BOZEMAN — September is recovery month—a time to educate and create awareness around substance abuse and recovery.
John Koch never thought he'd end up addicted to hard drugs.
Koch is the Director of Community Engagement at Community Medical Services (CMS) in Bozeman and uses his recovery story to give hope to those still struggling.
"95 percent of people will not realize that they have an addiction because of the stigma that lies with it," says Koch.
Koch stated that addiction has no face, and those who suffer often struggle to find help that works.
"A lot of people have stigma against it, which is what reduces people from getting into treatment. But at the end of the day, methadone treatment and buprenorphine treatment is the best chance we have at fighting this," he says.
"The great thing about buprenorphine and methadone is they don’t give you the high that the illicit drugs do. So that we can get people on those, work with their psychologist over three to six months to work on their triggers and cravings and slowly ween them back off," explains CMS Physician's Assistant Greg Shiver.
Koch says, "Our willpower with addiction, with a substance abuse disorder, is not enough. And so we need help, we need to build a group of people that can support us, that we go can to and talk with."
"I think this month is really important because a lot of people think there's not hope, that there's not a cure that really works for this. I think this month gives us a chance to talk about the cases and people who have beat their addiction, who have worked through it and become sober. I think that's the exciting thing about this month," says Shiver.
For those who have dealt with addiction, recovery month is a reminder of their progress and hope.
"What this means to me today is that I get to be a dad. I get to be a son. I get to be a friend. I have a career. It brings all of these different pieces to my life, and that’s all due to recovery," says Koch.
Koch shares a message of hope, and encourages those who need help to seek it.