State calls for stories ahead of National Recovery Month

Written by Rachel McDevitt | Aug 31, 2017 7:00 AM

(Harrisburg) -- Heading into National Recovery Month in September, the state is calling on people who have struggled with substance abuse to share their stories of recovery.

National Recovery Month is meant to show recovery is possible. To strengthen the message, the state Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs is inviting those who are working to best their addiction to share their story on the agency's website.

Acting Secretary Jennifer Smith says this is the first time the state is collecting such first-person accounts.

"The reason that we're collecting these stories is because, I think, it's a big step in the right direction to fighting stigma here in Pennsylvania," she said.

Smith says some people don't understand addiction is a disease.

"They tend to cross those folks off their list as people who can be productive members of society, and that's really such a shame," Smith said. "So what we want to be able to do is highlight some of these stories to say, these are people just like you and me."

Smith says the accounts are especially important as the death toll continues to rise in Pennsylvania from substance abuse.

More than 4,600 people died of a drug overdose in Pennsylvania last year. 

Those struggling with an addiction who want to seek recovery can start by calling 1-800-662-HELP.

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