Inside the Sampson Community College Student Center, Courtney Boyette enjoyed serving tasty snowcones to young people while spreading an important message about recovering from addiction.
“When people are doing well in their recovery, that’s not acknowledged,” said Boyette, a community relations specialist for Eastpointe, a behavioral healthcare program.
Eastpointe joined the college, Sampson County Substance Abuse Coalition and Pelican’s Snoballs to celebrate Recovery Month. The purpose is to promote the benefits of prevention, treatment, and recovery of mental and substance use disorders.
“We’re trying to reduce the stigma so people will know it’s OK to talk to someone, reach out for help and let them know about resources in the community,” Boyette said.
Recovery Month also celebrates people in recovery and applauds the contributions of treatment and service providers.
During the event, B.G. Kennedy of the Sampson County Substance Abuse Coalition (previously known as the Sampson County Meth Task Force), was joined by Kembrie Farrow and Shirley Asor-Sallaah. The representatives and counselors from Sampson County Schools assist families and students facing challenges such as depression and substance abuse. Like Boyette, Kennedy believe it’s important to spread awareness about substance abuse. He said a lot students are introduced to drugs in the latter years of elementary school or middle school.
“It’s often where problems begin,” he said referring to problems that last a lifetime. “We’re hoping to break that through education and support.”
Kennedy said the coalition is being revitalized to have a positive impact on families through education and support for parents when it comes to substance abuse.
Many students and college professors interacted with the presenters. Michele Moore, department chair of the Community Spanish Interpreter program, said it was a great idea for the area. She was joined by Edith Rogers, secretary of business programs, who enjoyed the collaborative effort.
“They are working together to not only educate the youth, but the adults as well,” Rogers said. “There’s a lot of things that we don’t know about substance abuse and services that are available for individuals in our area.”
Help is available through Eastpointe at 800-913-6109. The organization also provides immediate help to people in need. For more information about the coalition, call 910-592-7131.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617.