The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) will host an event acknowledging the strength and resilience of local residents who are in recovery from addiction.
Celebrating Recovery will take place at 5 p.m., Sept. 10, at the school’s Clingman Center for Community Engagement in downtown Lewisburg. Members of the public are invited to attend.
Jennifer Crane, a peer recovery support specialist n WVSOM’s Center for Rural and Community Health (CRCH), has been organizing similar, private events for members of the local recovery community and their families every month since March. She said her goals in opening this Celebrating Recovery event to the public are twofold.
“I want this to be a celebration of those who have attended our past events, and a way to honor their recovery,” Crane said. “But it’s also an opportunity for people in Lewisburg and other nearby areas to see what recovery is and, hopefully, learn how they can make a difference. They’ll meet people who are in recovery and hear stories from individuals who have battled addiction and survived. People in any type of recovery are welcome, not just substance use; it could be recovery from an eating disorder, gambling, or anything.”
Besides Crane, speakers will include West Virginia State Sen. Stephen Baldwin; Drema Hill, Ph.D., MSP, WVSOM’s vice president for community engagement and development; and Chad Poage, D.O., a WVSOM alumnus who will share his own experience with the recovery process.
Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions and to share personal stories involving addiction and recovery.
Baldwin said he is participating in the event because it offers community members a way to help fight addiction.
“We have a chance to save lives,” he said. “Substance use may be running rampant, but recovery is real. People who want to recover can [do so] thanks to the love and support of their communities. Every single person is precious, and each day is a new opportunity.”
Crane said the event also will serve as a forum to discuss ways community members can address addiction and recovery. She noted that confronting these issues requires communities to take steps they might find difficult at first, citing a town in Greenbrier County in which some residents are voicing resistance to the opening of a recovery home.
“Communities in West Virginia want change. But in order for that to happen, it’s important for people to step up and be a part of that change. My hope is that coming together will allow us to talk about some of the things that are necessary in order to make our communities stronger,” Crane said.
Celebrating Recovery is sponsored by WVSOM’s CRCH, Community Connections and the West Virginia Collegiate Recovery Network.