Begin Anew

Connection is the Opposite of Addiction

Begin Anew is a collective story. When a small group of people met around a kitchen table in Ramsey, Minnesota, we all shared our stories of recovery and our stories of lost loved ones due to substance use. We shared the need for support directly and immediately following treatment. We talked about the need to uplift one another and give hope. All too common is a story of loss and lack of follow-along services and resources. Our logo is a simple hand elevating a heart—uplifting hope and uplifting love.

National Recovery Month 2022

National Recovery Month (Recovery Month), which started in 1989, is a national observance held every September to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the nation’s strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and communities who make recovery in all its forms possible.

  • SAMHSA aims to increase public awareness surrounding mental health and addiction recovery. In the years since Recovery Month launched, SAMHSA has timed announcements of initiatives and grant funding during Recovery Month, while collaborating with private and public entities to celebrate individuals during their long-term recoveries.

  • This year, to address the nation’s growing crisis of substance misuse and overdose deaths, SAMHSA is launching initiatives that promote and support evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the emergence of a strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and community members across the nation who make recovery possible.

  • Read the White House Proclamation on National Recovery Month, 2022

Wonderful celebration at the Minnesota State Capitol this year on September 17, 2022 called the Walk for Recovery, sponsored by NUWAY. Thank you MRC for allowing Begin Anew to have presence this year as we observed the 33rd year of National Recovery Month bringing focus on the raising awareness to eliminating the stigma associated with addiction. Here is Begin Anew's own Rhonda Schaffer-Smith spreading the word that "connection is the opposite of addiction."

Who We Are:

Begin Anew is a non-profit organization in Minnesota. Our recovery community benefits from using technology to maximize the potential of connecting.

We believe that Connection is the Opposite of Addiction. We engage within the community, building awareness and educating the public about the challenges facing people with substance use disorder and their families. Support for families of individuals in recovery is severely lacking and something we specifically focus on improving with this enhanced recovery model.

Substance use disorder (SUD) remains one of the most persistent public health challenges across the nation and in Minnesota. In 2021, nearly 1,300 Minnesotans died of a drug overdose, making this the leading cause of injury deaths in the state. One intervention to help people with SUD is peer recovery services (PRS). PRS is a form on non-clinical support where trained individuals who are more established in recovery come alongside people currently in the recovery journey and provide guidance in the process, help in accessing resources, and offer a lived experience ear. In combination with other services in the continuum of care, PRS seeks to reduce harm from use.

In Minnesota, the addiction and recovery arena presently reflect:

  • 40% increase in overdose deaths in the metro area in 2020 over 2019.

  • 27% increase in overdose deaths statewide.

  • 57% increase in overdose deaths among 25–34-year old's.

  • 59% increase in opioid overdose deaths, including an 81% increase in deaths involving synthetic opioids.

A new support model is urgently needed to combat these rising statistics. You Are Not Alone! Begin Anew is a Recovery Community Organization (RCO) staffed by state certified peer recovery specialists who provide reliable, sustainable support to people in recovery, especially after they have left medical care.

Addiction is an illness of social isolation. People in recovery are at greater risk of relapse and overdose death during the 18-24 months following their completion of treatment. Compounding this risk is the current lack of organizational ability and capacity to implement sustainable resources upon leaving treatment. Moreover, it is crucial to engage with the people in recovery in real-time during this period to help maintain and fortify your recovery. Addiction is an illness of social isolation and has dramatically worsened as the result of forced social isolation. During the pandemic in 2020 alone, overdose deaths and alcohol-related deaths skyrocketed in Minnesota, claiming more than five times the number of lives lost in traffic accidents annually in Minnesota.

Why Recovery with a Peer:

A peer is a trusted person who has experienced like issues and understands the need for support. Our peers will meet you "where you are at." Each person in recovery has choices, a voice, and a personal journey that is unique to their individualized recovery. A Begin Anew Peer provides tools to empower each person by providing resources, support, and advocacy.

Our Mission:

Our mission is to advocate and support individuals while providing resources to begin their unique journey in recovery.

Our Vision:

To remove isolation thru connection and full inclusion.

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Begin Anew 7533 Sunwood Dr. NW Suite 208 Ramsey, MN 55303 763-252-6570