Shannon Hays came into our class to speak today, to give us insight into recovery. As well as medications such as Suboxone and Methadone. She also spoke about what she’s doing to use her experience with recovery to help others. As well as, how lower Bucks County is a great place for recovery as she works for Family Service Association of Bucks County.

She began speaking by giving us a little background about herself. Starting off my stating she is in longtime recovery herself. She is a very strong individual as she spoke about her family and how she has been dealing with the drug epidemic personally for 30 years. But, in absolutely no way is she ashamed. She is a walking example of a strong individual who has been through recovery and come out a stronger better person for it. She told the class about the different levels of care. Detox, where someone comes in for up to a week, until the drug itself is out of their system. Short term care in rehab (30 days), and Long term care (90 days).

She also told the class about the Centers of Excellence, which is behavioral and physical help created by Governor Tom Wolf. There are five of these centers in the Philadelphia area, including one of Temple’s campus. There are two of these centers, and recovery houses in lower Bucks County. There are a lot of factors as to how lower Bucks County became such a successful area for recovery, but it is also a hub of social services for individuals. “It’s a catch all area. We’re not sure how it happened, but it did,” said Hays.

According to Hays, “Lower Bucks County has become a great place to go for recovery.” She speculated as to why it is such a successful place as it is between Trenton and Kensington. Hays stated, Lower Bucks County is middle class and it is actually affordable, they are close to resources, and they are also on public transportation routes. These are all reasons as to why it has become a sort of haven for people to go and recover. According to Shannon, a lot of rehabs came in and were successful. “I kind of live recovery and it’s kind of cool,” said Hays. She spoke about how others may think otherwise. However, her family has lived it for 30 years and she said she is proud of how far her family has come in recovery. Both professionally and personally she shows people her family’s story as an example as to how anyone can get through recovery.

Shannon has more than one degree in recovery and she works for Recovery House Association. There are a number of rehabs in the area, 196 as a matter of fact. However, of the 196 recovery houses only 3 will take those on Suboxone or Methadone, however, Vivitrol is accepted. This is a controversial subject because part of Medications such as Suboxone or Methadone are opioids and they worry about people misusing the medication and it being risky and a sort of temptation for others in recovery. But, the point she made was that there are different types of recovery for everyone and it depends on the person. Some people may require medication during their recovery, while others may not. It really depends on the person.

She was an amazing guest speaker, as she also spoke about the LGBT community in recovery. As well as help and recovery options for those who are incarcerated. She is also a shining example of how recovery can absolutely help. She absolutely owns the negative times in her life and how it can follow someone around their entire life. However, she has turned these times around into a positive example of life. She recognized that she had a chance to turn her life around, she has, and she is making a difference in the world helping others going through really hard times during this terrible epidemic. Therefore, my hats off to Shannon Hays for the turn-around she has made in her own life, the positive spin she has put on it, and the work she is doing to really help those in need.