Season 1, Episode 19

Exploring the Connection Between Prevention & Recovery

Dec 19, 2023

When we invest in recovery services, we invest in prevention. The building blocks of recovery are similar to the protective factors of prevention. In this interview with Keith Howard, we will explore this connection.

Have you ever thought about what it takes to build strong, safe, and stable families and communities? Remarkably, many of the essential components mirror those needed for establishing and sustaining recovery from substance use disorders (SUD’s). Learn more about this relationship in our interview with Keith Howard.

“Despite prevention efforts, people use substances and despite recovery efforts, people relapse. It doesn’t mean these efforts are not working, it just means they are not universal.”

When you strip away the substances, people who use drugs are often left with many shattered aspects of their lives. These fragments include stressful events in childhood or adverse experiences like growing up in poverty, violence, or mental health challenges. The path to healing, recovery and resilience is a personalized journey that looks different for everyone. Some of the paths include: harm reduction, withdrawal management, treatment, medications for addiction treatment, mutual aid groups (i.e. AA), recovery residences, recovery friendly worksites, and peer and recovery community support. All these steps serve as the glue that reassembles these broken pieces making people “strong at those broken places.”

One crucial aspect of recovery is having access to resources. When people can meet their basic needs for things like healthcare, housing and employment, they expand the protective factors in their lives—things that help them sustain and maintain recovery. We are excited to talk with Keith Howard, Executive Director for Hope for NH Recovery, an advocate for people facing substance use challenges. He’ll help us understand the connection between recovery and prevention—explore how supporting the recovery of caregivers is a two-generational approach, giving young people the tools they need to avoid the harms of substance use.

Explore more on the topics and themes discussed in this episode:

NH Recovery Support Services – Learn more about recovery support services in the granite state including a list of recovery houses and recovery community organizations.

Better Now: Life Without Substance Use – Watch The Partnership’s video with 5 NH residents designed to spark community conversations about the science of addiction, stigma reduction and harm reduction strategies.

NH Suicide Council – NH resources on suicide prevention

NH Rapid Response Access Point – If you or someone you care about is experiencing a mental health and/or substance use crisis, you can call and speak to trained and caring clinical staff. If your concern cannot be resolved over the phone, they will send someone to meet with you.

Host & Guests

Featured Guest:

Keith Howard

Host: Christin D’Ovidio

Transcript

Episode Transcript (PDF)

Keith Howard earned several advanced degrees and served in leadership positions for various non-profits, but for a period of time in his life, drinking took center stage. By 2007, Keith was hopeless, homeless, and toothless. His despair lead him to contemplate suicide, but then in a moment of clarity, he checked himself into the VA Medical Center in Manchester.  After withdrawing from alcohol, he was introduced to a program of recovery that remains central to his life today.

Keith has been in recovery for 16 years during which time he has been the director of Liberty House, a program for homeless veterans, lived in a six-by-12-foot converted motorcycle trailer in Pittsburg, NH, a few miles from the Canadian border and served as the executive director for Hope for NH Recovery in Manchester, NH. He continues to live in a tiny space, but that is the only box to contain his magnanimous personality. He has recently retired from Hope for NH Recovery and will be dearly missed.

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