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Local challenges


Tele Rabii did not return to Sullivan County to pursue his recovery treatment. “I think it’s a very hard place to get into recovery, let alone maintain recovery.” Since Sullivan County is a small community, people can feel hesitant to openly talk about and seek help for their substance-use disorder because they’re worried what people will say about them. “I believe that it’s important for people to speak up and ask for help, regardless of what comes afterwards. Their lives are more important than other people’s opinions.”

Rabii cited a lack of recovery and treatment resources as another reason why he did not return. “It would be good for people to have a dialogue about what kind of services they think would be beneficial for their recovery and start advocating for those services to be implemented in Sullivan County.”

Rabii began his recovery four years ago, and, since then, the area has been making progress. “One of the greatest [tools] created in recent years are recovery centers. They’re places where individuals, who are in recovery or even ambivalent about recovery, can go and hang out with others who understand substance-use disorder.” Rabii added.

As of 2017, the region got a recovery center of its own. Onward Recovery is a Recovery Community and Outreach Center located in Newburgh, NY that serves Dutchess, Ulster, Rockland, Sullivan and Orange Counties. The center provides free services and mentorship for people 18 and older who live with a substance-use disorder and their families. However, Rabii pointed out another barrier preventing people from seeking help is a lack of public transportation, something that is problematic when one center serves five counties.

The most common meetings in Sullivan County are Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), both of which are great programs that have helped a lot of people, but they’re not for everyone. There is a growing emergence in alternative approaches to recovery, and if people don’t know these things exist, it’s hard to discover what may work for them.

Refuge Recovery meetings are based on Buddhist principles and teachings, and they’re offered at Onward Recovery on Tuesdays from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Onward Recovery also offers SMART Recovery on Mondays at 4 p.m. and Relapse Prevention on Wednesdays at 3 p.m. Visit their office in Newburgh or their website www.onwardrecovery,org, email at info@onwardrecovery.org, or call 845/565-1162.

The River Family Wellness Center in Callicoon, NY offers a holistic approach to recovery through yoga classes and Reiki sessions. Visit www.riverfamilywellness.com for more information. You can read more about the holistic approach here.


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