Health and Mind: September is Recovery Month

Published 11:30 am Tuesday, September 12, 2023

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By Lindsay Horseman

Clark County Health Department

First observed in 1989, National Recovery Month was established to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the nation’s strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and communities who make recovery in all its forms possible. In recent years and to combat the stigma associated with alcohol and substance use, the recovery community is increasingly more visible. The idea of “Recovering Out Loud” is very different from the anonymous approach of nearly 100 years ago.

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Recovery from substance or alcohol use disorder is a life-long process of returning to a healthy state. As a chronic, relapsing disease that is fatal if not treated, the path to recovery is seldom linear. Early recovery is incredibly difficult, as it often takes time to experience the benefits of changing behavior. Individuals often experience barriers and challenges for basic needs, transportation, employment and housing. It is nearly impossible without support from those in recovery, treatment providers, and the broader community.

We are very fortunate today to have many options and resources available for the treatment of this disease. A growing recovery community is vital to the success of those seeking recovery. The support from those successful in recovery has been described by Twelve Step fellowships and the bond that develops between those who have survived a common peril and it is without parallel. There is an unspoken understanding that dissolves the guilt and shame of the past.

Individuals in recovery set the example for the principles that treat their disease. Honesty, integrity, genuine care and concern for others, kindness, generosity, service to others and gratitude top the list of values that guide their lives. Seldom recognizable from their former selves, this community celebrates the freedom that comes with recovery and invites the community to celebrate with them. Understanding and support from neighbors in the community is vital for that person to be a whole, healthy community member.

To support and celebrate those in and seeking recovery, please consider one of the following Recovery Month events:

This year, the Recovery Community Center (RCC) is participating in the Appalachian Save a Life Day with two outreach events in the community on Sept. 14. RCC staff and volunteers will be at BP located at 1333 Fulton Road from 10 a.m. to noon and at Chuy’s located at 415 N. Main Street from 1:00-3 p.m. Staff will be providing free Narcan training along with treatment and other resources. Free, confidential HIV and Hepatitis C testing will also be available at these locations during these times.

The Rally4Recovery returns to downtown Winchester on Sept. 29 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Main Street between Broadway and Lexington Avenue. It is a true celebration that will include a Kid’s Zone with games and face-painting, guest speakers, a DJ, live music, pizza, a powerful visual recovery storytelling, resources and more. The following morning is the Run4Recovery (10,000 Meter on Van Meter 10K/5K Run). Registration is open and will be available at the +Rally4Recovery and the morning of the race.