Letter: Area offers much for those interested in recovery
Most people are unaware that September is “National Alcohol and Drug Recovery Month.”
Our hope is to raise the awareness of the effectiveness of treatment by celebrating the millions of Americans in recovery who live productive and healthy lives.
On Tuesday at 6 p.m., the third annual Recovery Event is being held in Bismarck. It starts with a gathering on the Capitol lawn. At 7 p.m. there is a recovery walk down Fifth Street, followed by live music and a dance at the Ramkota Hotel.
We all know someone with untreated alcoholism or drug addiction. The chemically dependent individual frustrates those around them and they do not seem to get sober when we want them to get sober.
A rarer few among society gets to see the alcoholic or addict in recovery. If you are fortunate to get close to someone in recovery, you find a changed person. They become inconspicuous as they are quietly going about the business of living a useful, meaningful and productive life. They resemble their old self but little. They are not up on a soapbox selling recovery, looking for attention or credit. Instead they live and attract by example.
Research has shown the recovery rate for addictions to be the same as for cancer and heart disease. Not everyone recovers on the first treatment for cancer, heart disease or alcoholism and in all three clients may succumb to their disease even while following medical advice.
We are fortunate to live in an era when alcoholism and addictions are losing some of the stigma and it is easier to access treatment. In North Dakota, almost 100 percent of the individuals who request treatment are able to get help. Nationwide only 10 percent can access treatment. Even without insurance or payability, our human service centers can provide treatment on a sliding fee.
The Dickinson area offers a full range of services, from day treatment with a residential setting to outpatient services, education and prevention, and programs for the family.
We have private practices, corrections programs and public services. We are fortunate to have 17 Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings per week in the city and surrounding communities.
The anonymity and confidentiality surrounding treatment and 12-step groups makes the recovered individual loth to disclose their membership. The recovery event opens the possibility to advocate for recovery without disclosing membership.
John Wieglenda, LAC, Heart River Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services, Dickinson