A series of events will be happening through the month of September to celebrate drug addiction recovery across Aroostook County, Maine.
The event that kicked off the series was a candlelight vigil that aimed to honor the local members of the community who have lost their lives because of an opioid overdose throughout the past year.
The candlelight vigil, which was held on Thursday, August 30 in the city of Caribou, honored not only local community members but also the other residents of the state who have passed away due to an opioid overdose in 2017.
The vigil was organized by the Cary Medical Center in collaboration with Recovery Aroostook as well as the Aroostook Mental Health Center — a private, nonprofit behavioral healthcare organization that is going to be hosting several of the other events that will be celebrating drug addiction recovery throughout September.
The nonprofit organization — which has been offering a variety of crisis, rehab, outpatient and inpatient, peer support and educational services to Aroostook as well as Hancock and Washington counties since 1964 — will also be hosting an annual event on September 9.
The Alumni Recovery Reunion will be held at one of the inpatient addiction treatment facilities owned by the Aroostook Mental Health Center and located in Limestone.
On September 15, drug addiction recovery will be celebrated in the town of Fort Kent. The celebration is scheduled to be held at the Fort Kent Outdoor Center during lunchtime. The free event will feature a barbeque as well as entertainment for kids, guest speakers and outdoor activities like hiking.
The city of Presque Isle, the largest city in Aroostook County, will be the location of yet another annual event called Recovery Rocks.
The gathering, which is also organized by the Aroostook Mental Health Center in partnership with Life by Design, Micmac Health Clinic, and Recovery Aroostook, will happen on September 22 at the Presque Isle Fish and Game Club.
This year, Recovery Rocks will feature raffles, picnics, live music and several guest speakers who have been able to overcome substance use disorders and will be sharing personal stories about their journeys to sobriety. The event is free and open to the public.
Representatives of the Aroostook Mental Health Center stated that in addition to celebrating the accomplishments of the local community members who have been able to overcome their substance use disorders, the upcoming events also aim to shine a light to their stories and consequently provide hope to the people who need the encouragement to recover.
The events are a part of National Recovery Month, an initiative implemented and sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to increase awareness about addiction and commemorate the success of the people who have been able to recover from a substance use disorder.
The theme of this year’s National Recovery Month is ‘Join the Voices for Recovery: Invest in Health, Home, Purpose, and Community’ and follows the same subject targeted by SAMHSA during the past few years.