Recovery month inspires
Recovery month isn’t just about a person recovering from drugs and alcohol, but mental illness as well, said Charlene Alfero, a licensed alcohol and drug abuse counselor in New Mexico.
This year, the Socorro County Community Alternatives Program will be hosting the first community Recovery Month event on Sept. 29 in Socorro, said case manager Josefina Perez.
“Having a celebration is good for the community,” Alfero said. “It’s good for people who have gone through recovery and know they can get through their struggles, because usually the community tends to focus on the negativity.”
The goal of the event is to help people who are struggling to not be ashamed and realize that there is help out there. Alfero’s message is that recovery is possible.
According to the National Recovery Month website, September is National Recovery month. Various events during the month spread the message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, prevention works, treatment is effective and people can and do recover.
Perez said recovery month observance emphasizes even though the road to recovery may be difficult, the benefits of preventing and overcoming behavioral health conditions are significant and valuable to individuals, families and communities,
“We all have strengths and weaknesses,” Perez said. “Life can be rebuilt, and support recovery as an idea in the community.”
Alfero has been a counselor in Socorro for five years, and the drug and alcohol addictions keep coming up. She wants people to attend the event to get more understanding about recovery, and the purpose of the event is to bring recovery to light for the Socorro community and families. Alfero said she is in a positive situation where she is supported by the people she works with to make changes. She said in previous places she wasn’t supported by people to host a recovery month event.
Perez said Socorro is a small community, people who have been through recovery and some people around them don’t believe they have changed.
“They (people going through recovery) have positive encouragement, and it’s very easy to say not give up because we aren’t that person struggling,”Alfero said.
The County Community Alternatives Program will have an information booth at the event for people to learn more about recovery, and will provide resources to the community, Alfero said. The event is free, and will be from 3 to 10 p.m. on Sept. 29, at Sedillo Park. Activities include face painting, music, food, jumping booth for the kids, eating contests and other activities.
This event will inspire people and will give them a network of people to talk to when going on their road to recovery and lessen negative aspects about people who have had a past addicted life, Alfero said.
As a fundraiser for the event, the Socorro County Community Alternatives Program held a car wash and a drawing and collected $800. They received donations for the event from Aaron’s Electronics and K-Bobs. Favor-it things and Bodega Burger, The House and Puerto Seguro and even the Belen community will have booths set for their business so people are aware of their services, Alfero said.
“People think that not using drugs means being strong: it’s more than that.” Alfero said. “It’s all about being smart, and figuring out what it will take for you step by step.”