September is Recovery Month

September is Recovery Month

September 2020 is Recovery Month, highlighted by a proclamation by Franklin County Commissioners.

This month celebrates the journey of all those in recovery. It also offers hope to all who are struggling with, or affected by, substance use disorder.

September is recovery month
Remote attendees join the Commissioners Meeting where many were wearing purple in support of the proclamation recognizing September 2020 as Recovery Month in Franklin County. Shown, left to right: District Attorney Matt Fogal, Deputy Coroner Ted Reed, Maggie Lloyd and John Lloyd of Noah’s House and Gracie’s Place, Commissioner John Flannery, Franklin/Fulton Drug & Alcohol Administrator Christy Unger, Commissioner Bob Ziobrowski, Roxann Miller and Helen McGarry of Penn State Mont Alto. (Submitted photo)

The National Recovery Month theme for 2020 is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Celebrating Connections.”

This year has been challenging for many, and even more so for those battling substance use disorder.  

RELATED: WARM Line: WellSpan program supports recovery

“Integrated care, strong communities, and opportunities for meaningful daily life sustain recovery; and help lead those affected by substance use on a path to hope, healing, and wellness,” said Christy Unger, Franklin/Fulton Drug & Alcohol Administrator.

She discussed the importance of community support in the success of those who overcome addiction.

“Not one of us has made the decision to say ‘I’m going to be a heroin addict’ or ‘I’m going to be a junkie,’”” said John Lloyd, Executive Director of Noah’s House and Gracie’s Place.

He talked about the need for peer support in the form of Certified Recovery Specialists (CRSs). He described such specialists as “individuals that have walked the mile that we’re walking.”

Certified recovery specialist course

Penn State Mont Alto will offer a Certified Recovery Specialist course this fall for individuals with a history of recovery and a passion to help others.

“We are very proud to collaborate with Franklin County Drug & Alcohol to be able to provide this training that is approved through the Pennsylvania Certification Board,” Helen McGarry of Penn State Mont Alto said.

Franklin County residents interested in being a CRS can receive a scholarship covering 80% of the cost of the course. Funding comes through the Drug and Alcohol department. For more information on this opportunity, contact Penn State Mont Alto Continuing Education at (717) 749-4117.

District Attorney Matt Fogal thanked the County for all of the support given to the recovery issue.

“We’ve made great strides in this County over the years,” he said. “But we still have a lot of work to do.”

That’s why the September Recovery Month observances recognizing the problem are important.

The road to recovery is a daily challenge and a long-term path to wellness. Individuals who experience a mental health and/or substance use disorder can oftentimes feel isolated and alone.

“There is a light at the end of the tunnel — sometimes it’s rather dim — but there is always light,” Commissioner Bob Ziobrowski said.

Commissioner John Flannery gave his appreciation to all those in attendance for their work inspiring and advocating for individuals and families who are seeking help.

Local treatment options

To learn about local treatment options, contact Franklin/Fulton Drug & Alcohol at 717-263-1256 or For immediate help, the new toll-free hotline from PA Get Help Now, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), is available 24/7 throughout the Commonwealth.

“We encourage all residents of Franklin County to support our community members who are in need of prevention, treatment, and recovery support services,” said Commissioner Chairman Dave Keller. Celebrate the accomplishments of all those who are currently in recovery.”

Virtual town hall, other events

A virtual town hall event “Celebrating Connections – Recovery Happens Together” takes place Sept. 28, at 3 p.m. It is hosted by Franklin/Fulton Drug & Alcohol in conjunction with WellSpan Health.

It features local panelists from a variety of backgrounds/sectors; including the medical community, law enforcement, faith community, individuals in recovery, family members, and recovery supports. Call (717) 263-1256 for details.

The color purple, signifying recovery, lights up the fountain in front of the Franklin County Courthouse on Memorial Square in Chambersburg during Recovery Month.

County residents wanting to use similar displays at their homes or businesses can obtain free purple light bulbs and “Recovery Happens Together” yard signs at the following locations:

  • Franklin County Human Services Building, 425 Franklin Farm Lane, Chambersburg, from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., M-F
  • Franklin County Commissioners’ Office, 340 N. Second Street, Chambersburg, 8:30am – 4:30pm, M-F
  • Mainstreet Waynesboro Office, 13 W. Main Street, Waynesboro, 717-762-0397, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. , M-F