This year’s Recovery Month theme invites individuals in recovery from addiction and substance abuse, their support networks, and community organizations to be visible as a unified group. The Regional Health Council’s Addictions & Dependency (A&D) Committee announces several events that are open to the public:
- September 10, Saturday, 8am – 5K Run and Silent Auction, Riverpark at the Hubert Fry Center, 4301 Amnicola Highway, sponsored by CADAS (Council for Alcohol & Drug Abuse Services), register through their website at www.cadas.org
- September 18, Sunday, 11am-4pm – Recovery Booth at the Chattanooga Market, First Tennessee Pavilion, 1826 Reggie White Blvd, sponsored by the A&D Committee, free
- September 22, Thursday, 6-8pm, Enterprise South Nature Park “Celebration of Recovery,” music, food and refreshments, fellowship, hiking trails, sponsored by the A&D Committee, free
- September 20, Tuesday, 7pm (doors open 6:30pm) – Free film screening of “The Anonymous People,” at The Church at Grace Point, 2575 Old Freewill Road, Cleveland TN 37312, sponsored by Pirate Springs, a non-profit 501(c)(3) recovery support organization, piratesprings.org
“The number of drug overdose deaths in Tennessee increased 220% between 1999 (342 deaths) to 2012 (1,094 deaths),” states City Councilman Chris Anderson, Chair of the Regional Health Council, citing the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department’s 2015 Community Health Profile, “In 2012, Hamilton County emergency rooms had 6,454 alcohol and drug-related visits, resulting in 2,679 hospitalizations, or a little over 7 per day. The Regional Health Council seeks to raise awareness of this public health problem in Hamilton County and overcome the stigma of recovery.”
The stigma of recovery is that many people still think addiction is a hopeless condition, especially when they see someone relapse. Yet many former addicts and substance abusers are productive members of society. National Recovery Month encourages these men and women and their families to come out to this year’s events and give hope to those who still suffer from addiction.
Recovery is defined as a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential. The pace and perseverance to this process varies from person to person but it begins with getting clean and sober. For most people, treatment is where they learn some of the basic tools of living in recovery, followed by involvement in 12-step groups.
“Treatment is just the beginning of a lifelong journey,” says Dr. Thomas Miller, MD, Chair of the A&D Committee, “Like any other chronic disease, recovery must be managed day to day using various recovery tools. If you stay out in front of the disease with preventive efforts, you avoid more serious consequences later on.”
Behavioral health is essential to overall health- prevention works, treatment is effective, and people do recover!
For more information about local recovery resources, the Health Department has put together a free local resource guide on their website. If your organization is putting together recovery month events, get toolkits from the National Recovery Month website, and contact the Health Department to add it to their community calendar. To contact the Regional Health Council call (423) 209-8088.
The mission of the Regional Health Council is to serve as the lead community-based organization designated by the Tennessee Department of Health, responsible for community health assessment, regional health planning, and the provision of input regarding funding decisions for health and health related initiatives. The Council’s vision is that We, the residents of Chattanooga and Hamilton County, will redesign our community, one person, one neighborhood, one institution, and one system at a time through the cooperation of all people so that every person will reach his/her economic, social, spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical potential.