When you hear the term “recovery center,” what comes to mind?

Based on the surprise we often witness when people come to North Central Vermont Recovery Center for the first time and see what it is really like, what many people think a recovery center is like is at best only partly true, and at worst an understandable but unfortunate misconception.

Perhaps most commonly, some people confuse a recovery center with a treatment center, specifically with an inpatient or intensive outpatient treatment center or other clinical setting.

Some people think recovery centers dispense medications such as methadone, suboxone and naltrexone, which are prescribed as part of medication-assisted treatment programs for some people with opioid use disorders.

And some people think that people who are intoxicated or high hang out at the recovery center, or perhaps more insidiously that the centers somehow invite a “bad element.”

One outcome of many people not knowing what goes on at a recovery center and the fact that we live in a small, tightknit community is that some people who would like help with their addictions or with the issues they face with loved ones avoid coming to the recovery center out of fear that they will be seen or judged by people they know, that people will gossip about them, that the stigma surrounding addiction will follow them back out into their daily lives.

None of these things is true. Yet these are things we hear every day.

Ultimately, we know there are people who drive by our sign on Brooklyn Street or know where we are and are trying to build up the courage to come. And when someone finally does come, they find something quite unexpected. They find something beautiful and worth being a part of: a community of healing.

It is a place of hope, of trust, of safety, of compassion, of sobriety, and of connection and understanding with other people. It is a place where people come to live the definition of recovery, which is a lifelong “process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential.”

We do not treat addiction in the typical sense, although we can refer people to treatment options as needed. We help people enter, maintain and enhance their lives in recovery so that the product is a progressively happier, healthier, more fulfilling and productive life.

We also offer some resources and programs related to other addictions, including eating disorders, smoking, gambling and more.

We support all paths to recovery for every demographic through a wide range of activities, from group meetings to individual coaching, and from yoga, meditation and mindfulness to acupuncture and reiki massages. And we host numerous social events and educational seminars.

If you are interested in learning about North Central Vermont Recovery Center and all we have to offer, stop in anytime during our open hours — Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. We are located at 275 Brooklyn St. in Morrisville, and look forward to meeting you.


Stefani Capizzi is executive director of the North Central Vermont Recovery Center; Daniel Franklin is operations manager and Megan Dorsey is pathway guide.

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