SKOWHEGAN — The month of September is National Recovery Month sponsored by Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration. The goal of National Recovery Month is to increase awareness and understanding of mental illness and substance use disorders and celebrate that people can recover.

ROAR, the Recovery & Opioid Addiction Resource, is a group of local citizens dedicated to celebrating recovery and honoring lives lost. The group is coordinating a public rally at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17, in Skowhegan at Coburn Park. The ROAR Rally is the first such event in the Skowhegan area and will focus on people in recovery from a substance use disorder and their friends and families that are there to support that recovery, according to a news release from the group.

Speakers will share stories of their journey to recovery and stories of supporting loved ones in the hope they will find that recovery. The rally will conclude with a candlelight vigil; luminaries, one for every life lost in Somerset County to an overdose since 2010. This lighting will honor those who lost their lives and those who have lost those loved ones. Participants will be invited to join together in a walk around the lighted park to remember the shared loss and experience the power of a community coming together to promote prevention of death through recovery.

ROAR is sponsored by the Somerset Expansion for Addiction Care Collaborative and is part of the organization’s broader efforts to expand medication assisted treatment in Somerset County. The organization is led by Kennebec Behavioral Health in collaboration with Skowhegan Family Medicine, Somerset Primary Care, and Crisis and Counseling and is funded through the Maine Health Access Foundation.

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