WRA joined forces with over 700 individuals celebrating recovery at the Recovery Happens rally on September 13th. It was an amazing turn out and an amazing day for the community to celebrate the people and services making healthy and rewarding lives possible.
This event is part of National Recovery Month and was made possible with the help of the Recovery Happens Planning Committee, the Community Recovery Coalition, SMC Probation, clients/consumers and individuals in long-term recovery.
Hundreds march for recovery
September 14, 2011, 03:19 AM By Chris Cooney Bay City News Service
Andrew Scheiner/Daily Journal
San Mateo’s Hope House took part in this year’s Recovery Happens celebration in Redwood City.
Hundreds of San Mateo County residents in long-term recovery programs serving substance abuse addicts and mental health patients were in Redwood City Tuesday celebrating “Recovery Month.”
The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors officially declared September Recovery Month in recognition of the many treatment programs available to county residents who are struggling with issues such as drug or alcohol abuse, mental illness and unemployment.
The theme of this year’s Recovery Happens celebration, which coincides with National Recovery Month, was “Join the Voices for Recovery: Recovery Benefits Everyone.”
Dozens of participants gathered in the Board of Supervisors’ chambers and outside the county buildings this morning wearing “Recovery Happens” T-shirts and carrying signs that read “Hope Not Dope” and “Courage to Change the Things I Can.”
Ivette Torres, associate director of consumer affairs for the U.S. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment in Washington, D.C., said that one of the goals of Tuesday’s events — which included a rally, walk and picnic in Red Morton Park — is to increase visibility, educational opportunities and acceptance of recovering addicts in the community.
“Recovery doesn’t just benefit the individual,” Torres said. “It benefits families, it benefits the community, it benefits everyone.”
A former addict named Sue, who said she was a drug addict living in some bushes in East Palo Alto for more than 20 years, credited the county’s Women’s Recovery Association, Voices of Recovery and other programs with helping her confront her addictions and leave a life of homelessness.
“Because of Voices of Recovery, today I have a life,” Sue said.
Stephen Kaplan, director of the Health System’s Alcohol and Other Drug Services division, said that more than 2,700 San Mateo County residents are treated annually in substance abuse programs supported by the county.
Superior Court Judge Richard Livermore praised the county’s Drug Court program, which gives individuals facing criminal charges for drug use and possession the chance to avoid jail time by entering treatment programs.
Defendants who successfully comply with Drug Court’s rigid requirements of drug testing, substance abuse counseling and recovery program participation become “graduates,” and their criminal charges can be dismissed or reduced.
The Drug Court programs seek to bring recovery to the forefront of addressing drug and alcohol-related cases in the criminal justice system, Livermore said.
“I’ve spent 16 years as a Drug Court judge,” Livermore said. “I always tell people ‘You’re lucky you got busted in San Mateo County.’”