Voices for Recovery: UGA students to promote addiction recovery through website

September 15, 2010

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Emily Williams

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Athens, Ga. - A group of students in the University of Georgia School of Social Work is making a difference in the lives of those who have been affected by addiction. Under the direction of Associate Professor Donna Leigh Bliss, 14 student volunteers from the clinical practice with addictive disorders course will launch a website for the Macon community, which compiles all available resources related to addiction into a one-stop source for information seekers. RecoveryMacon.org will go live Sept. 21 as part of National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month.

"Unfortunately, a majority of people have been touched by addiction in all forms," said Danielle Barth, an MSW student working on the project. "It's exciting that all of the resources will be on one website."

Addiction is the nation's number one health problem, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and millions of Americans are affected by it, including children and families.

RecoveryMacon.org is the fourth in a series of websites that have been developed by Bliss's students. Each year Bliss and her students select a city in Georgia and work together to compile information, photos and resources for each community. Bliss came up with the idea four years ago as one of five inaugural Service Learning Fellows at UGA. The first website, RecoveryAthens.org, was targeted to the UGA and Athens community. The class also has developed sites for Atlanta (RecoveryAtlanta.org) and Savannah (RecoverySavannah.org) in previous years.

"The students involved and our school should feel proud of taking a leadership role in promoting recovery from an enormously difficult problem," Bliss said. "What they are doing actually has the potential to change the lives of other people in a positive direction."

"It will be very rewarding to know the website was helpful to someone," said MSW student Jessica Knowles, who is a native of Macon.

National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month is an annual observance that takes place during the month of September to promote awareness of addiction in the U.S. The initiative encourages citizens to take part in the observance through an activity that will help improve addiction awareness in their communities. The National Recovery Month initiative is supported through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For more information, see RecoveryMonth.gov.

For more information on the UGA School of Social Work, see http://ssw.uga.edu.

Filed under: Culture / Living, Behavioral Health

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