Recovery conference held in NY to battle addiction

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Over 500 people from around the state who have struggled with addiction in their lives attended the second annual New York State Recovery Conference.

“It’s the camaraderie and the community that gets us through.”

The group, Rocovery Fitness, departed from Rochester last week and biked over 260 miles to Albany for the recovery conference, hoping to show that the road to recovery is no easy task.

“When you’re at your weakest moment they put you on your shoulders and kind of carry you through the moment and that’s what recovery really is,” Sean Smith, COO and Co-Founder of Rocovery Fitness, said.

The group rode their bikes to not only spread awareness but also to help stop the stigma that many people have against those in recovery.

“Recovery is not a bad thing it’s a great thing. We are happy, healthy, whole people and I think the general public needs to be aware of that,” Courtney Lovell, Recovery Conference Co-Chair, said.

According to the National Center on Addiction and substance abuse, New York spends around 21 percent of its budget on addiction and substance abuse. Earlier this year, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation investing $200 million of the 2018 fiscal year budget to support prevention and recovery programs.

“Governor Cuomo and OASAS what they’ve understood is they’ve put recovery on the map so that there’s been an incredible investment made,” Stephanie Campbell, Executive Director of Friends for Recovery NY, said.

Leaders of the conference point out though that there is much more that can be done such as expanding the reach of many of these programs to include every county in New York.

“There’s not a detox center in Rensselaer County. If I’m a Rensselaer County person there’s nothing for me there I have to come to Albany or someplace else. So we’ve got to have treatment on demand,” Campbell said.

There are currently around five recovery imitative programs sponsored by the state.

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