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Recovery for Diverse Communities: The Reintroduction of Recovery

Purple ribbon next to twig with leaves growing on it over a dark wooden background

written by: Recovery Resources Team at Kenneth Young Center: Mary Kay Betz, Daryl Pass, Fran Quesea, and Demetrius Young.

It’s safe to say that the past year and a half has been a devastating moment in history. This global pandemic has led to a host of traumatic experiences including isolation, job loss, loss of family members and friends, the list goes on. As a result, it makes sense we have seen a rise in overdose deaths last year – 93,000 fatalities to be exact. This is a 4% increase from 2019’s 70,630 overdose deaths. It is a fact that traumatic life experiences are linked to higher rates of substance use and addictive behaviors. More people are using substances and falling back on addictive behaviors in order to cope with the traumatic year.

The need for recovery support services is crucial in a time like now. At Kenneth Young Center, our recovery support services have expanded to be inclusive of all communities in recovery. We have done this by:

  • Facilitating SMART Recovery groups for adults, youth, and LGBTQ+ people. Our groups not only include a safe space for our groups to find community with other people in recovery, but the principles of SMART Recovery are inclusive of people who use any substance, have addictive behavior, and who are living with mental illness.

  • Providing recovery support to incarcerated people. Historically, the carceral system has punished people who use substances. By prioritizing recovery over punishment, we can give people opportunities to find healing.

  • Building a database of comprehensive resources that encompasses all areas of the recovery experience. Incorporating resources from all over keeps us prepared to be able to help in any way in the recovery journey.

Recovery isn't a one size fits all situation. Every person has a unique story that deserves to be told and to be treated with respect. That's why we plan events so that people can show up as their full selves and seek the help and resources that best suits them for example:

In honor of those lost by overdose, International Overdose Awareness Day takes place on August 31st. Kenneth Young Center will be at Christus Victor Lutheran Church from 7 to 8:30 PM to remember our loved ones. The event will include a vigil, music, and speakers who will share what the day means to them.

On Saturday, September 18th The Kenneth Young Center, along with Elk Grove Cares and Live 4 Lali, will be back to hosting the 3rd annual Remember Recover Discover recovery conference and resource fair. There will be opportunities for networking with professionals and people in recovery, learning how to administer Narcan, and space to listen to guest speakers share their stories of recovery.

These events are open to all ages. Stay tuned for registration and more details.

By holding these two events in person this year, we are able to continue traditions of honoring our community in recovery while being together.

If you’re interested in learning more about our SMART Recovery groups, please visit our SMART Recovery page.

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