Recovery Community Offers Support, Resources
Updated: Feb 4
Submitted to The Wilson Times by: Anna Godwin
Health status does not merely hinge on how often we visit our doctors, how well we eat and how often we exercise. Our health is also largely influenced by many other factors, such as access to economic opportunities, the resources and supports available where we live and the nature of our interactions and relationships.
Such factors, known as the social determinants of health, or SDOH, play a significant role in the prevention of substance misuse and also one’s ability to sustain recovery from substance use disorders. Some have suggested that these SDOH are among the most essential social factors that must be addressed as part of a successful strategy for reducing the risk of substance misuse in the United States. In many ways, COVID-19 has amplified the reality of this very thing.
The ripple effect of COVID-19 has been far-reaching, and those who suffer from substance misuse disorders have not been unaffected. The availability of resources to meet daily needs, stable employment and access to social supports, all essential to sustained recovery, have been negatively affected by COVID-19.
Then, there is the unfortunate, decades-old stigma surrounding substance misuse and accessing behavioral health resources. Because substance misuse is often viewed as a moral
failing versus a brain disease, those who suffer often do so without the support that would be offered and available to others who suffer from chronic illness. Those with a substance use disorder often feel ashamed to reach out for support from family, friends or professionally due to fear of how they may be perceived.
Stressors of COVID-19, negative implications on social determinants of health and stigma yield a difficult combination for those seeking to begin their recovery process and for those working to maintain their sustained recovery. However, the recovery community is one of perseverance! This community knows the value of reaching out to a friend, even if it has to be over the phone or Zoom instead of face to face, just to have a listening ear. This community knows and regularly implements healthy stress management techniques. This community knows the value of offering grace!
If you are finding yourself in a place of needing help to address substance misuse, there are people ready to welcome you into this recovery community. There are organizations, services and people available right here within our county who are eager to offer you the grace and support you may need.
For more information regarding what is available in our community, you may visit nc211.org or dial 211 or 1-888-892-1162 to obtain free and confidential information on health and human services and resources within our community. You may also visit www.impactcarolina.org for information related to substance misuse prevention, recovery organizations and free resources available to support efforts in our community and state.
Anna Godwin, Wilson
The writer is a recovery ally who serves as CEO of Community Impact N.C.