In 2020, there were 619 suspected fatal drug overdoses that occurred in Nashville – an increase of 32% over 2019. Yet, during the first two quarters of 2021 fatal drug overdoses are up 11% compared to the same time period in 2020. During this time of an epidemic that is surging in our nation and our community, it is important to remember recovery is possible.
Wednesday, September 1 begins National Recovery Month, with the purpose of educating Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental health and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life. This year’s theme, “Recovery is For Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community, reminds people in recovery and those who support them that no one is alone in the journey through recovery.
“Just as our whole community is affected by substance abuse, overdoses, and the resulting poverty and family fractures,” says Ray Brocato, the CEO of The Next Door. “Our whole community benefits when addicts achieve lifetime recovery. This year, The Next Door will strive to give 1400 women the chance for a life of sobriety.”
Rebuilding Families to Succeed
As an addiction affects the whole family, a recovery can also have a powerful effect. When a woman succeeds at achieving sobriety, many positive things result:
- She is a better mother, providing her children with safety and security.
- She has the tools to break the generational cycle of poverty and addiction that often exists in families of those with substance use disorders.
- She can enter the workforce and be a stable employee, providing for the basic needs of her children.
The Next Door offers a Family Education Group each week for family members of current clients. This family group teaches families:
- about the disease of addiction, family recovery, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and medication assisted treatment;
- how the disease of addiction has impacted their family units, and;
- how to become a healthy, positive support for their loved one in recovery.
Our therapists also offer family therapy sessions when they are deemed appropriate and/or necessary to facilitate a client’s healing.
“One of the greatest joys we see at The Next Door is women able to regain the custody of her children, “says Amanda Dunlap, the Clinical Director of The Next Door. “As she becomes sober and has the tools to maintain sobriety, she is a better mother, greatly benefiting her children’s future.”
Benefiting the Whole Community
The effects of drug abuse go far beyond the family unit, having consequences for the whole community, costing our nation around $300 billion each year.
As people recover from addiction, the whole community benefits:
- Crime and incarceration decrease. (More than a quarter of women in jail are held for drug crimes. Another 32 percent are held for property offenses, which are often linked to drug abuse.)
- Homelessness decreases as women are able to hold a job and become independent.
- The workforce gains sober, dependable workers, benefiting the business community and the economy as whole.
How Can You Help?
We know addiction is a big problem, but what can you do?
- Talk openly with your children about drugs and alcohol. Educate your children about the consequences about substance abuse and give them ways to cope with peer pressure.
- Welcome those in the recovery community into your body of faith. Being a member of a church or faith community can give these people a support system they need as they rebuild their life.
- Educate yourself about the signs of addiction so you are aware when a friend or family member is developing a problem with substances.
- Avoid placing a stigma on addiction. Experts view addiction as a condition which often results from genetic disposition or a way to deal with severe childhood trauma. Compassion and encouragement can go a long way.
- Support organizations – either financially or with volunteer hours – that are working to help individuals achieve lifetime recovery.
At The Next Door, we provide individualized addiction treatment to women so they may return to their homes and communities with the skills and resources needed to live full lives in recovery. Recovery improves all aspects of a woman’s life – family, community involvement, physical health, and employment. The Next Door’s impact results in stronger and healthier families and helps make the Nashville community a better place in which to live, work, and do business.
To find out more about treatment, contact us at 1-855-TND-HOPE (863-4673).
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or financial supporter, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.