MOA Hosts Motivational Interviewing

MOA (Malden Overcoming Addiction) proudly announces that it hosted Motivational Interviewing Training for Recovery Coaches on December 2, 2017.   

Motivational Interviewing is a style of interacting with individuals in a constructive manner regarding behavior changes and is one of the most critical tools of a Recovery Coach.  The topic is covered in the Recovery Coach Academy, however, this stand-alone training allows for a deeper dive into this style of interacting with recoverees.  The training highlights a technique called “OARS,” that utilizes open ended questions, affirms an individual’s strengths and allows for movement in a positive direction.  In addition, reflective listening is utilized to support the recoveree during the coaching experience and facilitate an environment of support and mutual growth.  This training allows Recovery Coaches to continue to hone their skills in order to support their front-line fight against the disease of addiction.

Special thank you to the Malden Police and Fire Department for funding this training as well as Karen Colón Hayes (Human Services and Community Outreach Director) for her help in coordinating the training.

2017 Candlelight Vigil

2017 Candlelight Vigil

MOA (Malden Overcoming Addiction) would like to thank everyone who participated in their Third Annual Candlelight Memorial Vigil on October 15, 2017. The event was held to honor the memory of those who have succumbed to death due to the disease of addiction with more than 203 individuals being remembered.

Speakers included State Senator Jason Lewis, Mayor Gary Christensen and Police Chief Kevin Molis, with many other state and local officials in attendance. Powerful speeches and stories were presented by a mother who lost her son to this horrific pandemic, Denise Caughey, and, Merri Cunniff who shared her devastating life story of addiction. And yet, within their painful outpourings, they outlined their path out of the devastation – one that was lined with hope, empowerment and commitment to joining the fight against this horrible disease. Finally, moving music was provided by Nick Hames during the event, but most poignantly at the culmination of the event while he played and sang Amazing Grace. The grief, sadness and suffering were palpable during the moving event with tissues being circulated continuously. And yet, there was also laughter and hugs as people connected and supported one another before, during and after the ceremony.

After a moving opening prayer delivered by Pastor Dan Ko, short speeches by our elected officials expressed their commitment and dedication to joining us in this fight to end addiction and stigma.

The most powerful time during the event was during the reading of the 200 plus names. As the names was read, Assistant Fire Chief Billy Sullivan rang the bell to honor and remember them, the emotion filled the courtyard and there was barely a dry eye present as we gave witness to the beautiful shining souls who are no longer with us.

MOA President Paul Hammersley then gave a passionate speech about the Bridge Recovery Center that MOA has been working towards recently. The Bridge Recovery Center would be a Peer-to-Peer Center that would be focused on prevention and support for individuals struggling with the disease of addiction. A resource that is not currently available locally but that would have the potential to save countless lives as this type of support has been found to be powerful and successful in the lives of those suffering.

The evening closed with a wide variety of resource tables being available for local organizations to provide information and support to those attending the event.

To learn more about MOA, the fight to end addiction and the stigma of addiction, please visit us at and join the fight!

MOA Overcomes Day

Malden Overcoming Addiction recently held an event to celebrate their second anniversary. The second annual Malden Overcomes Day was a free day of food and fun held at Lincoln Commons on August 19, 2017. The day consisted of music, a water slide, a bounce house, face painting, human hamster balls, field games, food and more. The day was designed by MOA as a way to give back to the community and say thank you for all the support that has been shown to the organization. Malden Overcoming Addiction would like to thank the Junior Aid Association of Malden for their generous grant which made this year’s Malden Overcomes Day possible.

MOA would also like to thank their many volunteers. Together, the hard working and dedicated volunteers at Malden Overcoming Addiction have brought the community events such as Celebrate Sober, The Candlelight Vigil, Pledge for Malden, Stop the Stigma Day and Malden Overcomes Day. They have also put on a Recovery Coach Academy, provided Narcan training, assisted individuals in Malden’s Drug Court and worked tirelessly to lobby for opening the Bridge Recovery Center in Malden. Additionally, they have worked with many people and families to help them to navigate the treatment system to find the help they need. They have also provided recovery coaches for those looking for someone to walk alongside them on their journey. Without the efforts of all the volunteers in the organization, none of these things would have been possible.

None of what they have accomplished would have been possible without also having the support of the City of Malden. From the residents who supported their fundraiser to the Police and Fire Departments who have provided grants, to the city officials who have believed in their cause. Malden Overcoming Addiction especially wanted to thank Mayor Gary Christenson, who has supported the organization from the very beginning.  A lot of Mayors will talk the talk when it comes to the addiction crisis, but Mayor Christenson walks the walk. From attending all of MOA’s events, to presenting diplomas to the recovery coach graduates, to speaking at a MOAR meeting, to traveling with MOA members to tour recovery centers, to holding many meetings with Malden’s state delegation to voice his strong support for bringing a recovery center to Malden. The list of ways he has helped the organization is long. The group is very appreciative of all the Mayor’s efforts.

This battle with addiction is not one that will be easily won. It can be heartbreaking, discouraging and exhausting, but Malden Overcoming Addiction will not give up.  They hope this next year brings much success for them as they work to continue their mission to seek to connect the community with addiction support and recovery services, remove the stigma of addiction and fight to eliminate overdose fatalities in Malden.

MOA Hosts CCAR Ethical Considerations Training

MOA Hosts CCAR Ethical Considerations Training

MOA is proudly hosting the two day intensive training program CCAR Ethical Considerations in Recovery Coaching on August 2nd and August 3rd at Malden High School.  


The issue of ethical consideration has been discussed in many circles yet formal training has been lacking. This two-day training addresses this critical need. Using presentations, small group work, role play and a decision-making matrix many areas will be addressed including: defining the coaching service role and functions, coaching standards, issues of vulnerability and ethical decision making.


* Understand what ethics are and why ethics are so important

* Performing Recovery Coach Services

* Learn how to stay in your lane as a Recovery Coach

* Understand the decision-making process

* Develop guidelines for making ethical decisions

* Apply the new learning to your everyday work as a Recovery Coach

Note: There is no prerequisite for this class, but the material will review themes that will be familiar to graduates of the CCAR Recovery Coach Academy.


A Recovery Coach is someone who is interested in promoting recovery by removing barriers to recovery and serving as a personal guide and mentor to people seeking, or who are already in, recovery. Peer Recovery Coaching provides non-clinical services designed to help individuals and families strenghten and sustain their recovery.  Anyone interested in becoming a Recovery Coach should reach out to Paul Hammersley at 781-838-2203.