“Voices for Recovery,” a free event designed to offer assistance for substance use disorders and mental health issues, is set to be held this month by The Way Out Recovery SCV and the Child & Family Center.
Planned for Sept. 27 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Santa Clarita-based Child & Family Center, attendees of Voices for Recovery can gather information from both a resource fair and presentations by two panels comprised of professionals and those in recovery.
“In drug and alcohol and mental health treatment, it is not a one-size-fits-all,” said Bob Sharits, program director at The Way Out Recovery SCV. “As a person who is in recovery, I need to utilize multiple different resources, and so we have invited a bunch of resources to be there.”
Officials slated to take part in the resource fair from 5 to 6 p.m. include the Child & Family Center’s outpatient substance use program and domestic violence program; The Way Out Recovery SCV; College of the Canyons; the Henry Mayo wellness program; Valley Recovery Center; NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness); A Light of Hope; Narcotics Anonymous; and Alcoholics Anonymous.
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Following the fair, an EMT will kick off the panel presentations by speaking about an incident they served as a first responder for which involved drugs and alcohol, according to Charity Wabuke, program manager at the Child & Family Center.
“I’ve heard some say as much as 80 percent of the calls that paramedics get and first responders get, when they show up, they’re drug- and alcohol-related,” Sharits said. “The perspective of a first responder and the things that they see and the drugs and alcohol that are involved in those calls -- that (we) get to hear somebody tell first-hand what that’s like is going to be really, really powerful for us.”
Amy Spahr, who acts as clinical director of the Valley Recovery Center men’s residential facility, will also be a panelist, in addition to Larry Schallert, who serves as the College of the Canyons assistant director of student health and wellness and mental health.
“(Spahr) is going to touch on the sort of marriage or mixture of mental health and substance abuse together, because it’s rare to see somebody nowadays who just has pure substance abuse,” said Sharits. “There’s always some kind of -- even if it’s only created by the substance abuse -- depressions and anxieties and different psychoses and things that are going on.”
Speaking about Schallert, Wabuke said, “What’s unique about Larry is he brings a college experience with him, … so his perspective on what’s happening on the campuses and some of the work that he and his team have been doing in response to drugs and alcohol.”
The professional panel will be rounded out by a member of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Juvenile Intervention Team, also called the J-Team, alongside a psychiatrist who is certified in addiction medicine.
As the evening concludes, five individuals in recovery are expected to take part in the “Journey to Recovery” panel and share their stories.
“All of their stories are so different, and yet the one common theme is drugs and alcohol,” said Wabuke. “Come out, hear the panelists’ stories, encourage them, support them, learn from them, because these are day-to-day individuals and everyone has their own personal story.”
For more information about Voices for Recovery hosted by The Way Out Recovery SCV and the Child & Family Center, click here.
In Santa Clarita, drug issues are a major concern for many. The mission of the Santa Clarita rehab The Way Out Recovery SCV Drug and Alcohol Outpatient Treatment is to provide high quality, effective alcohol and drug outpatient treatment. The drug rehab’s goal is to assist adolescents, adults and their loved ones in becoming happily and usefully whole, free from drug addiction. Those seeking Santa Clarita drug treatment or a teen drug rehab can rest assured that The Way Out Recovery’s philosophy is to teach lifelong coping skills and strategies to assist in improving quality of life and living happily and meaningfully without the need of destructive behaviors.
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