WORCESTER – It is becoming increasingly rare to meet someone who is unaffected by opioid addiction. Opiates, like heroin, are substances where one wrong measurement could lead to death. Many fight, trying to overcome this dangerous dependence through rehabilitation programs and a strong exterior support system.
Others aren’t so lucky.
Worcester. A city of success and failure- recovery and loss.
A string of words that could define any city in the United States. Yet Worcester is not just any city- there’s an invisible bond amongst many of its locals and visitors affected by addiction. A sense to do something. A sense to change things. A sense of unity.
Eric Taylor has become the voice of many — an epitome of revival and hope in Worcester.
Taylor lost his brother Jeffrey to heroin addiction.
“We were so close growing up. He was not as much of an addict- not as deep into it,” Taylor said.
Taylor’s oldest brother, Richard Kenny, was also addicted to heroin.
“My oldest brother was an addict for ten years,” Taylor said. “People would blame Worcester. But the Worcester recovery community has given me the chance to meet one of the closest knit group of people. You don’t have to turn your back on the city. Instead of blaming Worcester, we’re going to help.”
With the help of Worcester’s recovery community, Taylor’s oldest brother has been sober for almost four years. He is a homeowner and has a job centered in recovery and treatment.
“My brother that died from an overdose was super into comedy,” Taylor said.
In 2014, Taylor founded “Addicted to Laughter,” a recovery organization that puts on comedy shows.
Comedy was something that brought Taylor and his family closer together, and now Taylor has found a way to “boost morale” for the recovery community.
So far, “Addicted to Laughter” has already raised over $25,000 for recovery related charities.
And guess what? Taylor has something big planned for this month as well.
Taylor and local comedian Shaun Connolly will be hosting a comedy show called “Worcester Recovers” at the White Eagle on March 31 from 7:30 PM to 11:30 PM.
Like Taylor, Connolly believes this event is going to be incredibly important to boosting the morale of the recovery community.
“Recovery is a big thing,” said Connolly “It’s important to almost everyone.”
Comedians Tim Dillon and Kelly MacFarland will be performing and the money earned from this show will be put towards three treatment/recovery organizations centered around the Worcester area. These include: the Channing House, Net of Compassion, and Alyssa’s Place. Taylor believes these organizations are “worthy beneficiaries.”
The WooHaHa!, a comedy club opening soon in Worcester, is sponsoring the event.
Interested in attending and helping out those affected by addiction in the Worcester area? Visit https://atl.ticketleap.com/worcesterrecovers/ and purchase tickets online. Or buy tickets at the door if the event doesn’t sell out.