Burying addiction to start a new life

West Virginia

It’s a ritual that may look strange to those unfamiliar with the recovery community. But for those in recovery and their families, a rock burial is the perfect way to symbolize the beginning of a new life.

The Jefferson County community gathered at the Bolivar Community Center to say their final goodbyes to a life of addiction.

This is the third year that the Jefferson County Day Report Center held their Rock Burial Ceremony. A peer recovery specialist with the center says participation has doubled this year. The ceremony signals the end of months of treatment for some who have committed drug related crimes.

The ceremony takes the form of a funeral. with prayer, songs, a eulogy and finally the burial. Once the triggers and negative aspects of their lives have been symbolically buried, participants say that they find a new lease on life.

“Now I have a full time job. I got my license. I’m working on getting my own place. But I pray for it every day that I can continue to work forward and get my goal which is to live a happy life as a recovering addict,” said Brittany Lineberry, a participant at the Day Report Center.

This year’s ceremony was hosted by the Bolivar mayor and next year the responsibility will fall on another Jefferson County mayor.

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