Celebrating Recovery


Addiction to drugs or alcohol has no boundaries. It has touched the lives of many people in one way or another, destroyed relationships and torn families apart. But there are many people who successfully recover from the disease of addiction and move on to lead happy, healthy and successful lives.

September is National Recovery Month – an annual observance created with the goal of educating Americans about treatment and services that can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to recover and have rewarding lives. The tagline for the observance, which started in 1989,  is “Every Person. Every Family. Every Community.”

Addiction recovery is something to celebrate. There are millions of Americans whose lives have been transformed through recovery. Prevention, treatment and recovery programs and facilities all around the country celebrate Recovery Month.

Locally, there are many organizations and facilities that help fight addiction and host events to celebrate National Recovery Month. The Serenity House is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community organization that advocates for people in addiction recovery and offers holistic treatment options. During September’s National Recovery Month, Serenity House hosts the Flint Recovery Walk & Rally.  The 9th annual walk will take place on September 20 at Memorial Park, 1026 Church Street in Downtown Flint.

This event focuses on the reality of recovery. It also communicates the need for services and support to prioritize recovery, so that those with addiction can recover and contribute meaningfully to our community. Participants include people recovering from alcohol and drug addiction, their families, friends, addiction-treatment professionals, elected officials and other allies as part of National Recovery Month.

As a writer for My City Magazine, I have had the opportunity to write about  organizations that help fight the disease of addiction. I recently interviewed Aaron Rubio, Founder and Executive Director of the United Community Addiction Network (UCAN). The Network’s mission is to combine resources to fight the disease of addiction and it uses a clinical community approach to help people with Substance Use Disorders (SUD). UCAN helps connect people to treatment resources such as medical care, halfway houses, support groups and more. UCAN is involved in many local events including Sober Fest, an annual drug-and-alcohol-free event that promotes recovery and sobriety.

A few years ago, I wrote a story about another local organization created to fight addiction. The Genesee County Prevention Coalition is a diverse group of people working within the community to develop new and different methods of preventing and reducing substance use and mental health disorders. Their mission: “improving behavioral health through innovative strategies and community partnerships to prevent mental health and substance abuse disorders impacting Genesee County youth and adults.”

The disease of addiction affects people from all walks of life, but help is available. Actress Jamie Lee Curtis stated: “My recovery from drug addiction is the single greatest accomplishment of my life … but it takes work – hard, painful work – but the help is there, in every town and career, drug/drink-freed members of society from every single walk and talk of life to help and guide.”

Recovering from an addiction of any kind isn’t easy – for those who succeed, National Recovery Month is the time to celebrate!


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