Stories of Recovery
September is National Recovery Month, a time to recognize and support those in recovery from mental health or substance use disorders. This year’s theme, Join the Voices for Recovery: Strengthen Families and Communities, recognizes that recovery is a process that impacts us all.
Recovery is often described as an individual’s journey from darkness to light, but there is far more involved. Progress in recovery is hardly possible without help. Family, friends, and community members pitch in to help where needed so someone can get back on his or her feet. When an individual or family struggles, the whole community struggles, and it’s important to understand the role family and community play in someone’s recovery. Recovery Month is an opportunity to spread awareness and celebrate the stories of those who are taking steps to improve their lives and their family or friends who provide support throughout the process.
For some, recovery might mean removing substance use or negative behaviors. For others, it might mean getting needed care in the form of counseling, medication, or medical treatment, or participating in activities they once enjoyed before life became so complex. When someone begins a recovery journey, the potential is endless and help is needed.
The recovery process is different for each individual, as these stories from people who have met significant challenges in their lives describe:
“Recovery means the chance to realize my potential, work hard to achieve my goals, and to keep growing as a person. Where I am today is a place I never dreamed I could get to, and I couldn’t be more grateful to be a person in recovery. I really believe it is a gift, and it has helped me to see and appreciate life in a very different way than I think most people do.”
“Being in recovery is hard to describe. In the beginning it felt like that last inning of a baseball game and you’re tied and it could go either way. If you connect with something, and you hit it out of the park, you get your life back. Getting your life back is like winning the game.”
“Today I am close to graduating from college and using my degree to pursue my goal of using my life experience to help and support others through difficult and adverse circumstances. I hope that I can be an advocate for those who are struggling and maybe be the helping hand someone needs to take those first steps to finding their way out of the grip of addiction.”
One individual put it simply: “Recovery is liberty, the freedom to live the life you want and to do clean, fun activities.”
As family members, friends, co-workers, and neighbors, this month is a time to reflect on our roles in the recovery process and to support those who are working to gain freedom from substance use so they can live the life they choose.
Jennifer Spagnuolo, MS-LCMHC, LADC
Our Access and Intake team and main number 802-488-6000 is available M-F from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Our crisis line, First Call for Chittenden County is available 24/7/365 at 802-488-7777. During this time, if you experience longer than a 15 minute wait for a call back, please call again.
Howard Center Recovery Resources
Chittenden Clinic is open daily and every weekday for new clients who are seeking treatment with methadone or buprenorphine at the Chittenden clinic. Please call 802-488-6450.
Safe Recovery is providing sterile syringes and Narcan for overdose reversal. Our low barrier buprenorphine program is also available. Please call 802-488-6067.
Howard Center’s Office-based Spoke for Medication Assisted Treatment, provides buprenorphine prescriptions in conjunction with individual and group therapy via telehealth, and educational and case management services.
ACT1 provides 24/7/365 information, referral, screening, assessment, and supervised short-term residential support to individuals of all ages who are or are suspected to be incapacitated due to alcohol or other drugs. The Bridge Program provides short-term stabilization and detoxification in a non-medical setting for individuals 18 and older who are experiencing problematic alcohol or other drug use.
START (Stabilization, Treatment, and Recovery Team) Program provides community-based mental health recovery peer support services and is offering support by telephone and video telehealth. START is available seven days a week from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., please call our main number at 802-488-6000.