VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI)- This month is National Recovery Month and it's dedicated to understanding substance abuse and celebrating those who have recovered.
However, the pandemic has made it challenging for those who are still working towards sobriety.
Because of social distancing guidelines, most in-person AA meetings have been canceled. Many, are now held virtually.
These meetings keep those who are recovering, on track. Staff at the Hamilton Center say a lack of routine could lead to relapse.
"Routine and structure are highly important for people in recovery and just reaching out to make sure that they have access to those things. Again, that simple phone call that text message, that email... something to let them know I'm checking in on them, that you're an ally," said Natasha Newcomb, executive director of addiction and substance abuse for the Hamilton Center.
According to a study by Indiana University, nearly 1 in 12 Hoosiers meet the criteria for having a substance use disorder.
In addition, roughly 4,000 people in the state have died from opioids in the last decade.
Newcomb says despite the statistics numbers, don't give up on those who are still on the path to recovery. It may take someone multiple tries before getting it right.
"Because they kept coming back, they kept trying. It happens, I've seen that happen, I've had consumers on my own that I've worked with that are on number ten, number eleven and they finally get it. So not to give up, to acknowledge the contributions, to acknowledge that they are still people, and they have a disease," said Newcomb.
Resources are available if you're struggling. For more, click here.