Lynchburg organizations change stigma of getting addiction help during National Recovery Month

Both organizations are hosting events later this month

LYNCHBURG, Va. – September is National Recovery Month, and organizations in Lynchburg are fighting to change the stigma of getting help.

David Lewis says National Recovery Month is important to him because he needed help with addiction three years ago.

He turned to Roads to Recovery, where he’s now a coach and using his story to help others.

“I say, ‘Hey, I have been here before. It may not be exactly where you are right now, but it’s similar. And if it’s not similar, I can still feel what you’re feeling,’” said Lewis.

He says more people have been coming for help since the pandemic began.

“People are losing their jobs; people are losing their homes, and the disease of addiction is just killing people,” said Lewis.

Horizon Behavioral Health is seeing an increase, too.

Since March 2020, they’ve provided 97,000 telehealth appointments to more than 4,200 clients in Central Virginia.

“We have seen an increase in referrals for people with all kinds of issues, depression, anxiety, substance use disorders,” said Marianne Powell, outpatient program manager at Horizon Behavioral Health.

The two organizations offer services including recovery residential housing, peer coaching and counseling.

The advocates want people to know resources are available.

“Recovery is here all the time, and we want you to know that it’s possible,” said Lewis.

“You are not alone. It has, obviously, been a very stressful time during the pandemic; and Horizon is here for the community,” said Powell.

Both organizations are sponsoring upcoming events for National Recovery Month.

Roads to Recovery is hosting a celebration on Sept. 24.

Horizon is hosting one on Sept. 30.

If you need help with addiction, you can call Roads to Recovery at 434-455-0053 or Horizon Behavioral Health at 434-477-5000.

About the Author

Tim Harfmann joined the 10 News team in September 2020 and works at the station's Lynchburg bureau.