September is being observed as National Recovery Month, sponsored by the National Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which is celebrating its twentieth year in the field of behavioral health. Recovery Month promotes the societal benefits and positive messages of prevention, treatment and recovery for substance abuse and mental disorders. The Potter’s Clinic in Villa Rica is honoring this month along with SAMHSA to bring awareness about suicide prevention, addiction and recovery to the community.

The Potter’s Clinic, which is home to UWG alums Lisa King Smith and Mark Butcher, specializes in general mental health, ADHD and autism, as well as addiction and recovery. The Clinic offers a unique, intensive twelve week long outpatient program for substance abuse issues. This program consists of four day a week, three-hour group sessions, along with one hour of family and individual counseling each week. It also has family day events once a month, as having family support is an important part of the recovery process. The Clinic also has a free aftercare program once the client has graduated from the twelve week program. Additionally, Potter’s recommends that their clients go to twelve-step meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous to stay in recovery. An adolescent program is offered, as well. If needed, the Clinic also has outpatient detox and medically assisted detox as a part of the recovery component. Addiction and mental illness are seldom discussed issues in our society and have much social disfavor against them. “One of our goals at the Clinic is to help de-stigmatize addiction and mental illness,” stated Smith.

In addition to helping with addiction and recovery, the Potter’s Clinic conducts ADHD testing, general mental health counseling and medication management. They currently have an autism program which is in progress, and do a significant amount of community outreach and education.

As far as local events for Recovery Month, Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Hiram hosted its Ride and Rally for Recovery on Sept. 22, which was sponsored by Family Intervention Specialist, Inc. and The Family Alliance of Paulding. The event was a motorcycle rally/block party that consisted of free food, live music, entertainment, speakers, kids’ games and education booths. In Atlanta, Making A Way Housing, Inc. held their fifth annual Recovery Rally on Sept. 8 in Mozley Park. Hosting over 300 people, this event was similar to the one in Hiram, but also offered free t-shirts and health care screening booths. It was sponsored by 36 different Fulton County community organizations along with the Clayton County Board of Commissioners. At Kennesaw State University, Hope Homes Collegiate also hosted its fifth annual event in honor of Recovery Month. Sponsored by numerous organizations including KSU, Talbott Recovery and Ridgeview Institute, the fifth Annual Run for Recovery was a five-mile run/walk throughout the KSU campus to promote recovery awareness.

Although the matters of mental health and substance abuse are not discussed too often, they are not ones that should be ignored or stigmatized.

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