MARTINSBURG, W. Va. (WDVM) — The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our normal way of life for over a year, especially the recovery process for people struggling with addiction. A number of recovery organizations gathered in Martinsburg, West Virginia to celebrate people in recovery and provide resources to those struggling with addiction.
Terry Bullock, the community outreach coordinator at Mountaineer Recovery Center, has been in recovery for 12 years. As the emcee for Recovery in the Park, he hopes people take the message adorning MRC volunteer t-shirts to heart.
“Have a great day on purpose. No one can have a great day. Just like no one can recover for you,” Bullock said. “You have to put in the work in order to recover. No one can do that for you.”
When many resource centers closed their doors during the pandemic, the Mountaineer Recovery Center continued to provide resources to those struggling with addiction. CEO Dr. Jonathan Hartiens explained that since MRC opened in Nov. 2019, they have had over 800 people enroll in their programs who were struggling with a drug or alcohol problem. Since then, MRC has seen a success rate of over 70 percent, meaning they have helped over 600 people recover and return to their families, jobs, and contributing to society.
“Drug addiction did not take a vacation because of COVID, and people staying home did not stop the problem,” Dr. Hartiens explained. “So we didn’t actually just continue our services, we expanded them during COVID, and we continued to hire more staff to expand our number of services.”
Martinsburg Mayor Kevin Knowles has been in recovery from drugs and alcohol for over 20 years. Mayor Knowles addressed community members at the event and openly shared his story of addiction and then recovery. He told WDVM that when he was addicted to drugs and alcohol, he would have never imagined his life as it is now. He went on to say that if someone had told him 25 years ago about his current life and role in the community, he would have stared at them in disbelief. He hopes his story of recovery can help others struggling with addiction.
“People do recover. I am living proof of that. I know, hundreds and thousands of people that have found a recovery program, whatever that might be for them to be able to rise from the ashes and do wonderful things with their lives.”
“The opportunities are there more now than they’ve ever been to be able to reach out and have a community ready so that a doctor, lawyer, or a politician, whoever they might be, has an opportunity to stay anonymous to be able to get into a program start addressing their issues and move forward in your life.”Martinsburg Mayor Kevin Knowles
Anyone who is struggling with addiction or believes a loved one is struggling can call the Mountaineer Recovery Center at 304-901-2070 even if it is after hours.
People can also call the HELP4WV hotline at (844) 435-7498.
For more information about the programs and resources provided by Mountaineer Recovery Center, please visit their website.