Living Columns & Blogs

Recovery maintenance is the most important part of recovery


Addiction is an epidemic. Millions in the United States have experienced its devastation – either as individuals struggling with their own substance use disorders or as the friends and family members of those struggling. At the same time, recent surveys report over 23.5 million American adults living meaningful, productive lives in recovery. The American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association and other scientific organizations recognize addiction as a chronic but treatable disease. Unfortunately, many who are affected by the disease of addiction also struggle with the stigma that this is somehow of their choosing – that if they only wanted to change, that their life would be different. As with other chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, change and recovery are possible but take time and effort to achieve.

September is National Recovery Month. The Centre County HOPE Initiative and organizations throughout the county will be holding events designed to increase awareness of substance use issues in the Centre County community, promote the availability of prevention, treatment and recovery support programs, and champion the fact that recovery from this chronic disease is indeed possible.

In the coming month and throughout the year, programs and resources are available to meet our identified needs. Staff can provide training sessions and prevention programming to youth and adults, employers, schools and community organizations. For those who need assistance with their addiction, Centre County Drug and Alcohol can assess and refer them to treatment providers who will support them in their recovery efforts. Centre County is also incredibly fortunate to have a strong and vibrant recovery community, with individuals supporting each other in their recovery journey.

The most important stage of recovery – recovery maintenance - is fully achieved within one’s community. It is here that one begins the challenging work of healing relationships and reconstructing a new sense of character, identity and life purpose. We as a community have the power to raise people up and support them in their new path to recovery. Please join us in this effort.

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Cathy Arbogast is program administrator, Centre County Drug and Alcohol.