Meet The Team
Founder & Executive Director
Melody is passionate about substance use prevention and recovery because of her experience with her own daughter. In 2013, Melody co-founded the group Life or Drugs, Tri-State Support. She also works as a Advocate Supervisor for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of the Eastern Panhandle which advocates for children involved in abuse & neglect cases and as a program coordinator for Morgan County Partnership.
She graduated as a Medical Assistant and also obtained a Business/Computer Education certification from James Rumsey Technical Institute. She has received additional training in substance use disorders and prevention. She is an instructor for Naloxone/Overdose Response and provides training to the community. She serves as a volunteer in various roles within her community and was named a Woman of Distinction in 2020.
Although Heather does not personally struggle with SUD, she and her daughters have been personally affected. After working at the Department of Veterans Affairs for 17+ years, she has decided to shift her focus to assisting individuals with SUD and their families within her community. Heather is responsible for facilitating support groups, Narcan training, prevention & outreach planning, and reducing stigma associated with SUD. Heather will also be available to assist with resume writing, employment & education opportunities, and detox/rehabilitation assistance.
Heather resides in Berkeley Springs along with her husband. They share a blended family with 7 children and 5 grandchildren. In her spare time, you will find her spending time with her family or reading.
Brittnay Buchanan hasn’t personally struggled with a substance use disorder but a few people in her family have. It really affected the family dynamics and not just the people who had the disorders. She has a passion for helping others and the compassion needed to assist those who are working on recovery. She was interested in Life or Drugs because they help anyone affected by substance use disorders, meaning not just those suffering from addiction.
As the case manager for Life or Drugs, she helps those in recovery or post incarceration reenter into society, like with finding a job and navigating the interview process. She used to compete in Job Interview competitions through SkillsUSA and looks forward to helping those in recovery stand out in a positive way.
She is also an instructor for Naloxone Overdose Response and provides training to community members.
Peer Recovery Coach
Crystal Michael is in long-term recovery from opiates/heroin and on May 9, 2022 she is 13 years free from the chains of her addiction. She is passionate about pulling others from the fire she was once in and shows that second chances are possible by the life that she lives every day. She hopes that her example will help change the stigma surrounding those who suffer from addiction(substance use disorder).
She works as Parent Resource Navigator for Morgan County Partnership, helping parents who have Abuse and Neglect cases with CPS. She also works part-time for Life or Drugs, Tri-state Support as a Peer Recovery Coach, helping those trying to find their way into and through recovery.
Crystal has also discovered the therapeutic gift of farming and animal caretaking. She has her “farm” that brings her and those around her much joy.
Peer Recovery Coach
Following a career in IT, working as a programmer/analyst for NASA HQ and the U.S. House of Representatives, Tom became interested in the challenges so many of us have in accessing adequate health care, in particular behavioral health care.
He has previously been a member of the Behavioral Health Work Group in the Eastern Panhandle where he has served as chair and he was also a member of the West Virginia Behavioral Health Planning Council.
Tom has received extensive training in behavioral health related issues at numerous behavioral health conferences and is a CCAR Recovery Coach Academy Graduate.
Tom is in long-term recovery and has a dual diagnosis of substance use disorder and chronic depression.
He is now semi-retired and works for Life or Drugs part-time as a Peer Recovery Coach, and volunteers as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA).
Layla is the Childcare Coordinator for Life or Drugs, Tri-State Support. Layla provides childcare on Tuesday and Thursday evenings during our support group meetings. She is a lifetime resident of Berkeley Springs and graduated from BSHS in 2020. She is currently enrolled at Liberty University where she will pursue her Bachelors Degree in Social Work with a focus in Addiction. In her spare time, you will find Layla baking, gardening, or at the lake with her boyfriend Matt and her canine companion, Nala. If you have questions about our support group childcare, please email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pastor Jack Hines
Jack's bio is coming soon!
Denny Swaim, Vice-President of Life or Drugs joined Life or Drugs as a staff member on August 1, 2022. Denny and his wife Carla are spearheading a temporary position for the Come Back Response Team (Similar to a Quick Response Team). In addition to Denny's role with Life or Drugs, Denny is also a senior superintendent HBW Construction.
Denny is passionate about helping others because he has been in recovery for over 30 years. Denny and Carla have been a part of the group since it was founded in 2013. The Swaim's will be working with other team members to assist in overdose prevention, overdose follow up, and helping find treatment options. Denny and Carla believe that as long as there is breath, there is hope.
If you would like for Denny or Carla to assist you or your family with recovery, please email them at email@example.com