September is National Recovery Month

 The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recognizes September as National Recovery Month. According to the Michigan Department of Community Health’s (MDCH) vital records and health statistics, 728 people lost their lives to heroin between 2010 and 2012. In the past 90 days, there have been at least three heroin-related deaths and likely more, says Briana Jefferson, prevention manager of United Way of Jackson County. Heroin is just one of many substances that may result in overdose. Due to the large number of Jackson County residents who enter treatment for substance abuse disorders, there is a high probability that you know one of these individuals.

 The Jackson community has an opportunity to celebrate people who are taking brave action to receive appropriate and effective treatment in order to live healthier, longer lives. These people often give back to the community by supporting others in recovery, volunteering, and participating in programs that focus on prevention and treatment. Jackson County residents can help support recovery by praising the hard work of those in recovery and recognizing that addiction is a disease, not a choice. Recovery success stories are all around us. For every unfortunate, untimely death, there is a different story about a person in recovery that passionately dedicates their life to helping others. 
 
 Below are a few of Jefferson’s suggestions to promote recovery:
Donate: Organizations that focus on preventing and treating addiction are continuously enduring financial shortages. 
Volunteer: Money is not the only way to promote recovery. Time is just as effective.
Share a story of success. If you don’t know one, ask around.
Educate yourself and others. A variety of evidence-based research is available. Some helpful websites include: www.samhsa.gov, www.drugabuse.gov, www.hazelden.org  
Attend a recovery court session or take a tour of local treatment centers. Come and see the miracle of recovery first hand.
Efforts are funded through Community Mental Health Authority of Clinton, Eaton and Ingham Counties, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Michigan Department of Community Health.
 
For more information, contact:
• Jackson County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition and its activities; Briana Jefferson at (517) 796-5133 or bjefferson@uwjackson.org
• Family Service & Children’s Aid, Born Free; Melissa Davis at (517) 782-9905 or mdavis@strong-families.org
• Jackson County Recovery Court: Judge Susan E. Beebe, 312 S. Jackson Street, Jackson, MI  49201
• Allegiance Health Substance Abuse Services;  Melissa Cerqueira at melissa.cerqueira@allegiancehealth.org.

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