• 72°

Recovery Walk brings awareness

Dale Nabors, 42, will always remember his sober date — April 7, 2009. Prior to that day, he was a heroin addict.

“I got to such a miserable, lonely, animalistic existence that there was no human quality of life anymore for me,” he said. “It was just pain and suffering every day, and only finding a drug could fix that. It wasn’t about getting high. It was about not hurting.”

Today, Nabors credits God and outpatient therapy with saving his life.

“I learned how to be me again,” he said. “So now, six years later, it’s just about me giving that back to others.”

Nabors now works for Lifecore Health Group in Tupelo, a sister agency of Communicare, a mental health network in Mississippi.

Saturday morning, he was in the Grove on the University of Mississippi campus waiting to participate in a 1.8 mile walk organized to bring awareness to September’s Recovery Awareness Month.

Keith Henry is a recovery support specialist for Haven House, a part of Communicare and Region 2 Mental Health Services in Mississippi.

Henry conducts a one-year aftercare program once a week for clients. He’s also a liaison for the Third Circuit Drug Court.

“We’ll be walking from the Grove down University Avenue to Lamar,” said Henry. “We’ll circle the Courthouse and come back to the Grove. The Third Circuit Drug Court are there at the Courthouse Square. They will be joining the walk.”

Melody Madaris, director of substance abuse services for Communicare, said Haven House is a 46-bed residential substance abuse treatment facility.

“We treat substance abuse along with co-occurring mental illnesses,” she said.

Participants complete a minimum 30-day treatment program up to six months.

Madaris directs all substance abuse services throughout the six-county region.

It includes residential treatment, recovery support services, intensive outpatient services, outpatient services, DUI assessments and substance abuse prevention.

“We have all those programs that we offer to the six counties and beyond at times,” she said.

Madaris said Mayor Pat Patterson recently signed a proclamation declaring September as Recovery Awareness Month in Oxford.

“What we’re doing today is bringing awareness to the fact that people recover,” she said. “Substance abuse and addiction is a mental health illness. People can recover from it if they receive the proper treatment.

“We’re out here showing the world that people recover every single day. We need people to know that and not be afraid to get treatment and to seek help.”

About LaReeca Rucker

LaReeca Rucker is a writer, reporter and adjunct journalism instructor at the University of Mississippi's Meek School of Journalism and New Media.

A veteran journalist with more than 20 years of experience, she spent a decade at the Gannett-owned Clarion-Ledger - Mississippi's largest daily newspaper - covering stories about crime, city government, civil rights, social justice, religion, art, culture and entertainment for the paper's print and web editions. She was also a USA Today contributor.

This year, she received a first place award from the Mississippi Press Association for “Best In-Depth Investigative Reporting.” The story written in 2014 for The Oxford Eagle chronicles the life of a young mother with two sons who have epilepsy, and details how she is patiently hoping legalized cannabis oil experimentation will lead to a cure for their disorder.

Her website is www.lareecarucker.com.

email author More by LaReeca