Our recovery advocacy blog is produced by individuals in recovery!  Here you will find commentary and personal discussions on different aspects of addiction recovery and advocacy. 


September is National Recovery Month and is held annually to increase awareness and celebrate successes of those in recovery. It provides comprehensive education about substance use treatment and mental health services and can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder in learning about and living a healthy and rewarding life. There are millions of Americans whose lives have been transformed through recovery from the substance use disorder that is addiction. These successes often go unnoticed. Recovery Month provides a vehicle for everyone to celebrate and share these accomplishments.

Parallel to the understanding growing that incarcerating our way out of substance use disorder just doesn’t work for people and that prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery support services are far more humane and effective, there is now a new target enemy in War On Drugs 2.0: the drug dealers.

For me, happiness was finally engaging in what was worth my time. Success was finding the strength to fight for sobriety every day, despite knowing relapses were possible. Routine days consisted of boring actions and events that caused me to believe I had more fun in the past when I was addicted, and the valleys were those dark moments that seemed to pull me right back to square one - and sometimes, they did.

There are so many tragic stories. Though Carrie Fisher’s death occurred in late December 2016, findings about her death were only recently released. Our Princess Leia could conquer the evil forces from other worlds, but apparently Carrie could not conquer the evil force that was apparently with her. Her mother died of a severe stroke the following day. Double tragedy. Yoda said, “The fear of loss is a path to the Dark Side.” Obi Wan Kenobi most surely shed a tear.

By, Merlyn Karst. Now in long-term recovery, I know the importance of being a vocal and visible voice. I believe in the power of my story but I also know that my story powers me.