SOUTH COUNTY — The Cities of Gonzales and Soledad declared September as National Addiction and Recovery Month and presented proclamations to Sun Street Centers over the past week.
It is estimated that 200,000 people in California are affected by mental health and substance abuse conditions. Recognizing September as National Recovery Month is a collaborative effort between U.S. Department of Housing and Community Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the White House Office of National Drug Policy and Sun Street Centers. All residents of Gonzales and Soledad are invited to participate in National Recovery Month.
“Preventing and overcoming mental health and substance abuse disorders is essential to achieving healthy lifestyles physically and emotionally,” said Gonzales Mayor Maria Orozco. “We must encourage people with those issues to implement and recognize the signs of a problem and guide those in need to appropriate recovery services support.”
Monica Campa of Sun Street Centers worked with youth in Soledad over the past year through the STEPS program. STEPS, or Safe Teens Empowerment Project, is a drug and alcohol prevention peer-to-peer mentoring after-school program with students representing local high schools and community service volunteers.
“This year Sun Street Centers in South County was able to provide services to nearly 3,000 (individuals),” Campa said.
Right now the focus of the group is reducing the amount of alcohol advertisements sold to youth.