Each September, Renz Center recognizes National Recovery Month to increase awareness and understanding of mental health and substance use disorders, and celebrate the individuals living in recovery. This year’s theme, Join the Voices for Recovery: Invest in Health, Home, Purpose, and Community, explores how integrated care, strong community, sense of purpose, and leadership contributes to effective treatments that sustain the recovery of persons with mental health and substance use disorders. Renz Center hopes to encourage individuals to open up about behavioral health needs, and the increased emphasis on tackling our nation’s opioid crisis.
To help strengthen the community and honor of National Recovery Month, Renz Addiction Counseling Center is offering free substance use disorder assessments during September to community residents who think they may have an alcohol or drug problem. The assessment involves completing a questionnaire and meeting with a counselor.
“Communities can improve the lives of those in recovery by extending opportunities for meaningful daily activities, such as jobs, schools, volunteerism, or family caretaking,” said Renz Addiction Counseling Center’s Executive Director Jerry Skogmo. Community residents can play a significant role in supporting those in recovery as they gain the independence, income and resources necessary to fully participate in society.”
Free assessments are available during the month of September at Renz Center’s Two American Way in Elgin facility. Appointments are necessary. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (847) 742-3545.
A Client Story: Finding His Way Back From Depression, Alcoholism
Last year I was in a bad place. I was losing my house, relationships were struggling, and my business was failing. One night I found myself home alone, drunk, and depressed…and for the first time suicidal. After a suicide attempt and hospital detox, I went to the Elgin Mental Health Center (EMHC) where I was prescribed medications for depression. I was there for two weeks and feeling better. For the first time in a long time I began to think about my future, and where I would go from there.
From EMHC I immediately moved into Lazarus House, a homeless shelter in St. Charles. I was grateful for a roof over my head, a warm meal, and the opportunity to move forward with my life. I was working full time and busy getting my business back on track, so when a Lazarus House counselor asked me to go to Renz Center for an alcohol and drug assessment I was a little put out—but willing to do what they asked. After completing the assessment, I was again surprised when I was told I needed treatment three times per week…a bit much. I was also worried about how I would get there because I didn’t have a license or car. I know the old me would have been overwhelmed and given up. But now I was sober, clear headed and hopeful, and knew I needed to do what was best for me in the long-run so I figured out transportation and started treatment.
I wasn’t sure what to expect at Renz Center, but I was pleasantly surprised. I quickly saw that I could relate to others—their stories and experiences. Because of this I felt comfortable opening up and sharing my story. I also learned a lot about how my alcohol use and mental health go hand in hand. I focused on building relapse prevention tools and safe coping skills. I have also been using Alpha-Stim, which is a drug-free treatment tool that helps reduce anxiety and depression. It helps me feel positive and clear headed, along with the medications I take. I have also started building a good support network around me. I now attend SMART Recovery and Alcohol Anonymous meetings.
Today I’m in a positive place, and my family and friends have noticed the difference. Letting go of alcohol 14 months ago was the best thing I’ve ever done. My medication, Renz counseling, and Alpha-Stim work together to keep my life going in the right direction…the possibilities are endless.
Renz Center provides a continuum of care dedicated to the prevention, intervention and treatment of addictive behaviors related to alcohol, drugs, and gambling. Services range from prevention programs for youth in the schools to outpatient treatment programs for adolescents and adults. Priority is given to pregnant women and women with dependent children. Offices are located in Elgin, St. Charles, and Streamwood.
Renz Addiction Counseling Center is a non-profit organization funded in part by the federal government, the Illinois Department of Human Services, Hanover Township, Geneva, and St. Charles 708 boards and other local community organizations. To find out more about Renz Center’s programs, call 847-742-3545 or visit www.renzcenter.org.