EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — September is National Recovery Month as well as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness month (FASD). There are resources in our region that help people with substance use recovery.

“Stopping their drug use or substance use and trying to get their life back together,” says Eileen Panzarella, Prevention/Education Department director.

The focus of national recovery month. Panzarella says it’s no easy task.

“There are struggles involved with recovery. We know housing can be a struggle, employment can be a struggle, fixing broken relationships,” says Panzarella.

She says more than 20 million Americans are in recovery as we speak and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

“There is hope for people out there that recovery can happen. Try it. Trust the process. We have people here and in many agencies that will treat you with dignity when you come in and respect. They understand addiction is a disease,” says Panzarella

September also serves as FASD Awareness Month. Children can be born with these disorders if their mother drinks alcohol during her pregnancy. Something that causes physical, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities that last a lifetime.

“A lot of times, women don’t know they’re pregnant until four, six, eight weeks along, and if they’ve been drinking as they normally drink like a glass of wine here, a cocktail there, happy hour with work collages. That can do irrefutable damage to their unborn child,” says Stefanie Wolownik of the Wyoming Valley Alcohol and Drug Services.

The World Health Organization says 1 in 100 babies is estimated to be born with alcohol-related damage. She says prevention is key.

“Every child is special and loved, but when they have difficulties and they’re being teased in school or bullied in school because they might have a learning disability, they feel different, they feel stupid. It’s not their fault,” says Wolownik.

For more information on how to look for resources and get help, please view the brochures below.