Humans are no strangers to the bad habits of substance abuse. Time and time again we hear a story or tell a story about an experience with misusing drugs or alcohol, which is heart-wrenching. Those stories often spark the question of 'why?' and, although some might have an answer, others may not. The reason why someone turns to drugs or alcohol can be a multitude of things and in order to get to the bottom of it, there must be a proper way to heal.
Start Your Recovery is a user-friendly online space that offers someone dealing with substance use as well as those close to someone dealing with substance abuse, a single source filled with information on steps towards recovery. CELEB had the opportunity to talk with Rebecca Snow, who works with Start Your Recovery, about the resource and their positive imprint on society today.
Why Not Us?
When recognizing the lack of access to resources in one place, the founders of Start Your Recovery questioned it and followed up with "Why don't we" [provide it]?
"Start Your Recovery started as a pro-bono project of a public health communications firm called Reingold," shared Snow. "Through that work, we noticed the substance abuse treatment market was full of both ineffective and irresponsible players, particularly online." This inspired Brooks Lape, a founder of Start Your Recovery, to pitch the idea to Reingold of creating a hub for people to find sources at any part of their recovery journey.
Start Your Recovery is the middle man in the process of connecting people to clinicians and experts in substance abuse. Snow shared, "We really aim to be that single source of relatable and reliable information, really at any stage of someones recovery journey." On one site they have experts from non-profit, academic, and government institutions as well as recovery stories, informational content, and a treatment and support locator.
No Single Recovery Is The Same
"We recognize that recovery is unique for every individual looking to overcome a substance use disorder," said Snow. When visiting StartYourRecovery.org, users can customize their experience according to why they're there - for themselves, a loved one, or a patient. This ensures that whoever is using the site, is getting the best possible resources and treatment options tailored to their needs according to "life experiences and the stage of recovery that they're in."
The groups that they partner with play a major role in giving out the proper information. Snow explained, "Whenever we recognize a gap in our knowledge, whether it's clinical or our understanding of a particular group’s lived experience, we partner with an expert in that field." Adding in, "Our founders’ roots are in public health communications. We’ve worked with a number of leading non-profits and academic institutions to help craft effective public health campaigns around mental and behavioral health issues. Through that work, we’ve gotten to know organizations and individuals who bring a unique and valuable perspective to the table."
Start Your recovery has already successfully connected over one million people to care and are expecting to reach another 750,000 this year. Snow concluded with saying, "Our goal is to continue improving our content, and tools, to make it easier for people to achieve long-term recovery. We’re hard at work on some great enhancements to our resource locator—that should go live in a couple of weeks."