Recovery Simulation Hosted by Armstrong-Indiana-Clarion Drug & Alcohol Commission
The Recovery Simulation was an interactive opportunity for those who may interact with persons in early recovery, such as professionals working in healthcare, criminal justice, human service, and elected officials. The purpose of the event is to better understand the common challenges, expectations, and stigma encountered by people in early substance use disorder recovery.
It was co-sponsored by State Representative Donna Oberlander.
Between two sessions, more than 70 people were able to experience the struggles that individuals in early recovery from substance use disorder face day to day. Participants went through a simulated month in the life of a person in early recovery, with 15-minute increments representing a week in which multiple tasks needed to be completed.
The three-hour session took place at the Ramada Hotel in Clarion and involved numerous volunteers who manned tables as social service agencies, mental health providers, transportation services, probation officers, employment agencies, childcare, jail, and more.
The assignments required them to balance their recovery with mandated appointments, employment, children, transportation, and paying expenses within the time limit. During the event, attendees would need to go to work (full or part time), meetings with probation officers, purchasing food/personal items, inpatient or outpatient drug and alcohol treatment, and paying rent and utilities.
Following the simulation, participants engaged in a Q&A session led by AICDAC Certified Recovery Specialist Supervisor, Shasta Wilkinson. During the discussion, people described the frustrations they felt trying to complete their tasks and how difficult it was to manage life responsibilities.
Overall, many participants described the event caused them to be more empathetic to the difficulties people in early recovery face and strongly encourage others to attend when the event is offered again.
If you or someone you know needs help for a substance use disorder, or is interested in Recovery Support services, please call 814-226-6350. All services are free and confidential.
For more information visit www.aicdac.org.
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