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Midvale Journal

Recovery advocates from Flourish Bakery talk with Utah’s senators about the NOPAIN Act

Apr 30, 2022 11:35AM ● By Peri Kinder

By Peri Kinder | [email protected]

With hundreds of Utahns dying from opioid overdose each year, Aimee Alitzer and Sam Ball of Midvale’s Flourish Bakery (752 W. Center St.) spoke with Sen. Mitt Romney’s and Sen. Mike Lee’s offices in Washington, D.C., to advocate for the NOPAIN Act. The legislation is intended to increase a patient’s access to non-opioid pain management.

“Romney’s and Lee’s staff are aware that Utah is not immune from this issue,” said Sarah Vogel, communications manager at Flourish Bakery. “Last year, 700 people died of drug overdose and three-quarters of those are related to opioid addiction. We want patients to be able to advocate for themselves.”

The bill applies to pain management treatments that could replace or reduce the number of opioids prescribed by doctors. It would amend the Social Security Act to promote access to non-opioid treatments in an outpatient setting.

Flourish Bakery program manager Sam Ball has his own experience with addiction. After knee surgery, he became addicted to opioids but is now in recovery. He understands that millions of people deal with chronic pain and have limited treatment options.

“Pain is an important part of life,” Ball said. “We don’t go through life without feeling pain. Pain is our body’s warning system. But we need to figure out new ways to deal with pain. This [legislation] will give [people] other options.”

When Flourish Bakery opened in 2017, it was the only “second-chance” long-term recovery and workforce reentry program in Utah. Many employees at the bakery are people with felony convictions who worked in the state prison’s culinary program.

Over the last three years, 100% of Flourish Bakery interns have not recidivated and 85% remain in long-term recovery. The company’s success is a highlight because for people outside the program only 24% of previously incarcerated individuals in Utah do not recidivate and 24% remain sober.

Ball also coaches at Warrior Strength, a space that helps people in recovery through physical health and wellness programs. It’s another way to learn how to deal with pain without a prescription.

“At Warrior Strength, I teach breathwork and how to oxygenate the body,” he said. “It’s about making minor tweaks, like addressing inflammation, that can make a difference.”

The public can support Flourish Bakery by purchasing tickets to The Kinsey Sicks concert at The Salt Lake Masonic Temple (650 E. South Temple) on Friday, May 13 at 7 p.m. All proceeds go to the bakery and support people trying to get back on their feet. Visit for tickets and more information.

“Stop in and try out our goods,” Ball said. “It’s a great way to support a good cause.”