Vt. addiction treatment celebrated at the Statehouse - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. addiction treatment celebrated at the Statehouse

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Amanda Fulmer is in recovery for her alcohol and drug addiction, but that is not what defines her.

A bright, self-starting young woman, Fulmer helped organize the Vermont Association for Mental Health and Addiction Recovery or VAMHAR's 2014 Recovery Day at the Statehouse in Montpelier.

"We really wanted to celebrate recovery in general. We don't want it to be something that's like, oh pity me, I have these issues, give me this, I need help. We want to celebrate and it's something to be celebrated," said Fulmer.

Advocacy groups and state officials addressed a room full of those suffering from addiction or those on the road to recovery with a clear message.

"We came down here because it's good to see that there's a lot of support, and that we're not alone whether you're in recovery or not," said Fulmer.

VAMHAR says that addiction is the most prominent issue in Vermont today and reports that 1 in 3 families are impacted by addictions and co-occurring conditions. They also report that more than 80 percent of Vermont's incarcerated population are either addicted or in prison because of their addiction.

Those in recovery say that having community and state support is something extremely unique to Vermont, and can help make all of the difference.

"My path on recovery has not been a straight one. I've fallen off a few times and have needed the support of the community members around me to really get back on the right path," said Michael Casarico, a recovering addict.

Recovery Day allowed people from all walks of life to share their stories. Amy Boyd-Austin, who helps run the University of Vermont Collegiate Recovery Community, says addiction doesn't discriminate.

"For me it's about wanting to put it on the map, raise awareness about recovery. i work with college students and historically if you were in college, it was not assumed that you could be an addict at 17 18 19 20 years old, never mind get into recovery," said Boyd-Austin.

And Fulmer was one of those struggling college students who is now headed down a new path.

Reporter Shelby Cashman: How proud are you of Amanda?

Fulmer: Oh my gosh, she's unbelievable...rock star absolutely.

For many at Recovery Day the treatment worked and the groups continue to advocate for legislation that helps those to overcome addiction.

Click here for more information on programs offered through the Vermont Recovery Network.

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