Submitted by Brenda Goettl, CSW, CSAC, ICS, LPC
COVID-19 has turned many of our lives upside down. Perhaps one of the most vulnerable and hard hit communities is those who are in Recovery. But, this message isn’t about the devastating impact isolation and fear can have on those in recovery. It is about a message of hope.
Every September is National Recovery Month. It is an attempt by those in recovery and those advocating for those in recovery, to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders and celebrate the people who are committed to their recovery journey.
As Recovery Program Director at NorthLakes Community Clinic, I’m fortunate enough to experience the transformation and cataclysmic change that happens when those struggling with addiction take back their life and begin the long road to recovery. It is humbling and inspiring to see and is just one of many reasons I feel privileged to work on a team committed to addressing the root cause of addiction in our communities.
Unfortunately, we all know someone impacted by addiction. Whether it is a friend, family member or loved one, the collective impact addiction has on our communities is overwhelming at times. But, our response is equally as inspiring.
Since 2015, NLCC has been building a Recovery Program that focuses on whole person care. In simpler terms, we assess each individual’s needs and address them accordingly. This may include medical care, mental health counseling, medication-assisted recovery, intensive group work, and access to social supports, peer supports and other supports to help them understand and address the why behind their substance use disorder. We also partner with external agencies to address other social and clinical drivers impacting them. While this is a resource-intense program that is oftentimes not covered by insurance, we remain committed to offering these services because we know this is what it takes to create real and sustaining change.
Over the past few months, we’ve had several folks ask us if COVID-19 is at all changing our approach to Recovery. The answer is simple – our commitment to recovery is as steadfast and strong as it was in 2015. Our mission to respond to the needs of our community is strong – and that includes those struggling with addiction. This won’t change anytime soon.
On this National Recovery month, I want to take a moment to recognize and applaud all of those in recovery and those who support the recovery movement. It truly takes a village and I am just so grateful to be a part of it. We hope that you know if you or anyone you love ever needs help, we are here to provide it.
Brenda Goettl is director of the recovery program at NorthLakes Community Clinic