Addiction in America is an alarming epidemic. According to federal data, overdoses are now the leading cause of preventable death among people ages 18 to 45, ahead of suicide, traffic accidents, and gun violence.
Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is a mental illness—not a personal choice. The need for education, awareness, and treatment for SUD is greater now than ever.
Unicorns & Polka Dots is a nonprofit foundation established in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2021 that helps individuals struggling with SUD get back on the path to living a purposeful and productive life.
Its mission is to help those in recovery identify and implement self-directed life skills and connect with the ongoing support, education, and medical and mental health resources they desperately need—a life-saving program whose time has come.
The Need Is Great: Drug Addiction in America
With substance abuse rates rising at a staggering pace, we all need to be aware of the problem, remove barriers and roadblocks, and take action to create change.
- 20 million Americans suffer from substance use disorder (SUD). Source: National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics
- Over 100,000 people die from overdoses in America each year. Source: CD
- Only 11% of adults with SUD receive treatment. Source: National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services
Unicorns & Polka Dots: Turning Pain into Progress
In 2021, Joe Brady found inspiration for Unicorns & Polka Dots while he and his wife, Karen, were raising their two grandchildren after the tragic loss of their 24-year-old daughter, Brianna, to an accidental opioid overdose. When the children close their eyes at night, they hope to dream of unicorns and polka dots—because that’s the picture their mom painted in their minds when she tucked them into their beds.
So, for individuals (and their families) working to overcome addiction, Unicorns & Polka Dots is a promise of brighter days ahead, providing the vital support they need on their journey to recovery.
The Recovery College Provides Hope
Their road has not been easy: Joe and Karen Brady watched their two daughters battle substance abuse and lost their youngest after she phased out of rehab—but tragically before she could enter a recovery home. They know firsthand that individuals and their families struggling with SUD need help to navigate the fragmented recovery process.
That painful experience of losing a child inspired creating The Recovery College as the foundation’s centerpiece. This innovative program picks up where rehab ends, leading and empowering individuals through the next crucial phase of recovery by connecting them with resources to help them assimilate and manage everyday life. It’s an essential support connector that doesn’t exist right now in the recovery space.
By providing that full-spectrum support, the program can help individuals in recovery stay on a healthy, productive path. A sampling of the life-skills coaching Unicorns & Polka Dots is working to provide through The Recovery College:
- education—high school or college degrees, trade schools, etc.
- legal support
- physical fitness
- mental health
- restoring credit
- financial acumen
- job & career coaching
- goal setting
- mentoring & life coaches
- establishing healthy relationships
- locating housing & potential roommates
Unicorns & Polka Dots was established in 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. The nonprofit has been hard at work building a solid foundation. The advisory board includes highly respected professionals from the medical and recovery communities—a team helping shape the foundation’s programming to impact the lives of those in need here in Northeast Ohio and beyond.
Get Involved! Support the Unicorns & Polka Dots Kickoff Event
Mark your calendar: Kicking off the official fund drive for Unicorns & Polka Dots is their inaugural event:
UNICORNS & POLKA DOTS KICKOFF EVENT
Sunday, October 9, 2022: 5 – 7:30 PM
Music Box Supper Club on the west bank of the Flats, downtown Cleveland
A powerful evening of engaging education, comedy & music featuring artists and entertainers in recovery.
Our team at Shamrock is fortunate to partner with Unicorns & Polka Dots. We’ve worked with them from the start, helping establish their brand identity and developing their marketing assets, including the website currently under construction.
We’re honored to be a part of the process—and to support a dynamic and vital organization that’s impacting lives right here in our community. We’d love to see you at the kickoff event at the Music Box!