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“Where there is life there is hope.”— Ron Grover

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Wondering What to Expect Around the Café?

The word is out, the Recovery Café is the place to be for connection! When you come to the Café you might notice that the sitting area/living room is back on the main floor. Please feel comfortable to take a seat on the couch, have a cup of coffee and enjoy a conversation with a friend. With all the new faces at the Café, rest assured that we are in full compliance with CDC regulations. Our COVID crew, Mark and Sweaney, are hard at work making sure YOUR Café is clean and sanitized throughout the day. We appreciate everyone’s flexibility and understanding as we go through these trying times. The employees and dedicated volunteers are doing what needs to be done to keep the doors open for members. The Recovery Café has received the 2021 Prevention Partner Award from West Van Youth for volunteering to help bring awareness to their mission to reduce alcohol and marijuana use among youth in west Vancouver. The Café participated in Hope Rocks, Red Ribbon Week and built a flower box and planted red tulips in front of the Café as part of that support. During lunch announcements a representative from West Van Youth came a presented the award and voiced their sincere appreciation for our dedicated volunteers.

Speaking of volunteers, the Café would like to honor Elena as Volunteer of the Month for August. Elena has been a dedicated community volunteer for the Café since July 2, 2019. She has been with the kitchen staff since before COVID then continued to volunteer when we could only make bag lunches for our members to pick up. Elena has brought her life experience and passion to serve to the Café and we couldn’t imagine the Café without her. Please join us on August 3 at 12:05 to present her with her award.

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Experience, Strength & Hope at Lunch Time

Come join us every Friday at noon to hear a different speaker from our community sharing a message of recovery. When we listen, truly listen to someone else's story, we understand who they are in a new and different way, we hear their perspective, their interpretation, their understanding of the world and of themselves. Closely listening to others' stories creates a shared moment of compassion. Gilbert and his healing arts group have created center pieces that are placed on each table on the main floor. During the last week of each month Becky, Operations Manager, will pull 3 names out of a hat of members that will choose one center piece to take home. If you would like to join in the creative fun, art groups are held at the Café every Wednesday. Please check the monthly calendars for correct times.

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Recovery Café, School for Recovery

One of the many benefits of being a member at the Café is being able to access free education that would otherwise be pretty spendy. Starting August 14th, the Café will be hosting WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) training for 8 Saturday sessions from 9-11am. This is a great opportunity to add more tools in your recovery tool belt. You will learn new wellness tools and you will build a relapse prevention plan. Also in this training you will be able to identify early warning signs within yourself, as well as develop a recovery network.

 

If you would like more details or want to sign up, please see the front desk at the Café. Recovery Coach Academy registration and attendance has more than doubled! It is so inspiring to see how many people are choosing to gain the skills to be able to effectively empower and inspire hope within the next person. One of the many great benefits about learning the skills of a Recovery Coach is being able to use them in your personal life. These skills are practical applications that improve your quality of life if you so choose. Again, the cost of this training is FREE to you just for being a member at the Café.

 

Congratulations to all the people that graduated Recovery Coach training July 2021!! Steven and Rori have started a writing group that takes place the 1st and 3rd Friday each month at 6pm-7:30pm. This is a group not a class. Any type of writing is welcome. Eventually the group will be collaborating with other Recovery Café’s on the west coast in an open mic night. If you are interested in this group there is no need to sign up, just show up.

Lyn Speaks out about Overdose Awareness

Lyn Anderson finds healing from her past trauma by speaking out and getting connected. After suffering the pain of losing her son to an overdose, Lyn works hard at the Recovery Café to help bring awareness to the fact that connection is truly the opposite of addiction. In the world of addiction and recovery a lot of us are touched one way or another by overdose. In this issue of A World of Change, Lyn Anderson, Finance/Administration Manager, has allowed us to take a peek into her past has she shares how she’s experienced what some would say is the ultimate worst nightmare. Behind the smile, we all have a story but it’s what you do with it that truly counts.

 

August 31st is International Overdose Awareness Day, and it affects me personally. Overdose awareness for my family started December 1, 1985, two months after losing my father to the effects of alcohol on his body. His younger brother, my uncle, was found that morning after succumbing to an overdose. He was 32. It was my mother’s 34th birthday that day and we were in shock. Naloxone, though approved in 1971 for opioid use, was not

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on the market for all to have on hand at that time. The stigma and shame of substance use/alcohol use disorders and mental health disorders kept my cousin and our families silent for many years. My cousin was 9 when her father passed, and the shame associated with her father’s struggle with those medical disorders kept her quiet until I became quite outspoken on overdose when I lost my first-born son. When I lost my 18-year-old son Ryan to a heroin overdose, 6 days shy of his 19th birthday in August 2012, I felt the need to share our story with others to raise overdose awareness. My son and uncle’s lives matter. My son was in early recovery and had struggled with substance use for 4 years, after being prescribed an opiate for a broken foot. He had attended 12 step meetings and graduated intensive outpatient treatment. He didn’t find a fit with the program he had tried, but he had begun to reclaim his life, finding purpose by holding down a job in paving and awarded a partial scholarship to Clark Community College. Unfortunately, he felt he could continue to be around his friends who were still using drugs and alcohol and not use himself. People, places, and things are what some literature warns the person in recovery of and too often it’s quite difficult to surround yourself with people who are working their recovery openly, partially due to the stigma and shame associated with drug and alcohol use and/or mental health diagnoses. My son had a lapse, which made it easier to lapse again and enter relapse fully. Within a few weeks, he was gone. There wasn’t a place like the Recovery Café for him back then to come to for support and understanding and to explore another recovery path. In 2017 I read and learned about International Overdose Awareness Day, which began in Australia in 2001.​ I decided i would

 hold a vigil in a park here in Vancouver, wanting to honor not only the life of my son Ryan who had attended Heritage HS and ESD 112, but for all the others who had lost their life due to an overdose. I was directed to our local Access to Recovery (ATR) program at Clark County Department of Community Services (CCDCS) with the help of Jeff Talbott. The Program Coordinator at CCDCS, Barbara Gerrior, MSW, pointed me to all the recovery resources in our county. That year I sat on the Hands Across The Bridge planning committee and began to attend Southwest Washington Recovery Coalition meetings (SWWARC). I saw first-hand how strong the recovery community in our county was and began to have some hope again. All kinds of people in recovery and businesses wanted to help me raise awareness. I was also afforded the privilege of being a part of Recovery Café Clark County before we had a location. I held my first event August 31, 2017, at Marshall Park, asking for shoe donations to Daybreak Youth Services, the treatment center my son first went to as a teen. I was surprised by those in attendance that year and knew then that I would hold an event every year. Each year (aside from 2020) I have been able to partner with many agencies in our town to supply naloxone.

 
 
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The support from treatment services including Daybreak Youth Services, Lifeline Connections, Rainier Springs, 12 step programs/home groups, the ACES Club at Clark College, health agencies like Clark County Public Health, SWACH (SW Washington Accountable Communities for Health), prevention teams such as West Van Youth & Prevent Together Battle Ground, transitional housing including Breaking Free Ministries; school district ESD 112, and the national advocacy group Addiction Policy Forum, have all been strong supporters each year and I am grateful for their support and advocacy surrounding recovery and overdose awareness. This year the event will be held at Marshall Park and once again we will provide naloxone training. From 3-5pm on Tuesday August 31st it is first come first served and those in attendance will receive proper training and naloxone free of charge. Please join us in the park at 5:30pm for speakers and a memorial ceremony honoring those we’ve lost over the years and celebrate those who have been saved from a drug overdose, who are here working their recovery and surrounding themselves with the support they need to live their best life. This year I am asking for donations to Camp Mariposa. They serve youth affected by substance/alcohol

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use and are a wonderful resource for families. I have found through the recovery community in Clark County that connection truly is the opposite of addiction and I have hope for the children Ryan left behind; that they may speak out about the disease that has impacted their lives, without the stigma and shame that had kept other generations of our family silent. If you’re wanting to share a loved one at the event, please send a clear photo with dates and your loved one’s name to ohana.swwa@gmail.com. – Many hugs to all who’ve lost a loved one. Ryan’s mumzie, Lyn Anderson.

If you are looking for support for yourself or a loved one, below are a few of many resources offered online:

 

  • stopoverdose.org-cdc.gov

  • store.samhsa.gov (SAMHSA Opioid Overdose Toolkit)

  • Washington Recovery Help Line: 1-866-789-1511 (24/7)

 

If you or a family member has a problem with a substance use disorder, please consider calling the Washington Recovery Help Line. This an anonymous and confidential help line that provides crisis intervention and referral services for individuals in Washington State.

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Hands Across the Bridge

Hands Across the Bridge will be held September 6, 2021. Hands Across the Bridge is a Non-Profit Organization that builds leaders and advocates for the recovery community. In our fight against the stigma of addiction, we will give a voice to people that they may speak out on recovery related issues and share their stories. We will bring together those most affected by the disease of addiction, people in recovery, and their families for the annual event called Hands Across the Bridge..

SAMHSA: SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL RECOVERY MONTH

“Recovery Month promotes the societal benefits of prevention, treatment, and recovery for mental and substance use disorders; celebrates people in recovery; lauds the contributions of treatment and service providers; and promotes the message that recovery in all its forms is possible. Recovery Month spreads the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover.”

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CAMP MARIPOSA

“Camp Mariposa helps me get away from all of the things that are going on in my life. When I come to camp, all the stress goes away, and I let loose and have fun! I come to camp and find family and friends who I know will be there for me whenever I am down. Camp Mariposa is a home to me and I love it here. ”You can help make Camp Mariposa an amazing experience for kids ages 9-12 here in Clark County by donating any of the following items:

  • Gift cards to sporting goods places, Amazon, or Craft Stores

  • Outdoor Games

  • Hiking boots

  • Shoes

  • Sweats

  • Water bottles

  • Coping or comfort Items/toys

    • Stuffed animals

    • Stress balls

    • Fidget toys

  • Art Supplies

    • Craft Kits like tie-dye kits and other fun group things

    • Water colors

    • Beads

  • Personal Hygiene items:

    • Shampoo

    • Conditioner

    • Soap

    • Towels

    • Underwear

    • Socks

Donate at Recovery Café of Clark County, Recovery Resource Center Hazel Dell, send check to Camp Mariposa or contact Trista Breitenbauch, tfbreitenbauch@lifelineconnections.org or call 360.605.7628 for more information.

 

Director's Note for August

Happy Summer! As we celebrate our return to “normal” times, activity at the Recovery Café is booming. More members, more new recovery coaches, and more opportunities for healing. This is what we hoped for and now we need to grow into the resilient community we pictured. We all need to work hard but do take time for recovery for you and your family. Rekindle those old summer traditions or start some new ones.

 

Take time to look back and see how far we have come! For the Café, we have reopened after closing for COVID, we have hired new staff and now offer health care benefits, we have begun one-on-one coaching, and we have built up our finances to assure we will be here for another 5 years! Look for more growth at the Café as we grow with our members to help build a recovery community that helps our members, their families, and our community thrives for wellness.

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SAMHSA:

SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL

RECOVERY MONTH

Talk about overdose can save a life

Popcorn

Movies in the Park: 2021 Movie Schedule

If you are looking for something fun in recovery to do this summer, Clark County is hosting Movie in the Park. Check out the city’s website for updates: https://www.cityofvancouver.us/parksrec/page/friday-nightmovies-pa

This Month's Community Resource