Health & Environment

How Do We Celebrate Recovery Month in the North End?

Recovery Month can be defined as a national observance held every September to celebrate how individuals with both mental health and substance use issues can live healthy, meaningful and rewarding lives.

This month has a dual purpose to educate communities and the public about addiction and mental health so that we can understand the tremendous stories of people making gains in treatment. Each year, Recovery Month has a theme or focus to organize events, 2020 being “Join the Voices for Recovery: Celebrating Connections.”

Through my clinical work and in hearing the stories of many patients struggling with addiction, I have learned how isolating and difficult addiction can be. Now more than ever, in the context of the COVID pandemic, a large portion of my treatment with these individuals focuses on rebuilding connections to friends, family, and the community at large.  Those that have struggled with addiction not only have to abstain from using substances;  they also often must start from nothing in finding work, building sober safe relationships, reconnecting with family, and treat mental health issues by linking with psychiatry and therapy.  A monumental task!

We, as a community, can do our part in celebrating recovery in several ways. Any effort you make this month and following months is invaluable as it can both help to motivate and support individuals in recovery and help to prevent substance use disorders in our community. Listed below you will find some ideas supported by the Substance Use and Mental Health Administration (SAMSHA) and Faces and Voices of Recovery, a national organization to support individuals in recovery.

  1. Participate in one of the many national or local recovery month events found through the following websites:
    1. https://rm.facesandvoicesofrecovery.org/events/month/2020-09/?hide_subsequent_recurrences=1
    2. Sponsored through MGH https://www.massgeneral.org/assets/MGH/pdf/recovery-month/recovery-month-calendar-8-10-20.pdf
  2. Participate and/or support events sponsored by North End Against Drugs (NEAD)
  3. Talk with your children and family about substance use (A useful guide can be found on https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/talk-about-drugs.html )
  4. Call North End Waterfront Health Coalition Manager David Perry LICSW at 617-981-3273 if you are seeking to help a family member or friend struggling with addiction and looking for treatment, or if would like to learn more about what you can do to prevent substance use disorder.

David Perry is a clinical social worker at North End Waterfront Health, Coalition Manager for the North End and board member of North End Against Drugs.

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