‘You don’t have to walk alone’: New in-person recovery group starts for women battling addiction

SPOKANE, Wash. — More people are struggling with drug addiction across the nation and in the Inland Northwest. The CDC says over 100,000 people died from an overdose this past year.

Now, local advocates are bringing back in-person support groups to fight the epidemic.

A new group is for women at any stage of recovery. It’s free for anyone to attend and meets Mondays at noon at Women’s Hearth. People could still be using drugs or in a long-term recovery.

That’s where Autumn-Rose Maurer fits into the group. She was addicted to cocaine and struggled with pain medication and alcohol for years.

“It creates a vicious cycle and so stopping that cycle takes a lot of work,” Maurer said.

She’s been clean since 2018 and says attending support groups have been instrumental on her road to recovery.

“It’s a very intense mental battle, and I wouldn’t be doing it this successfully without the support that I’ve had,” she added.

This group was made possible through a partnership with Peer Spokane, Women’s Hearth and the West Spokane Wellness Partnership to help save more lives. In Spokane County, the Medical Examiner reported 125 overdose deaths. Georgia Butler is offering resources like this to save more lives.

READ: Spokane County Medical Examiner: Number of homicides, drug overdoses rose in 2020

“You don’t have to walk alone. There’s somebody to walk beside you, and that makes all the difference,” Butler, the director of Peer Spokane said. “During this time, we just want to be open and available.”

The group meets women where they are. The conversations are free-flowing, and it’s an hour of healing for those involved. Not only do they receive support but also hope.

“When you see the person walk in who wants to be in recovery, who doesn’t want to use anymore, that’s that glimmer of light that flame that just keeps you going one more day,” Butler said.

If you or someone you know is a woman struggling with addiction or mental health, you can stop into the free support group.

READ: ‘That was the hole inside of me’: Overdoses climb nationwide, survivors stress prevention to save lives