Local officials gather for the National Recovery Month proclamation presentation on Wednesday: (left to right) Commissioner Brenda K. Woods, James Crafton, Jeff Lemmons, Brenda Harris, Brittany Patterson, Elisa Harrison, Duane Weyand, President Commissioner Kerry R. Steed, and Commissioner Mike McCarty.

Serena Hammond | News Journal photo

WILMINGTON — On Wednesday morning, a proclamation presentation was made at the Clinton County Commissioners’ meeting, as local officials came together to recognize National Recovery Month.

The event was marked by the acceptance of the proclamation by the Clinton County Common Pleas Court supervision staff, who have been instrumental in transforming lives within the community.

Accepting the proclamation on behalf of the Common Pleas Court supervision staff were Chief Probation Officer – Director of Intensive Supervision Duane Weyand, LSW, Recovery Liaison James Crafton, Supervision Officer Jeff Lemmons, MS., LICDS-CS, Intervention Specialist Brenda Harris, CDCA Brittany Patterson, and CDCA Elisa Harrison.

Kerry R. Steed, county commissioner president, expressed his gratitude for the remarkable work done by the Common Pleas Court Supervision staff, saying, “This program has continued to expand what it does for those who are on probation and for the courts over the last few years, and I am sure we will see it expanding over the next two years. So, we want to appreciate the time and effort and the work you do for those individuals and the community.”

Commissioners Brenda K. Woods and Mike McCarty also expressed their appreciation to the group.

Duane Weyand, chief probation officer – director of intensive supervision, highlighted the positive impact of the program, saying, “We’ve got a lot of people working at Ahresty and Timber-Tech, we have people making $33 per hour, give or take. A lot of people making really good money. They have to report their income, and we know they’re doing really well. And five years ago, these people probably weren’t working anywhere. They’re paying tax dollars, buying stuff, renting houses; we just had someone buy a house not too long ago, so they’re putting back into the community. We are blessed they’re doing really well within the community.”

The highlight of the occasion was Steed reading the official proclamation, which declared September 2023 as National Recovery Month in Clinton County. The proclamation emphasized the importance of this annual observance, sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), to enhance awareness and education regarding substance abuse disorders.

“This is the 34th year for Recovery Month,” Steed explained. “It is an annual event sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration to enhance awareness and education regarding substance abuse disorders. This is held every September to honor and celebrate the people who have made progress in recovery and is a great way to share their journey.”

Recovery Month recognizes the challenges individuals face when seeking help for substance abuse disorders. It also seeks to reduce the stigma associated with addiction and mental health issues, making it easier for those in need to seek assistance.

“Recovery Month shows others who may be struggling with addiction that recovery is possible and provides inspiration to seek help with their own struggles,” Steed added. “The Clinton County Commissioners do hereby proclaim the month of September 2023 as Recovery Month in Clinton County.”