Getting over addiction

In order to come up with a program to address recovery services, people from across Onondaga County met for a brainstorming session.

"The goal was to set up places and organizations around the state for people in recovery to get services," Sacco said.

Friends of Recovery was established as just such a resource. With an $11,000 grant from the Onondaga County Department of Mental Health, the group has been able to hold events, like their first, a family bowling night in November of 2007 that attracted some 500 people. They also host an annual Recovery Day celebration at the Inner Harbor; this year's event took place on Saturday Sept. 13.

Friends of Recovery holds meetings on the second Wednesday of every month at which they discuss various programs and welcome addiction professionals as speakers. The meetings alternate between afternoons -- 12 to 1:30 p.m. -- and evenings -- 5:30 to 7 p.m. -- in order to accommodate anyone interested in coming. All meetings and events take place at the Salvation Army building, 667 South Salina St., Syracuse.

In addition to its regular meetings, Friends of Recovery has begun holding coffee hours at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month.

"It's just an opportunity for a cup of coffee and some networking and fellowship with other people," Sacco said. "You can come and just sit and drink coffee, or you can meet other people. There's no agenda."

The organization also offers family movie nights on the last Friday of the month.

"It's a family event," Sacco said. "It's a lot of fun."

The goal of the group is to not only provide support for those in recovery and their families, but also to remove the stigma attached to addiction.

"Addiction is recognized as a disease," Sacco said. "Recovery from addiction is just like recovery from cancer or heart disease. You're just as much a survivor for coming through that."

For more information, e-mail FORCNY@yahoo.com.

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