background image

Becoming Faces and Voices of Recovery

Behavioral Health Counselor and Community Member Christine Ramirez shared her story of recovery at the 16th Annual Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) Alumni Dinner.

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Behavioral Health Program hosted the 16th Annual Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) Alumni Dinner at the Salt River Community Building on October 7.

Dozens gathered to celebrate with eight Community members who have gone through the program to become the faces and voices of recovery.

More than 23 million Americans are in recovery from addiction to alcohol or drugs. These eight IOP alumni took it upon themselves to make a positive change, and the event was a night for these men and women to receive recognition and support from family, friends and their Community.

The dozens in attendance listened as Council member Ricardo Leonard spoke about his life experiences and offered words of encouragement for those currently in recovery.
Behavioral Health Counselor and Community member Christine Ramirez was the master of ceremonies for the evening. Ramirez shared her recovery story.

“I took the cotton out of my ears and put it in my mouth. I wanted to be clean and sober. Like everyone else, I’ve been through my trials and I lost myself back then. I got involved in other things I shouldn’t have gotten involved with,” said Ramirez, who changed her lifestyle and has been sober for 22 years.

“We have a pretty good program for our Community members. I love working for my Community here. Even if you feel like you’re not ready, I always believe that you can make positive changes in your life. Once your thinking starts changing, your behavior will follow. I believe in my Community,” added Ramirez.

Family, friends and collegues showed up to support those who are currently in recovery.
SRPMIC Council Member Ricardo Leonard was a guest speaker. He said, “You have to face the things you’ve gone through in your life if you want to get better. We need to do something. We need to put our hands on our relatives and young people here and give them strength to move forward, to help them be strong and be somebody that they never thought they could be. This is a chance to move forward. Thank yourselves for being alive today, because I know a lot of you have been through a lot. Celebrate life.”

The evening continued with the viewing of Faces of Recovery, a film put together by the SRPMIC-TV staff. The film features the heart-wrenching stories of seven Community members who lost everything, except their lives. They shared their darkest secrets and somehow found it within themselves to rediscover their passion for life.

Information booths were set up for those who wanted more information.
“Faces of recovery allowed me to give my story on recovery because when I looked back on educational videos and films there was hardly any that had provided a Native American/Indigenous type of perspective that I could relate to. One where it shows how our culture and traditions are a big part of one’s healing journey,” said Senior Behavior Health Counselor Naomi Esparza.

The alumni celebrated throughout the evening with laughs, hugs, tears, encouragement and hope.

For more information, contact the SRPMIC Behavioral Health Program at (480) 362-5707.