Today is August First. History reports that disastrous events scatter people, and then bring them together. Survivors gather in mutual and sustaining support. In the past and now today, we hear the words— together we shall There are communities with interlocking family, friends, and relatives. A group that has community heritage and bonds. A sense of common purpose brings order, fellowship, and brings understanding, love, and care for fellow beings. No matter the cause or disaster.

William White wrote,” For more than two centuries, addicted and recovering people in America have been the object of language created by others. People experiencing severe and persistent alcohol and other drug problems inherited a language not of their own making that has been ill suited to accurately portray their experience to others or to serve as a personal catalyst for personal change. The wrong words stigmatize and dis-empower.” In 2001, in St Paul, Minnesota, the group assembled learned that by our silence we let others define us. We gave birth to Faces and Voices of Recovery. Understanding the sound of silence led us to the making of our language and it’s resounding and growing joyful noise about the reality of recovery.  Now, more than two decades later, the joyful noise is lost in the most difficult times in ages.  The chaos is universal with war, floods, heat, inflation, gas price, Covid 5, housing, and a divided country. White also wrote, “Many of us have carried a message of hope on a one-to-one basis. This new recovery movement calls upon us to carry that message of hope to whole communities and the whole culture. It is time we stepped forward to shape this history with our stories, our time and our talents. Faces and Voices of Recovery has become a national and international face and voice of recovery and through its educational, training, and data accumulation, it has a powerful story to tell. It sponsors the Association of Recovery Communities, ARCO, for spreading the “joyful noise.” across the U.S.  That in spite of the joyless noise that abounds.

Our movement can’t be successful when led solely by those impacted by addiction and accompanying injustice.  The advent of the Opioid crisis and a national emphasis came with funds to inform and fight through litigation, laws, and vital information.  Along came Medically Assisted Recovery, MARS.  New research produced new drugs, like Naloxone (Narcan) that with application, overcomes a potentially fatal opioid overdose.  Thousands have been saved but thousands more were not saved. There is no recent data to support this, but attention has been given to equipping millions with doses to save those in need.  Further, with growing concern about fentanyl, test strips are becoming more available to drug users who need or want to check on content—for good or bad!

A PBS Ken Burns project titled, “Hiding in Plain Sight, Youth Mental Illness was a two-hour presentation and featured several young heroes who told their stories and included the other victims—the families, relatives, and friends, Their stories, from all, were candid, sad, and troubled. Find the documentary it and learn.

We have faces and voices with a message. We have Medically Assisted Recovery to dimmish craving with necessary fellowship meetings and therapy with recovery happening. We have faces, voices, tools, and a variety of paths to recovery. Years ago, I heard the Director of NIDA, Nora Volkow, tell of the work on brain studies and developing medically assisted recovery.  The recovery movement is growing but in the face of an election year and the noise of the day’s events, we need more passionate, and dedicated faces and voices of recovery to carry the message. Nora Volkow told us at year end of 2021 how important that we acknowledge the need for social contact, community friendship, and community involvement. As she said; we know how stress brings us together to face difficulty and help others. We can overcome most of the troubles that come from our daily lives. We have the capacity to overcome whatever we face, and we all do better with coming together. It will lead us to a better tomorrow and of coming together as a community and appreciation of family and friends.

Join The Purpose of Recovery for the second Annual Orange County Recovery Rally. Th reality of Recovery. e event is on August 20th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Kiwanisland Park in Garden Grove. Come and celebrate with people in recovery, recovery allies, and community partners—with food and fun and resources. The event will also bring attention to Overdose Awareness Day which occurs in August. The rally seeks to reduce stigma, bridge the gap, highlight services, and create a network of resources for individuals and families to heal, stabilize, and create purpose in recovery. We will recognize the roles of peers, professionals, service providers, donors, family, and friends in advancing our message. You can visit our website. to register for free fun, fellowship, and Recovery reality.

Merlyn Karst, Recovery Ambassador

Recovery is for Everyone. Every Person— Every Family— Every Community