By Mark Powell
Recovery Isn’t Just One Day or Step
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of people helping others on the road to recovery. And Hope for New Hampshire makes the most of it.
Walk into their Manchester office and your eye is drawn to a sign on the wall. “One day or Day One, you decide.” It’s a reminder that people can be at different very steps in their recovery, but all are welcome here.
You’re welcomed and offered coffee and a seat. The building’s interior is a large open community space filled with people chatting while enjoying a round of ping pong or munching on snacks. It’s a place where people connect with others who are also living in recovery.
“Recovery is a socially-transmitted disease,” says Keith Howard, Hope for New Hampshire Recovery’s executive director. “It’s communicable through friendship, kindness, attention and love. Humans are designed to live in a community, and that’s what Hope tries to offer the sick and suffering—the power of peer-based support.”
Because people are social beings and want to be accepted into a group, creating relationships with others in a similar situation is important to sustain long-term recovery. Hope for NH Recovery creates a network of people in the recovery community. Newcomers are introduced to others similar to them. For instance, if an 18-year-old man walks in, he’s connected to a male of similar age.
Hope for NH Recovery also provides social groups for its members. People can join their Moms in Recovery, Drug Court Education, Angry Haiku, Music and Art programs to meet others in the recovery process.
Social circles are created and become environments where people in recovery can thrive. To spend just one hour in this Manchester recovery hub is to quickly realize the wisdom in Keith’s words. You can see the “power of peer-based support” when individuals are met where they are at.
Crucial words of support and encouragement. Smiles and cheers during little victories. Hugs during the hard stretches of road of recovery. People helping one another can make all the difference. One day or Day One. You decide.
Hope for New Hampshire Recovery was a featured award winner in the 2019 Innovation Now project of the Addiction Policy Forum.
J. Mark Powell is an author, former network journalist, and veteran communications expert.