Battle Addiction’s Stigma, Transform Recovery on LCRA’s Agenda

“People are not comfortable saying publicly ‘I survived.”

At least they’re not when it comes to addiction, according to Amy Sechrist, certified prevention specialist at Compass Mark and member of the Lancaster County Recovery Alliance (LCRA). The LCRA is launching efforts to remove that stigma and transform how our community helps addicted people maintain long-term recovery. The brainchild of Jack Pacewicz, co-founder of Lancaster, PA recovery coaching and intervention service Empowering for Life, the LCRA’s mission is to:

  • Raise public awareness & eliminate addiction’s stigma;
  • Advocate for needed changes in addiction education, prevention, & treatment;
  • Support the development of a Recovery-Oriented System of Care (ROSC) in Lancaster County to provide effective solutions and community support during every stage of recovery.

Recovery Day at Clipper Magazine Stadium

Part of LCRA’s addiction advocacy effort includes Recovery Day on Sunday, September 6, 2015, during the Barnstormers game at Clipper Magazine Stadium. The event, which is in its second year, will feature a pre-game Recovery Walk, music from The River 97.3, and an appearance by Dwight “Doc” Gooden, the former baseball superstar who detailed his own battle with addiction in Doc: A Memoir. By organizing and participating in events like Recovery Day, the LCRA intends to help reduce the stigma that surrounds addiction. Sechrist notes that while the display of colored ribbons is a popular way to show support for those suffering illnesses, like cancer or autism, the community in general often doesn’t reach out to those affected by addiction. She said:

“People who don’t have a direct connection with addiction assume it’s a moral failing, and that keeps people in recovery from really being engaged in their communities, so the community at large is maybe not a place where [a recovering person] can be him- or herself.”

Addiction: A Community Problem Requires Community Solutions

The current LCRA member roster includes people in recovery as well as community members with backgrounds in law enforcement, legal professions, corrections, business, faith-based groups, health care, and addiction treatment. “We are not a group of people throwing acronyms around just because we’re in the field; we’re people from all walks of life working together on this,” said Sechrist. She invites anyone in Lancaster who has been affected by addiction or is passionate about addiction recovery to participate in the LCRA. To help our community get healthier by transforming how we approach addiction education, advocacy, and treatment, contact Amy Sechrist at 717-299-2831, ext. 235.

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