To the Editor:
All around us, there are people in recovery from substance-use disorders. They are contributing to our businesses, connecting with their families and giving back to the community. But if we want more people to join them on a path of recovery, we need to take action. Too many people are still unaware that prevention works and that these conditions can be treated, just like we treat other health disorders, such as diabetes and hypertension. We need to work together to make recovery the expectation.
As executive director of Renz Addiction Counseling Center, I have seen firsthand the benefits of recovery. Individuals who embrace recovery achieve improved mental and physical health, as well as stronger relationships and a sense of self-worth. Substance-use disorders do not discriminate – they affect people of all ethnicities, ages, genders, geographic regions and socioeconomic levels. In fact, in 2010, 2.6 million people in the United States ages 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol problem. Many of these individuals have since gone on to achieve healthy lifestyles, both physically and emotionally, and contribute in positive ways to their communities. They need the support of everyone to help them on their path of long-term recovery.
As Renz Center celebrates 52 years of community service this year, I encourage everyone who thinks they may have a substance-abuse problem to take steps toward sobriety. In recognition of National Recovery Month, Renz Addiction Counseling Center is offering free substance-abuse assessment screenings during the entire month of September at our 2 American Way treatment center in Elgin. An appointment is necessary, so call 847-742-3545 to get started or visit www.renzcenter.org for more information.
By investing in yourself, a family member or friend, you will also be investing in the best interests of our community.
Executive director of the Renz Addiction Counseling Center