This September marks the 27th anniversary of National Recovery Month, which is an entire month dedicated to raising awareness towards those who struggle with substance use disorder, as well as mental health awareness. Sponsored by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), this year’s theme concerns itself with the strengthening of families and communities, which has proven to be a key factor in the long-term success rate of those in recovery.
With this information in mind, I immediately thought of that word community. I then thought of how we at Oregon Trail Recovery stress that key component within our clients so much, encouraging them to reach out and become involved in the 12-step community available to them in the immediate Portland Metropolitan Area, where there are nearly 800 meetings a week.
It is within these meetings that clients will find themselves the opportunity to engage in a sense of fellowship, beyond the limits of our program. Unlike our program, which is limited to a maximum 6-months, clients will have the opportunity to forge life-long companionship, and ingrain themselves in a community in which they will find long-term support, forge new identities, and begin to understand life in a completely different perspective.
In my own recovery, I have found that one of the largest components that was severely lacking in my active addiction was a sense of belonging within a community.
The beauty of 12-Based Recovery is that it allows us the opportunity to walk through struggles with other people who share the same common issues and are attempting to reach the same common goal. Clients of Oregon Trail Recovery have had a chance to reach such a connection with their sponsors and other members of the 12-Step Based community because they have found inspiration through common struggle.
It is also important for us to remember just what a benefit it is that we in Portland, OR are blessed to have one of the strongest 12-Step Based Recovery communities. Clients who have come to our program from out of state have the clear benefit to be able to find a meeting, be informed upon recovery related events, or even to reach out to someone who is in recovery so simply. Much more simple than other western cities.
Furthermore, we have seen in more recent years that a sense of community has proven to be one of the most valuable tools in a sense of crisis and stress, whether that community is found through an online medium such as social media, or through a physical one such as a close-knit group of friends or support group. So, through the bonds the clients establish with each while at our program, mixed with the bonds they establish from the local community around them in Portland, they are constantly discovering new avenues of support and strength for which they can be successful in their respective recoveries.
With this outlook on community as one of the most valuable tools in recovery, Oregon Trail Recovery is proud to honor National Recovery Month, in an effort to bring awareness to all who struggle with the griping ailment of addiction and to shine a beacon of hope, proving that we do recover and that there is a better way. That better way can be found through a strong and loving community which welcomes all and only wants every member of that community to have exactly what we would wish any struggling addict or alcoholic; we wish them to be happy, joyous and free.
J. Dalton Williams
Oregon Trail Recovery, LLC.