The Chris Atwood Foundation

The Chris Atwood Foundation Our vision is to create communities where substance use disorder is recognized as a preventable and treatable disease so that people who suffer from it can experience the love, understanding, and support needed to live full lives in recovery.
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The Chris Atwood Foundation began in 2013 after the Atwood family lost their son and brother, Chris, to an accidentally fatal heroin overdose. He passed away at age 21, following a 6 year battle with addiction. The CAF is a 501(c)3 charitable organization that strengthens the addiction recovery movement through education, stigma reduction, and recovery support services. We do this through: - Educating the public about the disease of addiction - Training the public how to administer naloxone to reverse an opioid overdose - Increasing public access to recovery and harm reduction resources - Supporting recovery communities on college campuses - Stigma-reducing educational presentations - Scholarships to local Recovery Houses - Advocating for public policy changes that promote recovery

Mission: The Chris Atwood Foundation mission is to save lives from opioid overdose, support recovery from substance use disorder, and defeat the stigma of this treatable brain disease.

Photos from The Chris Atwood Foundation's post
07/28/2020

Photos from The Chris Atwood Foundation's post

Henry is #hikingforhope2020 in Manassas and looking stylish too!
07/25/2020

Henry is #hikingforhope2020 in Manassas and looking stylish too!

07/25/2020

Hiking for hope live kick off๏ฟผ!

07/25/2020

Join us live at 9am for a special kickoff of Hiking for Hope!

07/21/2020

The Chris Atwood Foundation is aware of a video that surfaced on Saturday, July 18th. The actions and words of the individual in the video are vile and repugnant and absolutely do not represent the staff, board, or supporters of The Chris Atwood Foundation. We have no tolerance for discrimination, racism, or hatred. The individual in the video is not an employee or ambassador of our foundation. Please direct any further questions to us via direct message.

The Chris Atwood Foundation is now on Instagram! We are excited to give you a closer look at the everyday work our organ...
07/20/2020

The Chris Atwood Foundation is now on Instagram! We are excited to give you a closer look at the everyday work our organization does- Follow us today @thechrisatwoodfoundation!

Thank you to all who have registered or donated to Hiking for Hope! Spencer has now conquered over 800 miles of the 2,65...
07/13/2020

Thank you to all who have registered or donated to Hiking for Hope! Spencer has now conquered over 800 miles of the 2,650 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail. Throughout his journey, Spencer has battled the blazing hot temperatures of the Mojave Desert as well as terrible altitude sickness while climbing through the Sierra Nevada Mountains- let's show our support for Spencer and join him on July 25th by celebrating our ability to walk, run, or hike in honor of those we have lost too soon to substance use disorder. Help us reach our goal of $29,000- $1,000 for every year Christopher lived, and should have lived.

SIGN UP OR DONATE HERE: https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/hiking4hope?fbclid=IwAR0W0qvUY9w19uR4bmmo-sxCH-P0iTlrO10pTsc8ww9ZgLHHsyU73NFLZho

Dear Friends,My son would have been 29 today. It's a difficult day for us as a family, but as we mark the passage of ano...
07/03/2020
Hiking for Hope

Dear Friends,

My son would have been 29 today. It's a difficult day for us as a family, but as we mark the passage of another year without him we want to focus on what we can do to prevent this tragedy from happening to others.

In memory of Chris' Birthday this year, I ask that you consider joining us for Hiking for Hope, our first virtual 5k (and 1k!) Chris' best friend Spencer is somewhere in the Sierra Nevada mountains right now hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in memory of Chris and all the others we have lost. On July 25th, we will band together and walk/run/hike with Spencer, to memorialize our loved ones and raise $29,000 - a thousand for every year of the life Chris lived, and should have lived - to save as many lives as possible.

Please join us for this incredibly important event as we honor those we have lost, especially my son.

In Gratitude Today and Always,
Mark Atwood

Please join us in supporting Spencer's incredible 2,650 mile journey by walking and raising funds to save lives and support recovery!

We're now hiring a full-time peer outreach worker! Those with a history of substance use who have been in recovery for ๐š...
07/02/2020

We're now hiring a full-time peer outreach worker! Those with a history of substance use who have been in recovery for ๐š๐ญ ๐ฅ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐ญ ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐ฒ๐ž๐š๐ซ are encouraged to apply. The full job description is below- applicants may send their resume and cover letter to: [email protected]

Three new laws that we helped get passed go into effect today! Thank you to all the advocates and organizations who band...
07/01/2020

Three new laws that we helped get passed go into effect today! Thank you to all the advocates and organizations who banded together to demand better for people with substance use disorder.

๐‡๐๐Ÿ•๐Ÿ—๐Ÿ - ๐‚๐จ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ž๐ก๐ž๐ง๐ฌ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐‡๐š๐ซ๐ฆ ๐‘๐ž๐๐ฎ๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐๐ซ๐จ๐ ๐ซ๐š๐ฆ๐ฌ.

๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐๐จ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ข๐ญ ๐๐จ?
Expands access to these life-saving harm reduction programs STATEWIDE, and simplifies the process of starting a program.

๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ž๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ž๐œ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž?
Many years of evidence prove that CHR programs reduce HIV and Hep C rates, reduce overdose death, and result in 5x as many people entering treatment.

๐’๐๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ• - ๐’๐š๐Ÿ๐ž ๐‘๐ž๐ฉ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐Ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐๐จ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฌ

๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐๐จ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ข๐ญ ๐๐จ?
Provides protection from arrest to individuals who are calling for help to report an overdose. Also protects the individual who has overdosed.

๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ž๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ž๐œ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž?
More lives will be saved when people feel safe to call for help instead of run.

๐’๐๐Ÿ—๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ‘ - โ€œ๐ƒ๐š๐ง๐ง๐ฒโ€™๐ฌ ๐๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅโ€

๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐๐จ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ข๐ญ ๐๐จ?
Establishes protocols and best practices in hospital emergency departments for the treatment and discharge of individuals experiencing a substance-related emergency.

๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ž๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ž๐œ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž?
Encourage hospitals to strengthen their supports and resource linkage for individuals with substance related emergencies. We will be going back in 2021 to strengthen some of this language.

Special thanks to Senators Boysko and Vogel, and Delegate Plum for their support, and Virginia Harm Reduction Coalition, Saara Of Virginia, and McShin Foundation for their advocacy.

The Chris Atwood Foundation's cover photo
06/30/2020

The Chris Atwood Foundation's cover photo

From the deserts of California, we are proud to announce our loyal adventurer, Spencer Brothers has clocked over 600 of ...
06/21/2020

From the deserts of California, we are proud to announce our loyal adventurer, Spencer Brothers has clocked over 600 of 2,650 miles on his journey from Mexico to Canada!

As Spencer continues his incredible adventure in support of The Chris Atwood Foundation, we hope that you will join us on July 25th for Hiking for Hope โ€“ a virtual 1K or 5K as we support and figuratively hike alongside Spencer.

After months of social isolation and stay at home orders letโ€™s get outside and shake off the cabin fever! You can complete your 1K or 5K at your local park, favorite hiking trail, or even with a walk through your neighborhood. Register below or click the link to create a team and fundraise on your own, all in support of The Chris Atwood Foundation as we continue providing our live saving resources to those suffering from substance use disorder.

SIGN UP HERE: https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/hiking4hope

We have given our staff the day off to observe Juneteenth. Juneteenth is a day to celebrate the last slaves being freed ...
06/19/2020

We have given our staff the day off to observe Juneteenth. Juneteenth is a day to celebrate the last slaves being freed in the US, but itโ€™s also a day to act. Some say itโ€™s in the past, but centuries of slavery, oppression, and racist policies donโ€™t just evaporate in less than a generation. We still have a long way to go to rid our nation of these threats to true freedom - the core value this country was founded on.

You can start by supporting black lead organizations fighting to end racist policies and the racist war on drugs, by talking to your local legislators, and having those difficult conversations with friends and family who may not understand the importance of this opportunity.

WE ARE SO EXCITED to announce two things:1. Spencer Bothers just walked 500 miles!! (Cue the Proclaimers song) Only 2,15...
06/14/2020
Hiking for Hope

WE ARE SO EXCITED to announce two things:

1. Spencer Bothers just walked 500 miles!! (Cue the Proclaimers song) Only 2,150 to go..
2. To celebrate, we are officially launching his fundraiser and our virtual Walk/Run/Hike with Spencer Day!

Spencer has set a goal to raise $29,000 on his walk because if Christopher had lived he would have been 29 this July. These funds will support our work to save lives and support recovery from substance use disorder.

Here is what you can do:
1. Register for the 1k or 5k, lace up your sneakers and Run/Walk/or Hike with Spencer on July 25th.
2. Donate! Every dollar counts.
3. Join a team and fundraise with us
4. Share this news!

Please join us in supporting Spencer's incredible 2,650 mile journey by walking and raising funds to save lives and support recovery!

As the nation, and world, continues to have important conversations about racism, we would like to ask you to take actio...
06/05/2020

As the nation, and world, continues to have important conversations about racism, we would like to ask you to take action to lift up another black-lead organization in the recovery and harm reduction space.

SpiritWorks Foundation Center for the Soul, based in Williamsburg and Warren, Virginia is a recovery community organization fighting for the lives, welfare, and voices of individuals with substance use disorder. We know that black individuals are disproportionately and unfairly targeted by the criminal justice system for drug related charges. This is an injustice we are committed to fight against.

SpiritWorks is collecting donations for the black recovery community in Minneapolis. Funds will be used to help them purchase the following essential items: Baby diapers, formula, naloxone, tissue, soap, deodorants, and gas cards. Please donate what you can today to help support this critical work:

https://www.spiritworksfoundation.org/donate-2

Black America, we see you. We are so sorry for all the hurt you have suffered, and are continuing to suffer. We stand wi...
06/01/2020
Donate

Black America, we see you. We are so sorry for all the hurt you have suffered, and are continuing to suffer. We stand with you. You matter. Your lives, your pain, your voice, your children, your stories - they all matter.

We were supposed to launch a fundraiser for our programs today, but as a primarily white-lead organization, weโ€™ve instead decided to ask you to take this day to donate to our friends at an incredible, black-lead organization, Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Coalition. They are saving black lives and fighting racist policies every day. They have compiled a great set of resources to educate yourself and act on this topic. If you do not donate, please read through their resources, pick three things on the list, and do them: https://linktr.ee/paharmreduction

As a non-profit statewide coalition, the Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Coalition is thankful for the resources that have allowed us to put this project together to bring about long-lasting change within individuals, families, and communities throughout the state of Pennsylvania. Given the seriousness....

Decreased supply may sound like a good thing to some, but it comes with deadly consequences.
05/20/2020
Changes In Opioid Supply Create New Risks As Stay-At-Home Rules Ease

Decreased supply may sound like a good thing to some, but it comes with deadly consequences.

The disruption in the illegal opioid trade had varying impacts around the country. As stay-at-home orders lift, that creates different risks of overdose that public health is trying to manage.

Our recovery hero, Spencer Brothers, has logged the first 100 miles of his Hiking for Hope journey to support people wit...
05/19/2020

Our recovery hero, Spencer Brothers, has logged the first 100 miles of his Hiking for Hope journey to support people with substance use disorder - only 2,550 more to go! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

HEโ€™S AT IT AGAIN! We are so excited to announce that the incredible Spencer Brothers is off and running on his next hike...
05/11/2020

HEโ€™S AT IT AGAIN! We are so excited to announce that the incredible Spencer Brothers is off and running on his next hike in honor of Christopher, and all those we have lost to overdose. Here is an excerpt from Spencerโ€™s letter stating why he is hiking 2,650 miles โ€“ from Mexico to Canada.

โ€œOn February 23, 2013, the world lost Christopher William Atwood. Chris was my best friend, and the funniest, liveliest ball of loving energy Iโ€™ve ever met. Chris died from a heroin overdose at the age of 21. As intelligent and headstrong as Chris was, addiction eventually claimed his life, despite many often sustained periods of sobriety. I also struggled with substance use disorder. I got lucky. I have been sober for 9 years as of February 27, 2020.

By walking the entire length of the Pacific Crest Trail, I hope to inspire others to donate to The Chris Atwood Foundation, an organization that means so much to me. I aim to finish the trail by October, and by that time, Chris would be 29 years old if he were still alive.โ€

We are in the process of formalizing a fundraising site for Hiking for Hope. Further details and information will be coming soon. In the meantime, we are so proud and grateful for Spencer and the journey he is embarking on!

To track Spencer's progress use this link: https://share.garmin.com/whereisspencer

Join us for a virtual naloxone training lead by our awesome peer support specialist, Kristy! She'll show you how to resp...
05/07/2020

Join us for a virtual naloxone training lead by our awesome peer support specialist, Kristy! She'll show you how to respond to an overdose and how you can get your free naloxone kit.

You all are incredible. Thanks to you, our loyal supporters, we hit our COVID-19 Emergency Relief goal. Together we rais...
05/06/2020

You all are incredible. Thanks to you, our loyal supporters, we hit our COVID-19 Emergency Relief goal. Together we raised $20,005!

Thank you for allowing us to help our communities most vulnerable during this national pandemic. Our clients need us, and because of you we can answer.

We are forever grateful!

Can you push us over the finish line? We have $70 left to go for us to reach our COVID-19 Emergency Relief goal. We know...
05/06/2020
Help us serve our clients during the COVID-19 crisis.

Can you push us over the finish line? We have $70 left to go for us to reach our COVID-19 Emergency Relief goal. We know we can do this!

https://chrisatwoodfoundation.networkforgood.com/projects/97116-covid-19-emergency-relief-fund

As you know, addiction does not stop in the face of an international pandemic, and isolation, job loss, and stress are all barriers to maintaining sobriety. Those in active use are particularly vulnerable to overdose and serious complications from...

The Chris Atwood Foundation is excited to reveal our new logo! The change reflects the growth and evolution of our organ...
05/01/2020

The Chris Atwood Foundation is excited to reveal our new logo! The change reflects the growth and evolution of our organization over the last several years. The nautical star, which many of you know has special meaning to us, is a connecting element between the old and the new. It was the large forearm tattoo that Christopher got at age 16 which he became know for, but it also symbolizes a beacon of hope for finding your way in life - something The CAF has always sought to help with.

The addition of the mosaic design combines the symbolism of unity, diversity, and the appreciation that things of beauty can be made from broken pieces. We're excited to carry this new symbol and meaning forward as we continue to grow our services for individuals and families impacted by substance use.

Special thanks to our wonderful designer, Allison Byers, for her talent and hard work!

Address

PO Box 9282
Reston, VA
20195

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Videos

Chrisโ€™s Story

Chris Atwood was one hell of a guy. As a young child he was sensitive and deep, always looking for ways to help his family. As he matured he grew a zany sense of humor, able to make anyone around him laugh. Laughter was his medicine and he shared it with everyone, but it was also a mask, under which he hid deep pain.

He had a brilliant mind and intense depth of feeling, so he struggled intellectually and emotionally with the toughest questions in life. He had an uncanny ability to reach people on a deep level and thrived on relationships with others. This made him a great friend and listener, but his empathy for others also enhanced his profound sensitivity to the pain in this world. That, coupled with newly developing depression and anxiety, left him struggling to cope with his emotions. He discovered that self-medication helped him feel better, and when an older boy introduced him to heroin at the age of 15 he was instantly hooked.

He spiraled out of control rapidly - and before long admitted that he needed help. After that he was in and out of treatment 7 times over the next 6 years. Two years before his death he was stabilized on MAT and made drastic improvements. He went to support meetings and the gym almost every single day. He went back to school and graduated. He looked healthy and strong - we had our Christopher back! Unfortunately though, he acutely felt the stigma against people who use pharmacotherapy (MAT) for opioid addiction. He was pressured to go off his medication because he wasnโ€™t truly โ€œclean.โ€ So he did, and less than two months later he was gone forever.

Throughout his battle he met many others struggling with the same pain he had. Chrisโ€™ greatest goal in life was to spread healing and laughter to those that felt like he did, and he was very good at it. Many of his friends from the 12-step community and the treatment centers he attended have said the same thing - to them, Chris Atwood was a light in a dark place. Some credited him with saving their lives.

May his light shine on forever through our work.

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Comments

Training in Oakton VA
This is the 1st video in a new series called "Addiction A to Z." Please watch & share! Video link: https://goo.gl/YAZGH3
I was just trying to make an admittedly small donation, but the Facebook link wouldn't let me continue. Please let me know when I can help in some small part.
I wanted to share that Melody Beattie wrote a wonderful book entitled Codependent No More. Anyone struggling with addiction or family and friends who have a love one who deals with it, this book can be a life changer!