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Dependence of a Nation

Fighting Back: New Mount Vernon Treatment Center Helps "Put Families Back Together" After Addiction.

The new Riverside Recovery Services treatment center in Mount Vernon offers support and assistance to those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.

Located at 213 E Chestnut St, Riverside Recovery is a rehabilitation center to help those struggling with addiction get back on their feet.

Riverside Recovery also offers assistance to Mount Vernon’s large homeless population.

Amy Smart, executive director and owner of Riverside Recovery, labels the drug problem in Mount Vernon “an epidemic.”

Smart called the fight against the epidemic a “team effort. It takes each and every one of us in social services working together,” she said.

“The overall goal is to see our clients be able to live productive lives without mind altering substances,” Smart said. “We work with them to put their lives back together.”

The courts often refer clients to Riverside Recovery for treatment.

The treatment center provides non-intensive outpatient services, including counseling and assistance finding employment and housing for those recovering from addiction.

“Anything to help put families back together after addiction,” Smart said.

Riverside’s main office is in South Point, Ohio. South Point is a village along the Ohio River, about 40 miles south of Portsmouth.

Prior to the Mount Vernon branch opening on Nov. 1, 2017, there were few resources in the Knox County area for those in recovery, Smart said.

Riverside Recovery has the first women’s recovery house in Knox County with plans to open a men’s recovery house.

Currently, the women’s recovery house, which can house up to 14 women, “remains full and has a waiting list for women who are seeking and wanting treatment.”

“We are already in the searching stages for the right house to fit our needs” to have a men’s recovery shelter, Smart said.

Riverside Recovery also has volunteer opportunities for MVNU students to get involved.

Junior social work major Quincey Vosburgh is excited about the opportunity Riverside brings to Mount Vernon.

“I think it is important because we didn’t have anything like this already and it can be beneficial to those who are struggling,” Vosburgh said. “In turn, it can make Knox County a better place to live.”

Students can help with data collection, or compile reports for future growth and programming services.

Students can also help with website maintenance, or just observe.

“There are many ways for students to get involved,” Smart said.

Riverside Recovery has been met with positive response.

“A lot of folks are very interested in what we’re doing,” Smart said. “We’re very excited to be here.”

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