2017-09-07 / Community

September is National Recovery Month

Submitted by Ruth Schwendinger, BA
Prevention Specialist, Huron Behavioral Health

Nationwide, our country’s citizens are affected by alcohol and drug use. Drug overdoses killed 1,980 Michiganders in 2015, that rate continues to increase exponentially across the state as well as in Huron County. Addiction is a form of slavery, it is a chronic brain disease, a deadly epidemic, and a public health crisis. Addiction is not a moral failing, and not a cause for hopelessness. This month we celebrate those who have begun their journey to recovery. Recovery is possible, and the more we learn about the disease, the more we see the importance of community support and involvement.

Alcoholics Anonymous, or AA, has been in existence for decades. This group focuses on a 12-step recovery program, which partners individuals with a sponsor who has lived experience with addiction and can be called upon for support. Narcotics Anonymous, or NA, uses the same 12-step program for those who are looking to end a relationship with drugs. A list of meetings can be found online at tauc.ws or by calling 800-230-4085. To attend a group, individuals need to be able to say that they desire to quit. Celebrate Recovery is based on the foundation of Jesus Christ and uses the same 12-step program as other traditional support groups, but can be applied to any “hurt, habit, or hang-up.” Each of these groups has a tradition of anonymity and is not associated with any outside organization, business or group.

There are also ongoing support groups for family members of individuals who have substance use disorders. Al-Anon and Teen-Anon were developed for family members to function alongside the AA program. Families Against Narcotics is our newest community support and is distinct in that it does not function solely in anonymity. Families Against Narcotics (FAN) exists to eradicate the disease of addiction and be a source of information, resources, and support. Huron County Recovery Roundtable is another open group working toward enhancing community support for individuals seeking their own path to recovery.

We understand that oftentimes the disease of addiction fills other holes in our lives. We, as a community, will extend more invitations, welcome participation, and encourage drug and alcohol free community events. One such event is the Summer Send-Off - a time set aside for safe and sober fun with no cost and no strings. Come listen to music, eat, play a few games, and hang out from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 9, at Wilcox Park in Bad Axe. All are welcome.

NOTE: all statistics from Centers for Disease Control “Data and Statistics.”

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