Hilary Disch

Prevention Point Philadelphia (PPP) is a harm reduction organization. As such we believe that all people, regardless of any risky behavior they might engage in, deserve access to compassionate, high-quality medical care and social services. There is a continuum of substance use, and abstinence is not the best solution for every person. PPP employees work with each participant to help them make decisions about their health from a place of knowledge and empowerment. 

Staff are always deeply touched when we hear from former participants who are now leading healthy and fulfilling lives. Noel recently reached out on Instagram to update us on how he is doing. Thank you Noel for generously offering to share your story publicly. 

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My name is Noel. I'm 48 years old and I currently live and work in Denver, Colorado. I have a fiancée and a little boy who is about to be four years old. Nowadays I am a productive member of society. 

In the 90s, I went to college in Center City, Philadelphia. After I graduated, I discovered Kensington, got addicted to heroin and crack, and was in active addiction for over a decade. I remember using Prevention Point for the needle exchange back then. 

Noel with his fiancée and child.
Noel (right) with his fiancée and child. 

I am proud to say that it's been over 20 years since I've stuck a needle in my arm. I wanted to thank you for helping me during my dark times until I was finally able to see the light on my own. I just wanted to share my success story with you guys because you are amazing for doing what you do. A lot of people nowadays don't make it out of that place alive. 

I remember back in the day when going to Prevention Point was literally the highlight of my day because at least the people there would talk to me. All of my family and friends didn't want anything to do with me until I stopped using. Now they are all back in my life as well.