The stories shared at Seaborn Jones Memorial Park in Rockmart one evening last week are just a small sample of how much recovery from substance abuse can be a powerful weapon in building a community.

A group of residents living in recovery, along with family, friends and community leaders joined the people of Mosaic Place for a special recovery rally last Tuesday, Sept. 22, in the park to celebrate recovery, reach out to the community and honor the lives of those who have been lost.

“To be able to have something like this, a recovery rally, where we really call on the community to recognize what recovery can do and will do for the community as well as being able to celebrate the individuals, is amazing,” said Lydia Goodson, program manager for Mosaic Place. “We didn’t know what we were gonna be able to do when COVID hit and now we’ve come back at full capacity.”

Mosaic Place is a recovery community and resource center for individuals seeking or living in long-term recovery. A program of Highland Rivers Health, the drop-in center is located at 123 West Ave. in Cedartown and provides recovery groups (Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, and others), peer support, employment support and linkages to other community resources.

Since opening in October 2018, Mosaic Place has served more than 2,000 unique individuals in Polk County. The recovery rally is one of many events Mosaic Place hosted during the month of September to celebrate National Recovery Month and some of the people it has helped spoke about how their lives have changed for the better.

“We consider it an obligation of ours to reach out continually to the community to let them know that yes, we know that drugs are a problem here in Polk County, but recovery is the answer,” Goodson said.

Goodson herself is living in recovery of substance abuse, having been free of drugs since 2015. She told the crowd gathered at the rally that her and her staff are out to show the community that there can be a change in how recovery is looked at and they will shape the future of that.

Jeff Breedlove, Chief of Communications and Policy at the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse, thanked Mosaic Place for its work on behalf of GCSA Executive Director Neil Campbell.

“I am so proud of Mosaic Place and what they are doing here in Polk County, they are not just saving lives, but they are saving taxpayers dollars,” Breedlove said.

He noted the relationships the program has made with local law enforcement and hospitals to help people find paths to recovery when they may be at their lowest.

“Recovery is stronger than COVID-19. It cannot stop us,” Breedlove said. “We are showing the community that we are not ‘those people.’”

Sgt. Kevin Chandler with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office attended the rally with other representatives from local law enforcement agencies and told the crowd of advocates and those living with recovery that he supported their efforts to make themselves better and was proud of what they had accomplished.

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