Recovery Month Celebrates Healing and Thriving

Imagine having an illness that is often fatal, but can be recovered from—a highly stressful situation. Now imagine the general public not only believes that recovery is impossible but also blames you for having this illness. Beliefs are powerful, and can determine whether an illness is secret or shared; whether treatment is covered by insurance or unfunded; and even whether someone lives or dies. Although 23.5 million Americans are in recovery from addiction disorders, stigma remains high, and services can be sparse. National Recovery Month’s 2019 theme, Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger, emphasizes the need to share resources and build networks across the country to support recovery at the local level.

Compass Mark, with our vision to guide and empower all people toward healthy, fulfilling lives free from addiction, has been actively involved in creating Recovery Month events throughout Lancaster and Lebanon Counties. Public celebrations of recovery, including festivals and walks, normalize addiction recovery as a healthy and contributing factor towards a strong community. Research has shown that recovery is more sustainable in a welcoming and supportive environment.

Recovery Day Lancaster, presented by the Lancaster County Recovery Alliance (LCRA), is in its 6th year, and has joined with The 521 Club’s Recovery Rocks concert to put on a family-friendly event on September 21st at Buchanan Park. The event features a one-mile Walk for Recovery around Lancaster City’s West End, allowing people in recovery and their loved ones to take pride in the results of their hard work: personal and family healing. LCRA’s Scott Theurer said of previous years’ walkers, “I really think they would have walked loops around the whole city, given a chance!”
The walk is followed by a Hess’s BBQ lunch, activities including crafts, sports and games for all ages, and the highlight of the afternoon: the Recovery Rocks concert. This year’s musicians include Rick’s One-Man Band, Dirt Road Redemption, and Half Past Dead. Recovery Day Lancaster is a free event, but lunch tickets are $5.00 and can be purchased at

The second annual Recovery Day Lebanon featured fun, fellowship, and food on September 7th at Monument Park, and drew big crowds to hear speaker Brandon Novak, professional skateboarder, actor, stuntman, and person in long-term addiction recovery.
Compass Mark Prevention Specialist Josh Mountz has served on the planning committee for the event for two years, and says, “Brandon gave a great speech as well as talks from local dignitaries and local people sharing their stories of recovery.”

September 14th was the first annual Ephrata Recovery Day event arranged by Ephrata Cares, a task force of government leaders, first responders, ministries, addiction and recovery specialists, neighbors, and people in recovery, coming together to address drug addiction in their town. They meet monthly to discuss issues, share resources and create an action plan to educate, empower and heal those affected by addiction.

The celebration featured great food, live music, games, and resources. Both the task force and the event was brought about by the hard work of organizations including the RASE Project, Ephrata WellSpan, The Ephrata Mayor’s Office, Retreat Behavioral Health, Ephrata City Gate, Ephrata Area School District, Ephrata Police Department, Grace House, Ephrata Library, and Independence House, as well as Compass Mark’s Community Prevention Mobilizer, Chris Glover.