The Mobilize Recovery Across Georgia bus tour made an important stop in Carrollton on Wednesday, Sept. 20, and local education figureheads from the University of West Georgia, Carrollton City Schools, Carroll County Schools and West Georgia Technical College were part of a large cast of local speakers.
Mobilize Recovery Across Georgia is a tour intended to bring together Georgia policy makers, local officials, and a group of over 800,000 Georgians who are living in long-term recovery from a substance use disorder.
“I’m extremely proud that leaders across Carrollton and Carroll County are recognizing the urgency of substance abuse and rallying around, banding together and supporting people in recovery,” University of West Georgia First Lady Tressa Kelly said.
Kelly listed resources available at the University of West Georgia to help in recovery, including free and confidential services, hotlines, online support services and group counseling.
“We know that the majority of students who go to college aren’t there just to finish an education, but also to further their lives, their careers and their passions,” said Kelly. “Drug abuse interferes with a student’s ability to be successful.”
West Georgia Technical College President Julie Post also addressed how addiction can hinder students’ ability to further their education.
“There’s a saying that the two most important days in your life are the day you’re born and the day you figure out why,” Post said. “And for many people, choosing higher education is a way to figure out their ‘why,’ but that can be clouded with addiction.”
Post continued, “We are powered by partnerships, and we’re here to be all-support, wrap-around services to help our students to be successful and get ready to enter great careers. So, being a part of a community like this in Carroll County and the City of Carrollton, our students are blessed, and West Georgia Tech is blessed.”
At the K-12 level, Carrollton City Schools Superintendent Dr. Mark Albertus addressed helping both students and their parents through recovery.
“I can tell you that things in education have changed over the years, but we really are trying to eradicate the stigma of recovery and help our kids that are going through some of this and our parents, as well,” Albertus said. “A big piece of that is communication, and we have so many resources in the community that help us with that, and we are doing a great job of communicating, and ultimately, it helps children.”
Carroll County School Superintendent Scott Cowart had a similar message, also noting that the education system is one of the parts of the community that can be most impacted by addiction and substance abuse.
“We’re excited to be able to participate in this event and to be a part of a community that understands the importance of this topic,” said Cowart. “This is a topic that affects not just those in one segment of our community, but in all segments of our community, and obviously education is one of the most powerful pieces where the negative impact can be felt. So, the work that’s being done will help our students, help our staff, help our community as we grow together.”
Cowart reiterated a message similar to many from the day — emphasizing a commitment to partnership and breaking down the stigma of recovery.
In his words, “We’re committed to working together, committed to making this community a better place, and committed to making recovery something that everybody understands is a positive that can help everybody,” said Cowart.
Mobilize Recovery Georgia’s 50-stop bus tour concluded on Saturday, Sept. 23.