BY BROOKE WILLIAMS
The Wyoming County Hope Coalition plans to shed light on substance use disorder recovery stories this weekend.
In honor of National Recovery Month, the coalition sponsors the Wyoming County Recovery Celebration this Saturday, Sept. 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the county courthouse.
Founded in 2018, the coalition brings together medical providers, law enforcement, community leaders and more with the goal of combating the opioid crisis in the county.
Six individuals at various stages of recovery plan to publicly share their stories at the coalition’s first major event.
“They’re really achieving a lot of amazing things,” Wyoming County Human Services Director Michael Donahue said at a recent Hope Coalition meeting. “I think as you hear these speakers, you’re going to be overwhelmed with what they’ve done with this second chance that they’ve been given.”
The celebration also serves as an opportunity to highlight community resources geared toward recovery.
This includes CleanSlate Centers, Pyramid Healthcare, Robinson Counseling Center, Endless Mountains Addiction Awareness Committee, Caring Communities, A Better Today, SMART Recovery, Community Care Behavioral Health Organization, Recovery Centers of America, Trehab Community Resource Center, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Geisinger Marworth, Wright Center, Avenues Recovery, Wyoming County Drug Treatment Court, Endless Mountains Health System, AmeriHealth, Miners Medical, Luzerne/Wyoming Counties Drug and Alcohol Program, Just Believe Recovery Center, Luzerne/Wyoming County Mental Health and Developmental Services, Victims Resource Center, Young People in Recovery and Wyoming County Special Needs Association.
In addition to food and beverages, the coalition will offer free face painting for children, as well as sidewalk chalk for the perimeter of the courthouse and a crafts table.
The Hope Coalition encourages people to bring their families to the recovery celebration.
“Everyone needs to hear the message,” said coalition member Barb Landon.
While it’s important not to undermine the fact that the opioid epidemic has caused a large number of overdoses and deaths, Landon said, it’s also beneficial to promote the positive side.
“We have people that are in recovery because recovery does work,” she said.
Having loved ones of those in recovery present also paints a real picture of the impact of substance use disorder.
“It will be not only people that are directly involved with this disease,” Donahue said. “It will also be family members because this is a family disease.”
“For everybody that’s suffering from this disease, five people are suffering just as badly,” he estimates.
In the future, Landon hopes to see the recovery celebration continue and grow.
“We just want to make this a celebration because that’s what it should be,” she said. “It should be a celebration because people are living and not dying.”
For more information about the Wyoming County Recovery Celebration, contact Donahue at 570-836-3131.