Winchester non-profit determined to provide support, awareness during National Recovery Month

Published 8:05 am Wednesday, September 7, 2022

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Every year, addiction sadly claims lives or causes significant distress to those involved and related to others.

Fortunately, many of those facing addiction issues have been able to recover and provide inspiration for individuals.

With this and the spirit to support others, Winchester embraces National Recovery Month, which takes place every September.

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“The importance is to recognize those that have maintained long-term recovery and celebrate that,” said Juanita Everman, Executive Director and Co-founder of Achieving Recovery Together. “Also, it’s to [provide] awareness for mental health and substance use disorder.”

In 2021, Winchester saw 187 overdoses – an average of at least one every other day.

As such, the need for community awareness of such issues is relevant, thus informing the approach required for the following steps.

“It’s going to take the whole community to work together to stop this,” Everman said. “Doing education, community events … People who are in the substance abuse disorder and mental health [are] part of the community just like everyone else.”

While drugs and alcohol typically come to mind when considering addiction, it’s not the only type to address.

Other vices, such as food, gambling, and more, can also lead to dependency.

This year, Achieving Recovery Together will put on several events dedicated to supporting and bringing awareness to recovery.

A Treasured ART Show on September 3rd and 4th was a fundraiser and silent auction featuring painting, pottery, poetry, and more. Proceeds will go toward Achieving Recovery Together’s mission. At the show, attendees viewed artwork from people with a personal perspective on substance abuse issues.

“Some of the artists are people in recovery. Some of them are family members of people in recovery”, said Everman. “The art piece may be something from their past, [such as] a trial they’ve been through.”

The Rally 4 Recovery event on September 23rd will honor those lost and celebrate those who have found recovery. Van Ingram, the executive director for the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, will be one of several speakers.

The Run4Recovery 10,000 Meter on Van Meter is also part of the month’s activities and will take place at the Kroger Youth Soccer Complex on September 24th.

Achieving Recovery Together is far from the only organization in town determined to provide aid.

The Agency for Substance Abuse Policy (ASAP), Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and the Clark County Health Department are others. Calvary Christian Church, Grace Bible Church, and Grace Baptist Church can grant assistance.

One of the main goals of different organizations is to eliminate any stigmas that may be negatively associated with those needing recovery.

“What we struggle with is no different, and we should not be treated different,” Everman said.

While plenty of resources provide support, and all participants dedicatedly support and combat any stigmas associated with substance abuse disorder and mental health issues, there is also the personal side to seeking assistance.

“First, you have to admit you have a problem, and then get into support groups [and] get help,” Everman said. “You just have to be active. You have to want it. You have to want to change your life.”

However, those in recovery can be comforted knowing they are not alone.