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September is National Recovery Month for those battling substance abuse

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Posted at 11:49 AM, Sep 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-01 11:49:03-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The pandemic has magnified issues with substance abuse, overdoses and suicides, as people are forced into isolation, facing depression and anxiety.

The Hanley Foundation is spreading their urgent message during September, which is Recovery Month. The organization is releasing a new video every day throughout the month in hopes that people are encouraged to seek help.

HELP FOR SUBSTANCE ABUSE STRUGGLES

GETTING HELP WITH SUBSTANCE ABUSE: Do you or somebody you know need help? The Hanley Foundation offers scholarships for people who can’t afford to get treatment. It’s the largest provider or substance abuse prevention and education programs for parents, caregivers and school-age children. Stacey Leuliette is on the board of The Hanley Foundation. She's sharing her personal story and some encouragement for those who need help. WPTV WFLX FOX 29

Posted by Ashleigh Walters on Tuesday, September 1, 2020

“They will feature experts in their fields. We have local politicians that are working on policy reform. We have parents who have lost a child to this disease. And they will share their story. We have people who have successfully navigated recovery and who want to share their experiences and strength and hope,” explained board member Stacey Leuliette.

Leuliette says she is just shy of being 9 years sober, and the cause is near and dear to her heart.

“I am happy to say today that I am a very grateful recovering alcoholic. And it has been a journey though,” she said.

Leuliette says it’s important that people who are struggling get beyond the stigma of addiction, and reach through the shame and guilt associated with a disease they do not control.

“I spent so many years being angry. And it wasn’t until I understood more about the disease and who I was that I was able to be at peace. And really now kind of celebrate life. I am so grateful because I understood who I was,” she said.

The Hanley Foundation is the largest provider of substance abuse prevention and education programs for parents, caregivers and school age children. It provides scholarships for people who cannot afford treatment. In 2019, the Hanley Foundation provided $1 million in prevention and education services in Florida.

“There is another false belief that someone can, who is suffering from this disease, can go to treatment for 30 days and leave and they’re cured. And the reality is for that individual, they have to be dedicated to a lifetime of resources and changed behaviors and all of that so they can heal,” Leuliette explained.

This summer, the Hanley Foundation moved its headquarters to downtown West Palm Beach. It has plans to hire more prevention specialists to serve people across the state.

“Community is the most important part of recovery for people who are in recovery and the Hanley Foundation does a fabulous job creating community and resources and really just a place for people to reach out and say, hey I don’t know what to do here but I think I’m struggling or my family member’s struggling or this has been years of this struggle. What can we do? How can we make this happen,” she said.