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Recovery: Communities still help addiction fight

First responders and medical professionals on the front lines in our fight against COVID-19 are true heroes, there is no doubt. But there are others forging ahead in these uncertain times, continuing the fight against another plague that never left us.

Employees, volunteers and those in the community able to lend financial support have never stopped fighting for those seeking to overcome addiction and thrive in recovery.

Changes that have inconvenienced the rest of us are a bigger blow to those hoping to rebuild their lives.

“The opposite of addiction is togetherness,” said Kim Richards, coordinator of the Wirt County Recovery House. “It’s the exact opposite of what we need to be doing but we understand why we have got to do it.”

Isolation, depression, anxiety and economic challenges can be triggers for those struggling with addiction. But rehab facilities have only now begun to again start accepting new clients. In places like the Recovery House, that means the team has tried to stay in contact with clients every day through video chats and telehealth appointments. The average number of people in and out of the house every day has been cut by 75 percent. Clients who wish to volunteer are limited in where they can work. There is no date set for the restart of meetings.

Yet the work continues. Incredibly, those working at Recovery House and other places like it are still finding a way to bring hope.

And the communities are helping make it happen, despite their own challenges.

“Most people here (in the community) are not working,” Richards said. “Our donations are coming in regardless of whether they’re working or not. They’ve stepped up to do everything they said they were going to do, which is awesome.”

Of course they have. And because they have never given up on those in need, they, too, continue to bring hope.

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