In this month’s RCO Spotlight, we feature an interview with our friends at FOR-Dutchess.

What is the FOR-DC Mission?

To be a vehicle for change around the stigma of addiction in our community.

Our society is facing a disease that has for centuries alienated those affected by it.  Addiction, a complex brain disease, demoralizes its victims and their families and seeks to destroy the essence of our humanity.  As members of Friends of Recovery, we are a group of    citizens who have been deeply affected by this disease. Contrary to popular opinion we did not consciously choose this path.

Throughout our struggle to restore our lives to balance and health, we learn to acknowledge certain realities and narratives within our experiences. We recognize there is much to examine and understand regarding the disease of addiction. As we assess the challenges and damage addiction has created for us and our families, we gather together to develop a community of support for each other, our families and the communities where we live.

It is our common goal to educate and inform. We hope to encourage others to speak out and share their experiences with the public. It is our moral obligation to advocate for change in order to promote prevention, treatment and recovery.

What communities does it serve?

While Friends of Recovery – Dutchess represents the people of Dutchess County, we seek to affect change at local, regional, state and national levels.  Change that will inform and educate, reduce stigma and establish adequate resources to prevent, treat and recover from addiction.

We aim to serve those who suffer in silence by creating a safe space and forum that is welcoming, compassionate and determined to shift the language that demonizes this disease. FOR – Dutchess serves our county but opens its arms to our neighbors near and far.

What can you tell us about addiction and recovery in Dutchess County?

Dutchess County is not alone in facing this public health epidemic of unprecedented proportions.  Dutchess has taken numerous steps to address this issue.  There are a number of resources available within the county for prevention, treatment and recovery services, including detox and sober housing. A visit to the Dutchess County website is a good starting point to begin to review local services. FOR-NY’s new website provides links to a variety of state and national resources as well.

Many of our members have contributed to promoting recovery in the community. Year round you will find multiple events geared towards the sober fellowship of Dutchess County. There is a core belief within our constituency to promote and encourage sober living. Not unlike those who suffer from other diseases, we seek health, wellness and an improved quality of life.

Who are your members?

Our group and all of its members are everyday people: mothers, fathers, doctors, lawyers, teachers, preachers, bankers, nurses, business owners, athletes, students, journalists, first responders…the list goes on.  We come from every walk of life because this disease does not discriminate.  Our members have faced the challenges of living with substance use disorder/addiction.  We have experienced pain, struggle and loss.  We have also witnessed and participated in the joy of recovery. We are family members who offer love and support to other families. We are friends that refuse to stand idly by and watch others become consumed by this disease.  But most of all, we are human beings who refuse to be marginalized and victimized and live in despair. Our duty is to stand up and stand behind each other.

How can interested parties get involved with the RCO?

Come to our monthly meetings. Share your experiences. Offer your support. Be willing to get involved. We currently meet the first Monday of each month at Changepoint Church in Poughkeepsie at 6:30pm.

Are there any upcoming events our readers should know about?

  • Recovery Talks Community Listening Forum, Thursday Sept. 21st 6:00pm at 230 North Road, Poughkeepsie
  • Starry Night Vigil (An evening to bring awareness to substance use disorder-a preventable and treatable disease with the hope of recovery!) Sept. 18th 7:00pm
  • CAPE/For-Dutchess Color Blaze 5K, Saturday Sept. 9th 9:00pm at Van Wyck entrance of the rail train off Rt. 376.

For additional information about FOR-Dutchess, including contact information, social media links, etc., visit their information page on the FOR-NY website.