September 20th is National Addiction Professionals Day

Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 8:04 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - September is National Recovery Month and September 20th is National Addiction Professionals Day.

According to the NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professional’s website, this day started in 1992 to celebrate the hard work addiction professionals do.

Zed Kosowitz, a certified Peer Recovery Specialist, at the Valley Community Services Board said he is in long-term recovery and has been clean for around 9 years.

“I think what I bring to the table is real-life experience, because often for somebody in recovery, once you have been suffering for so long it is hard to have hope. To find out there are people who are in recovery who have stopped using and have built a better life for themselves, I think could be helpful,” said Kosowitz.

Kosowitz said his clients help him in his recovery as much as he helps them. He added that it’s great to see people come through and are able to turn their lives around.

”There have been people who have lost everything, that just have literally tore themselves down, they are homeless, they have lost their kids , their job, and just watch them rebuild themselves, re-invent themselves, get their kids back, get their job, its what makes me get up in the morning and want to do this job,” said Kosowitz.

Adrienne Young, Substance Use Case Manager, said she meets with clients to help them gain skills and connections to then navigate recovery.

”I work with priority females and so I have had the opportunity to see so many amazing women and mothers become the women they have always wanted to be,” said Young.

Sandy Buckland, Office Based Addiction Treatment RN, said it is important to break down the stigma about addiction and Substance Use Disorder and to know that it is a chronic disease that is treatable.

“My goal is to make sure that are programs are running, to make sure that all of the staff here have what they need to help our clients that walk through our doors each day,” said Natalie Taylor-Bell, Assistant Director of Behavioral Health for Outpatient Services.

Taylor-Bell said Valley Community Services Board has many resources like housing, medication, and infant/toddler programs.

“It is important as a supervisor to make sure that all staff members are supported and appreciated because they do a lot of really hard work. The clients do incredibly hard work day in and day out,” said Taylor-Bell.

She said her job is to support the staff members and let them know that there hard work is appreciated.