I met Sherman Stennis in January of 2014. Mr. Stennis was my first client as a Peer Recovery Coach at Home of New Vision (HNV). I noticed right away that he was on fire for recovery.
Sherman has a history of over forty years in dealing with addiction. It was blatantly obvious that he was ready to change his life style so we immediately started working a viable recovery plan. He would attend a Men’s Group here at the agency that I facilitated, and attend twelve step meetings of his choice throughout the course of the week. Sherman also had an awesome team of HNV professionals working with him which included a therapist, case manager, and other supports (the professionals here at HNV love being around him because he has a very magnetic personality and has a positive impact on everyone he comes into contact with).
During the entire time, he lived in the shelter at the Delonis Center with Continue reading →
My grandmother is 101 years old. Born in 1913, she is the rock star of 101 year olds (of course there isn’t a lot of competition.) She knows how to work hard, how to teach a lesson and how to learn one. She loves God and her church and no one was ever surer of their place in heaven. At 99 years old, she pulled up stakes, left her lifelong home and moved to Michigan without a backward glance. Her stories are rich; peppered with “little house on the prairie” tales about growing up in the rural south during the early 1900’s. One of the most extraordinary features of her extraordinary life is that she has never had a sip of alcohol. That’s because her father ran moonshine when she Continue reading →
Let’s start with a definition. According to merriam-webster.com, “stigma is a set of negative and often unfair beliefs that a society or group of people have about something.” So, negative and unfair are the two words that jump out at me. Stereotypes are defined as unfair beliefs that all people with the same characteristic are the same. Stereotypes feed stigma, and stigma perpetuates stereotypes, and regarding alcohol and substance abuse, both clearly exist in our public policies, practices, and in our culture. Stigma is so entrenched in our culture that despite evidence that substance abuse treatment works and people do recover, the stigma continues. The impact that stigma has on people who are using substances is tremendous. Continue reading →
Currently in Washtenaw County, there are several options for individuals who are interested in recovery from substance use disorder. These options are all part of an individual’s pathway to recovery. It is vital that communities and agencies promote and support multiple pathways to recovery.
As a social work student I was amazed by the number of future professionals who had no interest in working with individuals diagnosed with substance use disorders. Now as a professional who supervises interns, I remain surprised that after almost 10 years the sentiment remains. For many years the field has been seen as a pseudo profession, one provided by individuals with big hearts and a history of use, not professionals with specific training. As a result of these views, the field has been overlooked in terms of impact on individuals, families and communities as a whole.