WHITLEY COUNTY — Every September, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) sponsors Recovery Month to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders and celebrate the people who recover.
Last year the Times-Tribune featured a series called Shining a Light on Recovery where local individuals were highlighted for their successful recovery from addiction. In nearly all the research and interviews that occurred during that series, several things were constant. One of those things included individuals each seeking some sort of treatment program, agency, or center in their recovery process.
During the month of September, the Times Tribune will take a look at a few of the centers and programs that are helping to change lives through that recovery process.
In recent news, preliminary figures from the National Center for Health Statistics show that last year, 2018 saw the first nationwide decline in drug overdose deaths since 1990. In the prior 28 years, overdose deaths climbed. But in 2018 that number finally dropped. It was approximately a 5 percent decline nationwide, according to a press release. And in Kentucky, overdose deaths fell by nearly 15 percent last year — the largest drop in the Commonwealth in more than a decade.
Some reports speculate that the numbers can thank the increased use of Narcan. And while that may indeed be that case, it’s certainly evident that in the Tri-County, agencies and organizations are working hard to combat the drug epidemic locally through other avenues as well.
One local church, for example, who is constant in their recovery work recently held an event called “Recovery Sunday.”
The church's pastor said Recovery Sunday was an effort to continue to move in a forward direction and to serve what they believed, what very well might be a primary need in the region — the drug epidemic.
In accordance with the 2019 Recovery Month observance, the focus will be on community members, first responders, the healthcare community, and youth and emerging leaders highlighting the various entities that support recovery within our society. The 2019 Recovery Month theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger," emphasizes the need to share resources and build networks across the country that support recovery in all its forms.