Recovery Month, observed every September, is a time to increase awareness and understanding of substance use disorders and celebrate those who have found the strength to overcome them. It’s a time to remember that recovery is not only possible, but attainable for those who seek it. In line with this mission, The Partnership @drugfreeNH, a public-private collaboration led by JSI, has created “Better Now: Life Without Substance Use,” a short film that conveys hope and resilience. The film is part of The Partnership’s mission to amplify awareness about the misuse of opioids, alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, and other substances. It’s an opportunity to see through the eyes of five remarkable individuals from New Hampshire who have embarked on a long-term journey of recovery from substance misuse.
Justin, Dylan, Kim, Chad, and Tonya’s stories are not about despair or darkness, but of courage and an unwavering belief in a brighter future. They open their hearts and talk about how they recognized the need for change and what life is like on the other side of a substance use disorder.
Their narratives demonstrate that recovery is not a privilege—it is a universally achievable goal. They offer valuable insights and tools that have helped them remain on the path to recovery. Their message resonates not only with those who have substance use disorders and the people who love them, but also with youth who may be at a crossroads in their lives and considering choices about substance use.
“Recovery is your own. Please do not let anyone define your recovery or tell you that you can’t be in recovery.”
-Kim, featured in “Better Now: Life Without Substance Use”
“Better Now” highlights the importance of early intervention and the fact that recovery, while elusive, is possible. As we hear their stories and witness the profound transformations they’ve undergone, let’s remember that during Recovery Month and any time we can guide others toward the path of recovery and ensure that hope and healing remain accessible to everyone.
The Partnership @drugfreeNH has developed a guide to facilitate a discussion about the video’s messages, stories, and topics. Download the discussion guide to further the conversation in your homes, schools, workplace, and community.
Recovery Changes Lives
Substance use disorders can happen to anyone. They are progressive, chronic conditions that change a person’s brain, making it difficult to stop. What starts as a way to fit in or deal with strong emotions, mental health, or pain, can become a compulsive need to use more. Substance use disorders are treatable with counseling and medication. The following stories inspire us with hope that recovery is possible for everyone.