Sarah Howroyd has been honored by the Hartford Courant as one of their unsung heroes because of her hard work and compassion to change the lives of others. Sarah became addicted to oxycodone after a serious accident in 2005. She abused the pills and then started using heroin, a habit that continued until 2012, when she found herself in the emergency room. Today, she is sober and the co-founder of the Heroin/Opioid Prevention and Education Initiative (HOPE) — a partnership between police in Manchester and local hospitals and service providers to help addicts get, and stay, sober.

In recent years, Manchester, Sarah’s hometown, has seen an increase in opioid-related deaths. After getting and staying clean, Sarah decided that she needed to do something about Manchester’s opiod problem. So, she met with Manchester Police Chief Marc Montminy. The two joined forces and partnered with Manchester Memorial Hospital and Community Health Resources to connect addicts to treatment specialists and support groups.

The UConn School of Social Work, in coordination with the DMHAS Research Division, has been working with Sarah Howroyd, Chief Montminy, and the HOPE project, to evaluate the intervention. UConn SSW/DMHAS faculty and staff involved in the evaluation include Dr. Michael Fendrich, Eleni Rodis, and Jessica Becker.