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RCNC Newsroom - Stay in the Know!

If you want to be in the know about what’s going on at our organization, you’ve come to the right place. Be sure to check back regularly to get our latest news updates on important topics and issues related to our programs and services and North Carolina's recovery community members.

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For the 16 million people globally and 3 million people in the U.S. suffering from opioid use disorder (OUD), COVID-19 brings a slew of issues: lack of face-to-face counseling services, methadone clinic shutdown and increased mortality risk from coronavirus from underlying respiratory damage.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and as stress and anxiety are at all-time highs due to the added emotional weight of the coronavirus pandemic, we compiled our very best mental health advice -- all spliced into easy-to-digest sections on burnout, anxiety and sleep, plus the benefits of meditation, physical activity and getting outdoors. We hope this helps you navigate any mental health troubles or emotional distress you may be dealing with at this time.

Reading the tea leaves, so to speak, is the job of our senior team at OPEN MINDS. But I will admit to getting “mixed signals” (or is that mixed tea leaves) when it comes to addiction treatment in the post-crisis recovery. What do we know? First, the demand for addiction treatment will likely spike. Social distancing is a risk factor for relapse because consumers self-medicate with drugs and alcohol to ease the stress (see Once The Coronavirus Pandemic Subsides, The Opioid Epidemic Will Rage). A lack of face-to-face services, methadone clinic shutdowns, and increases in poverty raise the mortality due to opioids, while opioid-induced diminished lung capacity raises the mortality of COVID-19.

Soon after, a 71-year-old man came to the door hoping for a bed to sober up. Turned away, he fell asleep on the side of the road and Healing Transitions staff covered him with blankets.That incident stuck with Budnick, as he and other Wake County partners worked to quickly set up a remote detox center. Programs for people who use drugs or are in recovery, like Healing Transitions, have been quick to adapt to the changing needs of their clients. However, some providers are cash-starved and waiting for federal and state funding relief. Meanwhile, the pandemic has created the perfect storm of stressors, putting those who use drugs or are in early addiction recovery at risk for the COVID-19 virus and overdose.

Caring for animals is an important part of living an altruistic lifestyle. Today we explore how you can live more altruistically with the animals in your day-to-day life.

As a psychiatrist, I understand the realities of the mental health stressors that exist from this global pandemic and the potential for an increase in psychological care needs now and in the aftermath. However, it’s possible that we emerge from this with innumerable positive mental-health outcomes.

If you try to live altruistically, then combating your own loneliness can play a vital role in how you serve others. Here’s how to fight loneliness while still regarding social distancing.

When things are busy, wellness often takes a backseat to our presumed priorities. Check out a few ways to bring your personal health back to the forefront of your life.

Are you eligible for Unemployment in NC? Get support to file your unemployment claim at Oak CityCares, May 4-8 between 10 AM and 1 PM.

Get support to complete your IRS application to receive your stimulus at Oak City Cares, May 4-8 between 10 AM and 1 PM. Learn more...

MOREHEAD CITY, Carteret County — One county in eastern North Carolina has seen a significant increase in overdose emergency department visits in recent months. According to data provided to the county by the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services, Carteret County has ranked within the top 10 highest counties for overdose emergency department visits in February and March.

If you want to get involved this International Pay It Forward Day, check out these quarantine-friendly ways to pay it forward.

This training is designed to assist the RCOs financially supported by RCNC through the State DHHS and SAMHSA as well as our allies in building your online facilitation muscle so that you can effectively facilitate groups, compassionately manage people in those groups, help keep the enthusiasm, interest and the energy high and build connectivity and an online community that will prove beneficial to all those who participate in your trainings or workshops.

As a result of our current circumstances in North Carolina, RCNC is encouraging CPSS and Recovery Coaches and other recovery service providers to join us next week, on Wednesday, April 22nd at 11AM EST and the following week, Wednesday, April 29th at 11am EST for an interactive Zoom session which is designed to allow us to check in, sharing cares, concerns, accomplishments and triumphs, build an affinity community group, and care for each other.

These books inspire the altruistic lifestyle and show anyone can make an impact on the world. Let’s explore each of them more in depth.

Building community and positive habits are two vital pieces of recovery from substance abuse disorder. But the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown patterns of recovery into disarray, and treatment facilities have quickly pivoted to compensate for those changes. “So much of what it means to be in recovery and to be sober is to create daily habits to set yourself up for success. Generally speaking, it’s really hard for everybody.”

Meditation is powerful. If you’re still unsure whether or not the practice is worth trying, check out these top benefits of meditation and consider how they can help improve your life.

When bad things happen, how do we act individually, and how can we come together as a society? How can we be kind in times of darkness?

As RCNC considers our Recovery Community and our larger community, we want to think responsibly and are taking preventative measures to reduce the possible spread of COVID19. Even if we aren’t likely to get very sick from COVID-19, it is recommended that we still practice social distancing to keep from spreading to vulnerable populations, according to officials with the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.

As the creators of the CCAR Recovery Coach Academy©, we oftentimes get asked about data. Where is the data that supports the Recovery Coach model? Are these trainings based on evidence based practices? These are great questions.As Recovery Coaching is a peer-based service, there hasn't been a need for documentation - and without documentation, there isn't data to report. However, as more and more organizations have begun utilizing coaches to provide support services for those in recovery from alcohol and other addictions, we are finding more and more articles written to show support of this model.

Check out an in-depth look at Recovery Communities of North Carolina and the faces behind the successful recovery program. This cover story will offer readers a glimpse into how the organization is able to successfully lead patients onto a path to recovery and the leading philosophies and missions of those in charge. It also details a bit on the history of the organization and how they promote addiction recovery, wellness and citizenship through advocacy, education and support.

Please welcome RCNC’s newest team member, Sherice Byrd, who will serve as our full time Certified Peer Support Specialist/Care Coordinator and Recovery Coach. Sherice has over 14 years of experience as a CPSS and an advocate for those struggling with substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health conditions.  She has over 21 years in long term recovery has been trained as a recovery coach via CCAR.

RCNC Presents the the 2nd cohort of our Certified Recovery-Focused Peer Support training in Wake County beginning in March 2020. This curriculum is the first of its kind in the state of North Carolina with the primary focus being on recovery from substance use disorders. There is also a significant amount of material in the curriculum which will cover co-occurring mental health conditions and its connection to substance use disorders. We are now requiring that every potential participant complete the online application ASAP. Read more...

RCNC is offering the 'Peer Support Supervision Workshop Series' for Peer Support Specialists and Recovery Coaches. 1.5 hours CEU will be offered for the trainings, which will begin on March 26th, 2020. These trainings are free and open to the public. Peer Support Specialists can build a fellowship to support each other while increasing their skills. The workshops will take place on the last Thursday of each month at RCNC from 11 AM - 12:30 PM.

In February, RCNC's Executive Director, Dr. Linger met with key stakeholders and team members from RSN and RCNC for youth in recovery initiative strategic planning. RCNC is partnering with Reintegration Support Network out of Carrboro, NC to expand services to youth in recovery from substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health conditions in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Durham and Raleigh.

This stimulating training is offered to our Recovery Community Support Project –Statewide Network (RCSP-SN) recovery organizations to enhance the level of commitment to the communities we serve. In this one-day training, recovery organization staff will develop critical tools that will deepen their understanding around the importance of developing a personal, team and organizational multi-cultural and anti-racist identity in relation to those we serve.

Join us on February 25th from 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM at Holiday Inn Suites for a Diversity Equity Inclusion Training. This stimulating training is offered to our Recovery Community Support Project - Statewide Network recovery organizations to enhance the level of commitment to the communities we serve.

Recovery Communities of North Carolina (RCNC) is proud to announce its selected as an award recipient of a three-year Building Communities of Recovery (BCOR) grant from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) which started in August 2019.  RCNC has partnered with a focused youth serving organization, Reintegration Support Network (RSN) on this state-of-the-art grant. RSN is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides youth in Orange and Durham counties with a sense of belonging and the skills and capacities of self-advocacy, healthy relationships, and positive engagement in the community.

In September of 2018, Recovery Communities of North Carolina (RCNC) was awarded a three year grant by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT),  entitled: Recovery Community Services Program-Statewide Network (RCSP-SN).

In 2018, Wake County Department of Public Health/ Health Promotion Chronic Disease Prevention Section awarded Recovery Communities of North Carolina (RCNC) a grant to write, create and develop a Peer Support Curriculum that paid particular attention to recovery from substance use disorder.

NC’s public Behavioral Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) System is undergoing major changes. We want to hear from our consumers, families and advocates about how the system is working and how we can assist in creating a system that improves health outcomes and promotes recovery for all North Carolinians.

RCNC presents this film in partnership with City of Raleigh Substance Use Advisory CommitteeAbout the Film: Resilience: The Biology of Stress & The Science of Hope -

January 23rd at 6:30 to 9:00 PM at RCNC's Recovery Community Center

RCNC Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Training

Thank you for an amazing training at RCNC on August 29th. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion!

Share Your Recovery Story in Honor of National Recovery Month

In honor of Recovery Month, RCNC, in partnership with the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services is gathering as many recovery success stories that we can share online. We would love to highlight the work of all the Recovery Community Centers in North Carolina, including programs, statistics and individual stories. When you share, please remember not to include full names or PII. Info can be submitted to DeDe Severino at or Martin Woodard at Thank you in advance. Happy Recovery Month!

RCNC will offer monthly supervision workshops for Peer Support Specialists and Recovery Coaches 1.5 hours CEU will be offered for the free trainings. Staying involved through the Years Presented by Kurtis Taylor, Executive Director, Alcohol/Drug Council of North Carolina on Wednesday, July 31st from 11:00 A.M. – 12:30 P.M.

People with mental health and substance use disorders frequently cycle in and out of jail. It can be difficult for someone to get better when floating between jails, homeless shelters, group homes and emergency departments.Officials at the Pitt County Sheriff’s Department noticed this pattern and they’re making changes to reduce recidivism rates and get these people the help they need.The Pitt County department has a jail “navigator” who helps place people into safe housing and reconnect them to benefits upon their release. The sheriff’s office is also preparing to launch a new treatment program for drug users housed in the jail.

he United States is not the first country to be plagued by heroin and overdose deaths. Western Europe experienced spikes in opioid overdose deaths in the 1980s and 90s. But countries such as France and Switzerland have found ways to support drug users and rein in the problem.
North Carolina Health News has dedicated hundreds of reporting hours to the opioid crisis and its socio-economic side effects in our state. Late last year, we traveled to Europe to see what others have done to address these issues before us.

The 7th Annual Capital Area Rally for Recovery will be held Saturday, 9/21/19 10AM—2PM at Mordecai Historical Park. The Capital Area Rally for Recovery is an annual event to celebrate recovery and offer hope to anyone seeking or in need of recovery from Substance Use Disorder. We welcome everyone in the community to join us in our efforts to recognize and promote the wellness recovery brings. This event is being held to raise the profile of recovery by demonstrating to our friends and neighbors, communities, policy makers and the media that we can and do recover from substance use disorder and that when we get well, it benefits our families, communities and nation.

RALEIGH, N.C. — In 2017, nearly 2,000 people died from opioid addiction in North Carolina. That same year, providers in our state wrote 72 opioid prescriptions for every 100 people in our state, well above the national average. The state adopted the STOP Act to help track and hopefully slow down the opioid epidemic. Now, there’s a new player in the fight against a human health crisis - animal doctors. Starting June 3, veterinarians across the state will be required to submit opioid prescription information to the Controlled Substance Abuse Reporting System if they dispense certain types of drugs to a pet owner for the animal.

RCNC Presents: Peer Support Supervision, The Role of a Peer Support Specialist. Presented by Elliot Palmer, Creator of A New Start While Empowering Recovery (A.N.S.W.E.R.). This workshop will be held on Wednesday, June 26th from 11:00 A.M. – 12:30 P.M. RCNC will offer monthly supervision workshops for Peer Support Specialists and Recovery Coaches and 1.5 hours CEU will be offered for the free trainings.

State Senate leaders rolled out their two-year budget proposal for North Carolina on Tuesday, highlighting several health care provisions.
State senators want to address mental health needs by funding a psychologist for every North Carolina school district, adding additional money for addiction recovery treatment, and by adding staffing and beds to Broughton psychiatric hospital.Similar to the state House budget proposal, the Senate pledged money to test the backlog of rape kits. Read more...

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina's clergy are gathering in cities across the state to talk about the opioid crisis. A recent survey found more than 70 percent of clergy in North Carolina say their congregations have been affected by opioids. Barriers to accessing substance abuse and mental-health resources make church one of the first places people turn to for help with addiction. Elizabeth Brewington, opioid response program coordinator with the North Carolina Council of Churches, is organizing the clergy breakfasts.

Your mental health is inseparable from your physical health. Not a revolutionary concept, but what is astounding is the stigmatization that still surrounds men who dare to talk about their mental struggles. As we move into Mental Health Awareness Month this May, we hope to change that. Men who are vocal about any kind of mental issues can be dismissed as weak. As inferior. As flawed, broken guys who are more likely to be ostracized for their honesty, instead of rewarded for their bravery.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Drug recovery experts in North Carolina say they're seeing children fall victim to the nation's drug epidemic, claiming lives at an early age. Research shows that the majority of adults with a substance use disorder started using before age 18. Even if those teens seek treatment, many times they return to same schools and friend groups, which can lead to relapses. Because of the rise, there is a new push to establish so-called "recovery high schools" programs that allow teens to overcome addiction issues while continuing their education.

Check out an in-depth look at Recovery Communities of North Carolina and the faces behind the successful recovery program. This cover story will offer readers a glimpse into how the organization is able to successfully lead patients onto a path to recovery and the leading philosophies and missions of those in charge.

Samantha Brawley got hooked on painkillers after high school, an addiction that stole nearly a decade and cost her most of the savings that were supposed to help improve her life. Finding her next Percocet, and the next, was easy on the Qualla Boundary, the Cherokee reservation home to roughly 8,000 people in the Great Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina. “I began taking two or three a day for a year, maybe two years,” said Brawley, 30, a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. “Then it was as many as I could afford. I’ve done 10 a day.”

RCNC will offer monthly supervision workshops for Peer Support Specialists and Recovery Coaches. 1.5 hours CEU will be offered for the free trainings. Help for the Helper will be presented by Chris Budnick, MSW, LCSW, LCAS, CCS, Executive Director, Healing Transitions, Adjunct Instructor with the NCSU, Department of Social Work on Wednesday, May 29th from 11:00 A.M. – 12:30 P.M.

This month aims to increase awareness about stress, its negative effects and how to relieve it. If you’re experiencing stress, keep these ideas in mind for how to relax.

If you strive to live a good life in all areas, journaling might be the next step to consider. Take a look at simple ways journaling can improve your life.

Beginning April 2nd, every Tuesday from noon – 1pm at RCNC located on 5245 Capital Blvd., Raleigh, NC 27616. We will provide free coffee and snacks! We hold regular open discussion meetings that are confidential and judgement free. We welcome anyone who’s interested! Come to a meeting. Share, educate yourself, find acceptance, experience love.