I’ve spent a lot of time the last two weeks researching the treachery of heroin and sharing my findings with you. But, what happens if you are one of lucky ones that come out on the other side of addiction? What happens when you are one of the 23 million Americans living in long term recovery? It is a subject that is often overlooked, but thanks to the Recovery Community Initiative (RCI) – a local non-profit group dedicated to aiding those in recovery, you can learn all about it.
The RCI is a new organization that was formed by local individuals that are dedicated to long-term recovery, both for themselves and others, along with local business professionals. RCI is not a 12-step program, nor an alternative to NA, AA, or any other 12-step group. As their mission statement says, RCI is, “Helping individuals and families to find, reinforce and strengthen long-term recovery.”
The group wants to take the stigma off of recovery so that being a recovering addict doesn’t lessen someone’s ability to gain employment and be a productive member of their community. They are working together with social service agencies, elected officials, educators, members of the judicial system, local recovery programs and the Heroin Task Force in an effort to focus attention on permanent recovery solutions.
The RCI wants to people bring people together to see addiction as a social and health issue. They want to encourage people to talk about their recovery. The RCI believes that as along as recovery remains anonymous, the focus remains in the problems associated with drug abuse not the recovery.
According to member Alexa Hibbler, she also wants to make being sober or in recovery ‘cool.’ She doesn’t want kids to view drugs and alcohol as an outlet for gaining popularity or being one of the cool kids.
It was Hibbler’s interest in the documentary The Anonymous People that was the cornerstone of the formation of the RCI. She wanted to see the film, but was unable to find a showing nearby. She then began to look into what it would take to bring the movie to Williamsport. She got together with Bruce Lundrigan and advisors from the local business community and thus began the first steps of RCI.
Thanks to the Community Arts Center generously donating the theater, the RCI is able to bring the movie The Anonymous People to Williamsport. The Anonymous People is a documentary about those living in long-term recovery. The movie aims to bring those thriving post-addiction, out of the shadows and into the light. It is people sharing their stories with others in hopes of inspiring others as they battle and overcome addiction. It also focuses on the misunderstandings surrounding the disease of addiction. It discusses the ways that addiction can be a financial burden to communities and the ways those burdens can be lessened with education, prevention and treatment options.
In addition to the movie, there will be representatives from several local agencies in the lobby of the CAC before the movie. Those people will be there to offer information and answer any questions you may have.
After the movie, there will be a panel discussion moderated by Judge Nancy Butts. This will offer yet another opportunity to gather information, ask questions, and discuss what can be done to help those in recovery lead healthy, fulfilling lives.
The Anonymous People will be shown Monday, April 7th at 7:00 p.m. There is no charge for admission, but the RCI will be accepting donations.
This is the first of what the RCI hopes will be many projects in the community to raise awareness of long-term recovery. They also have goals of being able to help those in recovery with health and medical issues, employment issues/discrimination, housing issues and regular activities for those in long-term recovery in the area.