Opinion

September is National Recovery Month

People take action and make changes to create recovery in their lives every day in Aroostook County.  

There are literally hundreds of folks and family members in The County who are in recovery from alcohol and other drugs and these people represent wonderful assets in our communities. They are great workers, students, parents, neighbors, taxpayers and have the ability to share the gift of recovery with individuals, family and the community.

September is National Recovery Month and it is a celebration of individuals and families involved in recovery and what they bring to our communities.

As a person in long-term recovery myself, I have not taken a drink of alcohol or used any other drug that was not prescribed to me in the past 24 years. This does not make me a good or a bad person, but it does afford me the opportunity to have a full and productive life, which I truly believe I would not have if I were still actively using.

The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has established a working definition of recovery that defines it as a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential.

In 2016, there were 376 overdose deaths related to substance use in Maine. Alcohol is killing Americans at a rate not seen in at least 35 years, according to new federal data.   The Centers for Disease Control estimate that alcohol killed 115 individuals in Maine in 2014. Deaths are very startling, but we all know individuals and families whose lives are negatively impacted in other ways by alcohol and other drug use. That is why recovery is so vital to our communities.

This year’s theme to celebrate recovery is: “Join the Voices for Recovery: Strengthen Families and Communities.”

It encourages communities to be socially inclusive, offering those in need of recovery support the opportunity to seek help, lend a hand, and contribute to their community as citizens, parents, employees, students, volunteers and leaders.

Communities can improve the lives of those in recovery by extending opportunities for meaningful daily activities, such as jobs, school, volunteerism, family caretaking or creative endeavors. Local communities can play a significant role in supporting those in recovery as they gain the independence, income and resources necessary to fully participate in society.

There is a lot going on in the Recovery Community in Aroostook County.  AA, NA, Al-Anon, churches, the Aroostook Mental Health Center, and other community resources are vital examples of organizations who are committed to recovery in Aroostook and are to be celebrated. There also are community groups such as Recovery Aroostook and Link for Hope that are working to support recovery and increase access and support to recovery services in The County.

In an effort to join the voices of recovery, the newspapers of Aroostook will publish weekly stories of local recovery during the month of September. AMHC’s Residential Treatment Facility will hold a recovery picnic open to all in recovery and their families on Sunday, Sept. 10. Link for Hope in Houlton is sponsoring a Recovery Walk beginning at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 16. It will start on Pleasant Street and continue through Market Square to the bridge where people will have an opportunity to speak. Then, AMHC and Life by Design will hold a recovery walk and picnic that is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 30 at the Aroostook State Park.

As with any great journey in life, recovery is best not done in isolation. In fact, it should not be done alone. The faces and voices of others who are in recovery are there to support and guide individuals seeking help.

For many, but not all, treatment may be a place to start. By calling 211 or visiting 211Maine.org, individuals can find treatment services in their area.  AA, NA, and Al-Anon have warm lines and host meetings throughout The County every day of the week.  Call 1-800-737-6237 in Maine or go on-line at csoaamaine.org to find a list of meetings. In the event of a crisis, call 1-888-568-1112.  

Visit the Recovery Month website at https://recoverymonth.gov/about for additional information on the initiative.

There are literally hundreds of folks and family members in The County who are in recovery from alcohol and other drugs and these people represent wonderful assets in our communities. They are great workers, students, parents, neighbors, taxpayers and have the ability to share the gift of recovery with individuals, family and the community.

September is National Recovery Month and it is a celebration of individuals and families involved in recovery and what they bring to our communities.

As a person in long-term recovery myself, I have not taken a drink of alcohol or used any other drug that was not prescribed to me in the past 24 years. This does not make me a good or a bad person, but it does afford me the opportunity to have a full and productive life, which I truly believe I would not have if I were still actively using.

The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has established a working definition of recovery that defines it as a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential.

In 2016, there were 376 overdose deaths related to substance use in Maine. Alcohol is killing Americans at a rate not seen in at least 35 years, according to new federal data.   The Centers for Disease Control estimate that alcohol killed 115 individuals in Maine in 2014. Deaths are very startling, but we all know individuals and families whose lives are negatively impacted in other ways by alcohol and other drug use. That is why recovery is so vital to our communities.

This year’s theme to celebrate recovery is: “Join the Voices for Recovery: Strengthen Families and Communities.”

It encourages communities to be socially inclusive, offering those in need of recovery support the opportunity to seek help, lend a hand, and contribute to their community as citizens, parents, employees, students, volunteers and leaders.

Communities can improve the lives of those in recovery by extending opportunities for meaningful daily activities, such as jobs, school, volunteerism, family caretaking or creative endeavors. Local communities can play a significant role in supporting those in recovery as they gain the independence, income and resources necessary to fully participate in society.

There is a lot going on in the Recovery Community in Aroostook County.  AA, NA, Al-Anon, churches, the Aroostook Mental Health Center, and other community resources are vital examples of organizations who are committed to recovery in Aroostook and are to be celebrated. There also are community groups such as Recovery Aroostook and Link for Hope that are working to support recovery and increase access and support to recovery services in The County.

In an effort to join the voices of recovery, the newspapers of Aroostook will publish weekly stories of local recovery during the month of September. AMHC’s Residential Treatment Facility will hold a recovery picnic open to all in recovery and their families on Sunday, Sept. 10. Link for Hope in Houlton is sponsoring a Recovery Walk beginning at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 16. It will start on Pleasant Street and continue through Market Square to the bridge where people will have an opportunity to speak. Then, AMHC and Life by Design will hold a recovery walk and picnic that is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 30 at the Aroostook State Park.

As with any great journey in life, recovery is best not done in isolation. In fact, it should not be done alone. The faces and voices of others who are in recovery are there to support and guide individuals seeking help.

For many, but not all, treatment may be a place to start. By calling 211 or visiting 211Maine.org, individuals can find treatment services in their area.  AA, NA, and Al-Anon have warm lines and host meetings throughout The County every day of the week.  Call 1-800-737-6237 in Maine or go on-line at csoaamaine.org to find a list of meetings. In the event of a crisis, call 1-888-568-1112.  

Visit the Recovery Month website at https://recoverymonth.gov/about for additional information on the initiative.

Get the Rest of the Story

Thank you for reading your 4 free articles this month. To continue reading, and support local, rural journalism, please subscribe.