Rocky Doom Paducah, KY Chapter Lead – I’m a member of Young People in Recovery because it provides a public channel for my voice to be heard. I love being involved because ANYONE is welcomed. Being a mid-fortyish gay male in rural Kentucky, there aren’t a lot of recovery-friendly activities that are available to choose from. YPR provides an outlet to create new and exciting events that allow our members to be involved and have fun while doing so. Recovery has provided me with many things in just a few years, but of all the things it has provided, the desire to be of service to others is one of the things I treasure the most. YPR has made a difference for me because that sense of purpose has become more defined. When I attend a meeting, I know I belong to an organization that is genuine in its mission to help its members. In interactions with others, it becomes more and more apparent that many folks just need a chance for their voice to be heard- they need to feel empowered to advocate for the changes they feel should occur- be it housing needs, employment needs, or just being reassured that the pathway to recovery they’ve chosen is supported.
Through our All Recovery Meetings and Pro-social events, our members are given chances week after week to share real struggles and challenges they’re facing in their lives. Those discussions lead us to make decisions in our small community of ways to strive to become more involved to reduce the stigma associated with substance use disorder.As the founding chapter lead for the Paducah, KY chapter, we’ve been able to do just that. Through our All Recovery Meetings and Pro-social events, our members aregiven chances week after week to share real struggles and challenges they’re facing in their lives. Those discussions lead us to make decisions in our small community of ways to strive to become more involved to reduce the stigma associated with substance use disorder. That dialogue empowers our members to share specifically where they most need help. We’re able to take those discussions to bring about real change- change that impacts our members and those who mean the most to them. It is always surprising and uplifting to see that our small chapter reaches folks from a whole range of ages who are genuine about their desire to remain involved. I’m confident that comes as a result of the very empowerment to know they are heard, they matter, and they can change and change things!