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    How HARP Began and the Purpose

    Heroin belongs to a class of drugs called Opioids which also includes painkillers, codeine, and morphine. It usually appears as a white or brown powder. Heroin can be injected, sniffed, snorted, smoked, or pill form. Immediately after taking heroin the user is relieved of physical pain and discomfort and experiences pleasurable feelings. This false sense of well being plays a part in the addiction to heroin. When heroin is used, mental functioning is clouded and your heartbeat, breathing and nervous system slow down. In a high number of cases this can result in overdose that can result in death.

    HARP was started when Sheriff Leonard took notice to the growing Heroin Epidemic in Chesterfield County. He saw many lives were lost in recent years and nobody seemed to be doing anything about it.  Sheriff Leonard began the Male HARP program on March 18th, 2016 with just a few participants, Deputy Norkunas, and a few facilitators. The Female HARP program began September 22nd, 2016 after a female inmate was sent to another jail and died from overdosing. When the Sheriff learned of this incident, he started the female HARP program in her memory the very next day. The females named themselves the Harpettes. Harp began as “Heroin Addiction Recovery Program” but was then changed to “Helping Addicts Recover Permanently” when it was decided that HARP would take on multiple forms off addiction not just Heroin but all drugs and alcohol. A final name change was made when it was realized you never permanently recover from addiction, so the name of the program is currently “Helping Addicts Recover Progressively”.

    The program began by following models of recovery from McShin and multiple recovery programs. It was quickly realized that all the programs were not as effective separately, so then the uniqueness of HARP began. It was understood that the disease of addiction could not be taken by just one method, one angle, and would need to be swarmed by multiple avenues.

    HARP Approach

    HARP is unique in the matters of which it attacks the disease of addiction by using a multi-faceted approach. HARP is based primarily on NA, Peer to Peer, and Spirituality. We have found that ninety percent of the problems that addicts face is their behaviors, and ten percent is the actual drug or substance. HARP utilizes a myriad of therapeutic, medical, and educational approach to overwhelm the addict with options and tolls to use that best fit their individual recovery path. HARP accepts the fact that addiction is a disease and not a crime.

    HARP RVA – 2022 (501c3 non-profit status is filed and approved.)

    HARP RVA was started in April 2022 to broaden what originally was intended for the residents of the Chesterfield Jail. HARP RVA expands its reach to include HARP graduates who have now re-entered into the our beloved community ~ Metro Richmond Area… including Chesterfield, Hanover, Henrico, Richmond and beyond. Stay tuned for more information as we continue to grow and develop.

    To learn more about HARP, we invite you to watch Jailhouse Redemption, a made for TV docu-series on Discovery Plus starting May 12th.

    To Donate to or to Contact HARP RVA

    To contact us or to donate, please send a check to…

    HARP RVA PO Box 121 Chesterfield, VA 23832

    You can also contact us at… info@harprva.org.

    Check back soon for more updates!