Purple lights, ribbons celebrate recovery

CHAMBERSBURG – If the purple lights and ribbons throughout downtown Chambersburg, Greencastle, Mercersburg and Waynesboro didn’t clue you in, the Franklin County Commissioners have made it official: September is Franklin County Recovery Month.

“Each day, millions of Americans take courageous steps toward reclaiming their lives from substance use,” said Franklin County Commissioner John Flannery during a reading of a proclamation. “We recognize the strength and determination these individuals have committed to their recovery … we affirm our commitment to all those who are in need of our community support by empowering, encouraging and championing them in their journey to health and wellness.”

This year marks the 31st annual celebration of recovery month across the nation.

“This month is very important,” said District Attorney Matt Fogal, who also chairs the Franklin County Overdose Task Force. “We’ve made great strides in the county. We still have work to do.”

According to nationwide statistics, one in 10 Americans struggle with substance use disorder—but in reality, that number could be much higher.

“One of the biggest challenges of substance abuse in general is a lot of people don’t recognize that they have a problem and seek help,” explained Christina Unger, administrator for the Franklin/Fulton Drug and Alcohol program, which handles prevention, intervention, case management and recovery support across both counties.

The county’s honoring of Recovery Month is designed to bring awareness that people can and do recover, that communities do heal and that the walls of stigma will be broken down so that we can help loved ones access substance use/abuse treatment, peer support, behavioral healthcare and recovery services.
Residents of Franklin County who are struggling with addiction can call Pa. Get Help Now at 800-622-4357.

“Recovery happens together,” Unger said. “No one should walk that journey alone.”