San Mateo County to recognize recovering addicts

For 20 years, San Mateo County has recognized and celebrated individuals in addiction recovery.

With September being National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, the Board of Supervisors is taking it a step further by declaring it Recovery Happens Month.

“Through this recognition, we hope to show that there is broad support for what [recovering addicts are] doing and how difficult it is,” said Stephen Kaplan, director of alcohol and other drug services for San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services. “It’s helpful to know that those in recovery are supported by others outside their immediate support center.”

On Sept. 14, county officials, recovery agencies and community members will join together in Redwood City for a number of activities focused on bringing attention to the overall issues of substance abuse.

Following a breakfast at the Bridge Recovery Center, people from around the county will march to the Board of Supervisors Chamber, where the board will issue a proclamation officially declaring September Recovery Happens Month. After the board session, those who have gathered will then march to Red Morton Park for a picnic and celebratory events.

The awareness march began last year and was very successful, drawing about 200 participants. But this year, event planners are expecting a significantly larger group, Kaplan said.

“The board has been very supportive and the event last year was exhilarating because of the show of people,” Kaplan said. “In my mind, it’s not a single-day event. The impact keeps growing and has a reverberating effect. It adds to the outcomes we’re trying to achieve.”

While the event celebrates those who have committed to or already completed a recovery program, Kaplan said it should be used as an opportunity to reduce stigma that often interferes with an individual’s opportunity for change.

“This may provide those who are still actively using with the impetus to enter recovery,” Kaplan said. “It also gives us an opportunity to educate the community that addiction is a health issue, not a moral issue. By reducing stigma, recovering addicts can attain adequate housing, jobs with living wages and the chance to fully participate in the community.”

shaughey@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

Just Posted

The Hotel Whitcomb on Market Street was one of many hotels that took in homeless people as part of The City’s shelter-in-place hotel program during the pandemic.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Closing hotels could disconnect hundreds from critical health care services

‘That baseline of humanity and dignity goes a long way’

Pachama, a Bay Area startup, is using technology to study forests and harness the carbon-consuming power of trees. (Courtesy Agustina Perretta/Pachama)
Golden Gate Park visitors may take a survey about options regarding private car access on John F. Kennedy Drive, which has been the subject of controversy during the pandemic.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Your chance to weigh in: Should JFK remain closed to cars?

Host of mobility improvements for Golden Gate Park proposed

San Francisco supervisors are considering plans to replace trash cans — a “Renaissance” garbage can is pictured on Market Street — with pricey, unnecessary upgrades. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
San Francisco must end ridiculous and expensive quest for ‘pretty’ trash cans

SF’s unique and pricey garbage bins a dream of disgraced former Public Works director

Dreamforce returned to San Francisco in person this week – but with a tiny sliver of past attendance. (Courtesy Salesforce)
Dreamforce returns with hundreds on hand, down from 170,000 in the past

High hopes for a larger Salesforce conference shriveled during the summer

Most Read