Community Center will hold an Overdose Awareness Event Thursday, Aug. 31 from 5 to 7 p.m. at First Congregational Church, 611 First Ave.

The event will take place in the church’s east parking lot — just across from the weekly farmers market.

“We’re going to have a table, so we’ll have information on services that are available,” said Lora Lemus, peer recovery specialist at Full Circle.

Participating organizations will include Heartland Family Services, which offers substance abuse treatment and will have information on naloxone (sold under the brand name Narcan and others); Valley Hope, which offers addiction treatment and recovery; Give Recovery, which raises money to help pay for people’s treatment; and Crystal Meth Anonymous, which offers support groups and information.

Those lost to overdoses will be remembered with personalized pinwheels, and people will have an opportunity to share the story of their loved one.

Free hotdogs, chips and drinks will be furnished.

Lemus encouraged people to keep some naloxone on hand — especially if they believe they or a loved one might be at risk of an opioid overdose. The medication, which quickly reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, is available over the counter in Iowa and comes in the form of a nasal spray or injectable liquid.

It’s important that 911 dispatchers are still alerted when someone has an opioid overdose, as the effects can wear off in 30 to 90 minutes, according to the National Institutes on Drug Abuse. Naloxone does not work for cocaine or methamphetamine overdoses.

In 2021, drug overdoses took lives of 106,699 Americans. That was a 14% increase from 2020.

Full Circle Recovery Community Center offers peer-to-peer counseling and anger management and hosts a wide range of support groups, including Narcotics Anonymous, Crystal Meth Anonymous, Al-Anon, Art Therapy, Crafts and Conversation and Smart Recovery, Lemus said. Individuals are encouraged to stop in for Coffee and Conversation, “if anybody wants to come in and sit down and chat.”

Because some people are not comfortable calling on a Higher Power, most of the groups do not use the 12-step model, Lemus said. However, Narc Anon and Crystal Meth Anonymous do use that approach.

“We believe in multiple pathways to recovery,” she said.

Full Circle offers non-judgmental support with no cost or obligation, Lemus said.

“You say you’re in recovery, you’re in recovery,” she said. “We meet you where you’re at in your recovery.”

Lemus and another Full Circle staff member provide support at the Pottawattamie County Jail, she said. They also help people when they are making the transition back to the community. The organization gets referrals from Kelly Jennings in parole and probation.

“We’re hoping to grow,” she said. “We’re the only (Recovery Community Center) in Council Bluffs.”

Full Circle Recovery Community Center is located in the Omni Centre Business Park, 300 W. Broadway, Suite 112. For more information, visit or call 712-560-6360.


Here's a look at what's happening over the next couple of days in the area:

Tuesday, Aug. 22

• Check out the Treynor Farmers Market from 5 to 7 p.m. in the parking lot of the Treynor Community Center, 11 W. Main St.

Wednesday, Aug. 23

• The City of Council Bluffs will host a Pawp-Up Pup Park at Cochran Park, 100 S. 21st St., from 5 to 7 p.m. Dogs must be vaccinated and license, must be leashed upon entering and exiting and must be supervised by their owns at all times. Dog handlers must be 16 or older. Dog waste must be cleaned up immediately. Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult and supervised at all times and any incidents or conflicts should be reported to park staff. No dog food, human food or glass is allowed; no sick or aggressive dogs, no puppies under 4 months old and no dogs in heat.

• Shop the Avoca Main Street Farmers Market from 5 to 7 p.m. on the 200 block of Elm Street. Entertainment and family activities are featured from the Avoca Public Library and Avoca Main Street.

Thursday, Aug. 31

• Law enforcement officers will serve a "free" lunch at Texas Roadhouse, 3231 S. 24th St., from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The lunch is served for a freewill donation, with all funds going to Special Olympics Iowa.

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The FDA has approved Opvee, which can reverse fentanyl and other opioid overdoses.

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