Recovery Rally speakers celebrate journey to sobriety

DOVER — SOS Recovery Community Organization held its annual Recovery Rally at Henry Law Park on Sunday, rocking the park with music and fun, but also raising awareness about the good work they and other recovery agencies in the area are doing to lead the fight against substance abuse.

John Burns, director of SOS Recovery, said the event celebrates National Recovery Month. The day was filled with music, and there were speakers from agencies working to end the cycle of addiction. A concert was planned for later in the evening at the Rochester Opera House.

State Sen. David Watters, D-Dover, is a strong supporter of substance abuse resources. He told the crowd he has been in recovery for 34 years. He said the state has made strides but still has a way to go.

One of the day’s speakers was Amy Cloutier of the Process Recovery Center in Hudson. She gave an inspirational speech on her struggles with addiction and her rise to a way out. She will always be addicted but is determined to never use again and now helps others do the same.

“I was an alcoholic by the time I was 15,” said Cloutier. “I was on heroin by 18. I slept in parks like this one. I was in a dark place and in New Hampshire there was a real lack of resources. I feel I struggled longer than I should have. My son was born opiate dependent. My inner voice told me I was not a good mother, a good daughter. I was not good. I couldn’t see my own value. Someone held my hand and walked the road with me. I want to do the same for others. My mission is to show that we can recover.. We can live differently.”

Among the recovery agencies on hand were the Triangle Club, R.O.A.D. to a better life, Granite Recovery, the Farnum Center, Aware Recovery, Families First, Safe Harbor, Sober Sisters Addiction Recovery Services, New Hampshire Healthy Families, Hope on Haven Hill and Southeastern NH Alcohol & Drug Abuse Services.

“Three years ago, this didn’t happen,” said Kerry Norton, director of Hope on Haven Hill. “We floated recovery down the streets at every parade, just trying to be seen. Look around you now and see all the amazing recovery happening. It gives me chills. People see the bad outcomes, but they really need to see the good that is happening because of the dedication of all these groups.”

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