RecoveryWerks! readies for National Recovery Month; Sept. 15 Open House
Sept. 6, 2023
September is National Recovery Month, an observance promoting and supporting new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the nation’s recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and communities who make recovery possible. The 2023 theme is “Recovery is for Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community.”
Comal County is home to several organizations that promote, encourage and celebrate recovery daily. RecoveryWerks!, a local nonprofit, is one such organization.
RecoveryWerks! provides recovery support services for teenagers and young adults experiencing problems with substance use. Through state-certified peer recovery support specialists, they provide counseling, peer coaching, support group meetings, sober social activities, role modeling and accountability to help young people discover the freedom of life without the effects of mind-changing chemicals.
“We know that to young people, their peer group means everything,” said Zach Saunders, a licensed chemical dependency counselor and RecoveryWerks! youth services program director. “Nowadays, when a kid tries to become sober, it’s very different. It’s virtually impossible to avoid contact with other kids experiencing substance abuse problems. Ultimately, when we identify a young person with a substance abuse issue, they need a different set of friends. They need a different place to be. That’s what we try to provide.”
In addition to working with teens and young adults, RecoveryWerks! provides similar support to family members, ages nine and above, who have a loved one struggling with substance use disorder.
“Family members come here because their teen is in trouble, and they want to get them help,” said RecoveryWerks! Executive Director Debi Dickensheets. “The parents are concerned with their teenager dying or going down a path that is not recoverable. We work with the family members on how to enable recovery versus enabling addiction. We have a 12-step support group meeting for parents and grandparents, while other counselors are having a 12-step support meeting for the teens. We also have a 12-step support group meeting for brothers and sisters who are not using between the ages of nine and 17. Everybody in the group gets tools on how to help enable recovery.”
The Comal County Commissioners Court recently proclaimed September as National Recovery Month in Comal County, recognizing that while mental health and substance use disorders affect all communities nationwide, many within the community have embarked on a journey of improved health and overall wellness.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, launched National Recovery Month in 1989 to increase public awareness surrounding mental health and addiction recovery.
On Sept. 15, RecoveryWerks! is hosting a fun night for the entire family to celebrate the outpouring of community support for persons in recovery and the many lives changed through the recovery process.
The free event will be held at 790 Landa St. in New Braunfels from 6 – 10 p.m., featuring music, games, prizes, food trucks, community resources tables and an outdoor family movie that begins at sunset. The public is invited to bring lawn chairs, bring the family, and help celebrate National Recovery Month in the community.