I am a recovery coach working at the DownEast Recovery Support Center. Before I became a recovery coach, I was a member, and before that, I was someone with an addiction. Access to treatment helped me enter recovery, but the recovery community center provided the support, resources and connection that have helped me sustain my recovery and resolve to give back.

Such support is not available to all Mainers. Seven counties are without these essential centers of support and connection. A bill in the Legislature, L.D. 488, would remedy this unfortunate circumstance by providing funding to establish recovery community centers in those counties lacking them.

In all likelihood, I would not be a recovery coach if it weren’t for the recovery community center here in Machias. In fact, I might not be in recovery at all. I would certainly be more vulnerable to relapse. As it is, I am building on the support I received and passing it on to others. Many of them will do the same. As you can see, this model pays for itself many times over by helping people reach stable recovery.

Giving back is something that most people in recovery do. Over their lifetimes, they have a positive impact on countless lives who face addiction. Recovery community centers build a foundation on which our most important resources – our people – can rebuild their lives. It is well past time for every county to have a recovery community center so the ripple effect of recovery can take place all over Maine.

Marshall Mercer

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