Every September, SAMHSA (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) sponsors National Recovery Month to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders and celebrate the people who recover.
Many people in our society face challenges with substance use. Often times this is due to traumatic experiences, lack of support, and/or untreated mental health issues. We also know that people recover.
Every day someone seeks out support and help for a substance use issue. Here at the Denver Public Library, we take this very seriously. We want people to have access to the resources they need to find hope and recovery.
DPL employs a Community Resources team that consists of two licensed Social Workers and five Peer Navigators. The Peer Navigators are all people living in recovery from one or many of the following experiences: homelessness, a mental health diagnosis, a substance use issue, and/or criminal justice involvement.
The Peer Navigators are able to role model for the community that recovery is possible and that it does happen. By connecting with community members that may be struggling with life challenges, the team helps them to navigate services in the community and get connected to these services.
Unfortunately, stigma around these issues places barriers for people reaching out for help. We all have a responsibility to shift these conversations from shame and stigma to hope and recovery.
We’re sharing these resources with you to support people struggling with a substance use issue, or for those who know someone who is struggling:
Community Resource Specialists are located in the Central Library on Floor 4. Visit them there or reach out to library staff to be connected.
Dealing with Addiction A collection of non-fiction eBooks and audio eBooks
Hard Times Writers Workshop A safe and supportive creative writing workshop to help us process our life experiences and find new paths
Hard Times Meditation A supportive mindfulness meditation class to find new resiliency
While recovery is possible, no one can do it alone. In the words of Johann Hari, “The opposite of addiction is not sobriety, the opposite of addiction is connection.”
I heard about a gym in Denver that has a group of members going through sobriety: https://thephoenix.org They only require 48 hrs of sobriety to join, and they are free.