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This month is National Recovery Month. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), it is a national observance to promote and support new evidence-based substance use disorder and mental health treatment, suicide prevention and recovery practices, the nation’s strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and communities who make recovery in all its forms possible.
To celebrate and acknowledge this occasion locally, on Friday, Sept. 30, Las Cruces and Doña Ana County will hold a summit and public celebration. The summit for professionals and those who work with providers from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Las Cruces City Hall council chambers, 700 N. Main St. The summit is free but requires registration. Later that evening, in La Plaza de Las Cruces, from 6 to 9 p.m. is a community event open to everyone.
The Unified Prevention Coalition (UP!) of Doña Ana County fully and enthusiastically supports this event. Although recovery from any of these issues is primarily and ultimately an individual responsibility, the UP! Coalition understands that this does not mean that recovery ONLY takes place alone. Family, friends, and community can all contribute to and support this heroic effort.
The UP! Coalition does not provide individual or family clinical interventions or treatment. We focus on our community. Our projects, funded by both the Federal and state government, focus on our larger policy and environmental issues that influence our residents and policymakers in decisions and strategies we know prevent the development of addiction and mental health problems in the first place.
We currently focus our work with seniors, safe medication storage and disposal, cannabis use and working with the schools. All this work is aimed at reducing the likelihood of someone developing a problem in the future.
The truth is our community is struggling, like most others across the U.S., with a multitude of substance use disorders and behavioral health issues across all ages. If our evidence-based intervention programs can influence people to make different decisions, we can reduce the problems and costs our city and county must address.
In this way, UP! Coalition hopes to aid in the recovery of our community as a whole.