DIXON – The city was designated as a “recovery-friendly” community by a recent mayoral proclamation.
Stephanie Knight Englund, an addiction counselor and licensed social worker, approached the Dixon City Council about two weeks ago and asked it to approve the proclamation to highlight the city’s support toward helping those suffering from addiction.
Dixon is a “national leader in progressive, holistic community response to substance use prevention, treatment and recovery with many initiatives focused on recovery,” according to the proclamation, which lists the city’s Safe Passage Initiative allowing addicts to seek out recovery through the police or sheriff’s departments without fear of arrest as well as the Project OPEN opioid prevention engagement network.
It also includes recovery homes established by Sinnissippi Centers, the formation of nonprofit advocate Sauk Valley Voices of Recovery, naloxone training, medication-assisted treatment programs, the Recover-Con national convention and recovery-friendly workplaces.
Mayor Li Arellano Jr. made the proclamation last week to coincide with this year’s Recover-Con at Sauk Valley Community College as well as National Recovery Month.
Englund said the city is among the first communities to adopt a “recovery-ready” or “recovery-friendly” designation.
“For the first time in our nation’s history, we have passed the tragic milestone of 100,000 deaths resulting from drug overdoses in a 12-month period,” the proclamation said. “Since 1999, drug overdoses have killed approximately 1 million Americans. These are sons and daughters, parents and grandparents, neighbors and friends, and classmates and co-workers.”
It continues: “We continue to lose an American life to drug overdose every five minutes around the clock. We find ourselves at an inflection point where we, as a nation, must commit ourselves to doing what we know will help us triumph over this crisis.”
The proclamation lists the four pillars of recovery as home, health, purpose and community.