Recovery community joins to celebrate National Recovery Month

Though the headlines about addiction usually report grim news, there are many stories of hope and recovery. To help celebrate September being National Recovery Month – and the reported 23 million Americans living in long-term recovery – Fairbanks, Hope Academy and other treatment and recovery organizations hosted the “Coloring the Canal Purple” event on Sept. 1 in downtown Indianapolis.

During the event Chelsea Boggs, an alumnae of Dove Recovery House, and Fairbanks Alumni & Volunteer Coordinator Kathleen Gill shared their stories of recovery.

“Without finding recovery, it’s hard to tell what my life might look like,” Gill said, adding she shares her story in hopes it encourages others living with addiction to ask for help. “Our goal is to bring awareness to the solution of recovery and help reduce the shame and stigma that so many feel.”

Kim Manlove, executive director of the Indiana Addictions Issues Coalition and co-founder of The 24 Group, explained the significance of the color purple being associated with recovery. It began with ancient Greeks who believed the purple semi-precious stone amethyst had the power to prevent intoxication. The belief became so widespread that in medieval times European soldiers carried the stone believing it had healing properties. Many spiritualists also consider amethysts to be a stone of transformation.

“I can’t think of a better color or stone to symbolize recovery, and to remind us that in recovery we are in effect transformed,” Manlove said.

Maggie Lewis, president of the Indianapolis City-County Council, read a proclamation from the City-County Council for the City of Indianapolis and Marion County declaring September to be National Recovery Month. Those who poured the dye into the canal to turn it purple included Indiana Sen. Jim Merritt, Fairbanks President and CEO Kent Brown and representatives from Hope Academy (Fairbanks’ recovery high school), Dove House and Progress House. State Sen. Randy Head also was in attendance.

PEERS and Working Together Works provided financial support for the event.

“These efforts are an attempt to bring the many resources we have in Indianapolis and the surrounding counties together to strengthen the army that is necessary to fight this battle,” Gill said. “We cannot be silent any longer.”