By Asia Alvarez Zeller • Of the News-Register • 

Provoking Hope observes Overdose Awareness Month

Last Friday, Aug. 23, was a day of celebration and mourning for the folks at Provoking Hope.

In honor of Drug Overdose Awareness Month, Provoking Hope took time to honor the lives of people lost to drug overdose.

Twenty-six silhouettes lined the brick wall of the Provoking Hope parking lot to represent the 26 people who died of drug overdoses at Willamette Valley Medical Center in 2017, the most recent year for which data is available.

Provoking Hope Recovery Services is a nonprofit that partners with local services to provide hope and healing for people suffering from substance addiction.

The event was also a time to highlight the programs offered at Provoking Hope.

Executive Director Diane Reynolds took the microphone and asked the whole audience to shout the program’s mantra, “Wake up.” She said she wants addicts to wake up to the realities of their addiction, but she also wants the community to wake up and start helping.

“People think solution means get them clean and sober,” she said. “That isn’t the only solution.”

Reynolds continued, “Because (those addicted) use dirty needles and have shared needles, they have Hep-C, they have HIV, they have sexually transmitted diseases. So, a part of the bigger picture of solution is helping people to not cost our taxpayers $33,000 for one treatment for Hep-C.”

Reynolds said the county has approximately 1,500 people suffering from hepatitis C, a disease that could be prevented.

On that front, Reynolds announced Provoking Hope’s newest program, a needle exchange called The One. It will provide clean needles in exchange for dirty ones as a way to reduce discarded needles in public and prevent the spread of disease among intravenous drug users.

Yamhill County Health and Human Services donated an ambulance for Provoking Hope to use to frequent rural areas of the county where it will administer clean needles and build relationships with those in need of services. Additionally, the repurposed ambulance will carry bagged lunches, backpacks and hygiene kits for those who need them.

Chris Wright and Jesse Maxwell, two certified recovery mentors, will head the program.

 “I think one of the most important parts of it is it’s being operated by certified recovery mentors who came from a past of IV use,” Maxwell said. “We have personal experience.”

He added, “These people are coming in broken, looking for clean needles, right? We can provide that, but when they’re ready … we’ve already established that relationship with them. There’s no guessing game. They know Jesse and Chris. They know who to go talk to when they’re ready to do something different.”

Several staff and volunteers took turns sharing their experiences with Provoking Hope and highlighting services that are offered, including long-term mentoring and respective mom’s and dad’s groups.

“It’s not once and done and you’re fixed,” Reynolds said. “It’s a lifetime of recovery.”

Reynolds took the stage once more and opened up the mic to anyone who wanted to share their story of recovery.

During that time, a handful of people took turns standing up in front of the group and sharing their path through recovery. While personal stories varied, they all credited Provoking Hope for where they are today and they all had a specific person to thank. Each time this happened, the whole group cheered and clapped.

 “We’ve been operating for seven years. Most of our employees are our former clients,” Reynolds said. “There’s 42 of them, so those 42, that’s my evidence. That’s my success.”



The people who stood up were not cured by County Taxpayer paid for needles.

Using an ambulance is extremely inappropriate IMO

Why does Provoking hope state they are a 5013c on their website yet it appears they aren't but actually another 5013c is dba Provoking Hope?

Does it have something to do with qualifying for a grant? Not sure but.....

Not a supporter in any way to enabling an addict while endangering the tax payers. Stick to what you had been doing... education and mentoring.


Preventing the spread of disease, reducing a public hazard of discarded needles, and developing connections with recovery options sounds like a good thing......their not enabling an addict by having a needle exchange.....



Not true. In their testimony to commissioners they state you won't get back all the needles it's unrealistic. There will be more not less needles on the street... except for the first 60 days when they will pick up needles.

Statistics show more crime and how can you pretend to lower hep C rates when all drug users are not tested? Anonymous and voluntary...

The County needs drug treatment centers, law enforcement and jail beds that aren't being rented out to numerous other Counties.

Quit enabling addicts with tax payer paid for needles - adding to a public health hazard and creating a very public nuisance.


I’ve said it before: have some compassion! Addiction is a multi-faceted issue. I fully support the county’s efforts to help. In a society, we need to care for one another. It is what God (whatever God one worships) would want. We need less hatred and more love. Try it; you may find it feels pretty good.


Compassion = helping vs enabling

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