COVID-19 changes how recovery groups reach out to Mainers in need

September is National Recovery Month, and while the COVID-19 outbreak has changed how recovery groups reach out to those in need, resources are available.“There’s a big increase in the number of overdoses. We have seen a huge increase in our state,” Portland Recovery Center Executive Director Leslie Clark said.Clark said in the first three months of the year, 127 Mainers died of a drug overdose. Maine State Police reported Tuesday that number has grown to 321, so far this year, with about 50 additional suspected overdose deaths awaiting toxicology results.“The part that I think is hard is if people in a moment of isolation or desperation spiral into active addiction don’t feel like they can pick up the phone or call,” Clark said.COVID-19 has provided another obstacle for Mainers in recovery, as many are keeping their distance to limit the spread of the virus. That can lead to anxiety and depression Clark said.The focus of National Recovery Month is celebrating connection.The Portland Recovery Center offers a list of support groups on its website.Clark has been in long-term recovery since 1989 and said that while they have reopened their center for one-on-one meetings and small groups, there are volunteers ready to answer a phone call or call someone in need of support.“It’s people who have been there, available to people who want to find out more and help each other. There is no substitute for talking to someone who has been in your shoes,” Clark said.The Portland Recovery Center plans to host a socially distanced Rally 4 Recovery celebration at the Saco Drive In on Sunday.“People are dying, and we need to do whatever we can to save lives, because unless we can keep someone living, they don’t have the chance to recover and live a full and happy life,” Clark said.

September is National Recovery Month, and while the COVID-19 outbreak has changed how recovery groups reach out to those in need, resources are available.

“There’s a big increase in the number of overdoses. We have seen a huge increase in our state,” Portland Recovery Center Executive Director Leslie Clark said.

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Clark said in the first three months of the year, 127 Mainers died of a drug overdose.

Maine State Police reported Tuesday that number has grown to 321, so far this year, with about 50 additional suspected overdose deaths awaiting toxicology results.

“The part that I think is hard is if people in a moment of isolation or desperation spiral into active addiction don’t feel like they can pick up the phone or call,” Clark said.

COVID-19 has provided another obstacle for Mainers in recovery, as many are keeping their distance to limit the spread of the virus. That can lead to anxiety and depression Clark said.

The focus of National Recovery Month is celebrating connection.

The Portland Recovery Center offers a list of support groups on its website.

Clark has been in long-term recovery since 1989 and said that while they have reopened their center for one-on-one meetings and small groups, there are volunteers ready to answer a phone call or call someone in need of support.

“It’s people who have been there, available to people who want to find out more and help each other. There is no substitute for talking to someone who has been in your shoes,” Clark said.

The Portland Recovery Center plans to host a socially distanced Rally 4 Recovery celebration at the Saco Drive In on Sunday.

“People are dying, and we need to do whatever we can to save lives, because unless we can keep someone living, they don’t have the chance to recover and live a full and happy life,” Clark said.