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Recovery Expert: Stigma Needs To End, Region Needs More Rehab Options

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Recovery Expert: Stigma Needs To End, Region Needs More Rehab Options

The need for drug rehabilitation programs in the Upper Cumberland is great and so is the need for the region to focus on the stigma surrounding addiction.

A planned Opioid Treatment facility will not be built in Overton County after an ugly exchange between residents and developers at a meeting two weeks ago. The company pulled its application last week, citing safety concerns.

Shane Farris is Campus Director of the Substance Use Treatment Program At Volunteer Behavioral Health. Farris said his program has 60 beds available and all 60 are full. He said the Upper Cumberland can never have too many options for recovery.

“A lot of folks look at it as a moral choice or a moral issue instead of the disease that it is,” Farris said. “That stigma can really direct people’s thoughts and intentions in a lot of different directions.”

Farris said the Upper Cumberland has outpatient programs and transitional housing programs, but Volunteer’s program is the only provider in the region for detox and residential treatment services.

“There are so many suffering from this disease, there can never be too much help out there,” Farris said. “Anybody, if there goal is to ultimately help those who are suffering and hurting, there just can’t be too much help.”

Farris said the biggest way to fight the stigma against addiction is education.

“There is a stigma, and it’s not a moral issue,” Farris said. “We are not trying to make excuses for people. Once a person realizes that there is an issue there is some responsibility on the part of that person to get better. Just to people to educate themselves on what addiction really is. Not just form an opinion based on some of the choices or maybe even some of the people they’ve known or some of the choices people have made after the addiction set in.”

“People just really have to educate themselves,” Farris said. “There is such a science behind recovery now, and people just have to be willing to be open-minded.”

Farris said the Upper Cumberland has a strong recovery community people can learn from.

“There are a lot of people who live their recovery out loud, and if you have some ideas or thoughts about what recovery really is, go to those people who have lived experience and listen to them and, be open minded as you listen,” Farris said. “We’re not trying to dictate what recovery looks like, we know what recovery looks like base on people with lived experience.”


The post Recovery Expert: Stigma Needs To End, Region Needs More Rehab Options appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.