A conference in Bangor this week will bring together multiple agencies to stop the stigma of addiction and help build recovery ready communities.

The event will be hosted by YPR Brewer, or Young People in Recovery. The national grassroots organization is working to support people in recovery or who are seeking to begin their journey. This involves everything from helping them accept that their addiction is an issue, to supporting them through recovery, helping them ready for and find employment, and a lot more. And that's, partially, what this conference is all about.

But it's also about stopping the stigma, and encouraging community members and employers to start using supportive language instead of hurtful words. The physical challenges of beating an addiction are hard enough, without adding into the mix a community that treats you like you're a bad person.

The list of guest speakers is impressive, including:

  • Senator Angus King
  • Andrew Kiezulas, Regional Coordinator of Young People in Recovery, Maine
  • Christoper Poulos, Executive Director, Statewide Reentry Council, Washington State Department of Commerce
  • Tripp Gardner M.D., Chief Psychiatric Officer and Medical Director of Homeless Services at Penobscot Community Health Center
  • Patricia Kimball, LADC, CCS, Retired Executive Director at Wellspring Inc.
  • Bruce Campbell, LCSW, LADC, CCS, Clinical Director of Wellspring Inc.
  • Jim Lapierre, LCSW, CCS, Clinical and Executive Director at Higher Ground Services
  • Robert Fickett, Peer Support Recovery Coordinator
  • John Yasenchak, LCPC, LADC, CCS, NCC, CKYI, Professor at Husson University
  • Alison Webb, President Nautilus Public Health and Oral Health Consultant for Maine Oral Health Funders
  • Walter D. McCulley, USMC and Maine ANG Veteran, YPR Member, and PhD candidate for Dept. of Psychiatry at U-Maine, UBMS Individual Project Mentor
  • Jennifer Morin, Owner/Consultant at Jen Morin Consulting
  • Candance Green Owner/Consultant at Unleash Your Human Potential

Topics that will be covered include:

  • Housing
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Recruitment
  • Neuroscience behind Addiction Recovery
  • Recovery Messaging

The conference is being held Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn in Bangor, and is entitled 'Inspiring Hope: How to support recovery ready communities.' There's a fifty dollar charge to attend and pre-registration is required. Find more information and get signed up on Eventbrite.