On Sept. 1, Chairman Shingoitewa proclaimed September 2011 National Recovery Month. This is meant to bring attention to the recovery services that are available. On hand were representatives from the community that provide such services.
"There are many people who grew up that suffered from substance abuse" he said.
Arlene Honanie is the Treasurer of Hopi Alliance Against Substance Abuse (HAASA), and she realizes the importance of these issues.
"Substance abuse is a big problem that we need to address to make people whole," said Honanie. "The Vice Chairman is my husband and I continually bring these issues to his attention."
Honanie also mentioned some of the events that they sponsor such as Sobriety Challenge Week and the recent Na Tala Hoyna run on Pueblo Revolt Day at sunrise.
Vice Chairman Honanie acknowledged the seriousness of the problem on Hopi
"The Law Enforcement Task Team is currently working to update Ordinance 21, the Hopi law to update enforcement of infractions involving drugs and alcohol." said Honanie.
Karen Honanie, a counselor from the Hopi Behavioral Health Services, was on hand to let the community be aware of the services that are provided by their organization.
"Many nights I have spent many hours filling out paperwork in order to get individuals into treatment centers," said Honanie. "There are other organizations that they work with to help individuals recover such as Community Bridges and HOPI Substance Abuse Prevention Center who help in whatever ways they are able such as after care or mentoring."
Carlton Timms and Craig Magana from Community Bridges were on hand to support the proclamation. Timms is also President of HAASA
As a representative of Community Bridges, Magana is able to come to Hopi to bring attention to different issues that the Hopi people need to know such as drug trends and services available to individuals. Magana, a recovered alcoholic and addict, was passionate about recovery and stated
"I don't want my children to remember me as someone that stayed sober for only nine years and went out," said Magna. "I was speaking to a fellow recovering person and he mentioned an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) member who on his deathbed asked if there was anything else I can do for AA. That is the goal of a recovering person to pass on a sober person and live and abundant life helping people"
Maxine Wadsworth, a community member from Shongopavi, told a story of her son that was an alcoholic who was in a near death experience in California due to alcoholism.
"I went to go pick him up in California and I couldn't look at him because he was in such bad shape," said Wadsworth. "I brought him home and started looking into a treatment center that he could check in to for help. He went to inpatient treatment and wanted to come home but she wouldn't let him come home back to the same environment so he continued his recovery off the reservation and now he is a successful recovered person."
Because of the help she received Wadsworth has become very active in HAASA and other organizations.
Hopi Cultural Advisor Donald Dawahongnewa closed the meeting with this statement made in Hopi, "The things that the old people spoke about, these things that would happen, are coming true in this time and substance abuse has caused many of these events to come to pass."
Recovery Month is nationally recognized, and many cities and organizations throughout the country hold similar events to bring attention to recovery services available and this serious health problem.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration who have been holding Recovery Month for the last 22 years
"This year's theme is Prevention Works, Treatment is Effective, People Recover. Recovery Month increases the public's understanding of substance use, and mental disorders to achieve the full potential of prevention and treatment support services. It also helps people recognize and seek assistance for these health conditions, with the same urgency as any other condition and aims to reduce barriers to recovery."
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