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Fifth annual Recovery Reinvented set Monday in Bismarck

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North Dakota first lady Kathryn Burgum and Gov. Doug Burgum are champions for the Office of Recovery Reinvented. The office is guided by an advisory council chaired by the first lady, who has advocated recovery from addiction in sharing her personal story as a recovering alcoholic.

Stories of addiction from the perspectives of tribal communities, recovery professionals, service providers and families will highlight the fifth annual Recovery Reinvented conference.

The event from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday at the Bismarck Event Center is the first in-person Recovery Reinvented in two years. Last year's event was switched to a livestream format amid the coronavirus pandemic. The event is free and open to the public, and an online format also will be available this year. More than 1,100 people have registered, according to organizers.

Topics will include battling addiction, finding recovery, providing support to a loved one, and experiencing shame and stigma.

Recovery from addiction is the main cause of first lady Kathryn Burgum, who publicly shares her personal story as a recovering alcoholic. Gov. Doug Burgum by executive order in January 2018 created the Office of Recovery Reinvented to "promote strategic and innovative efforts to eliminate the shame and stigma associated with the disease of addiction." The office funded by donations is not an official state agency and receives no state money, but it is related to Kathryn Burgum's cause.

“As challenging as the past 18 months have been, we recognize the importance of lifting up the voices and experiences of North Dakotans facing addiction,” she said. “Attendees will have the opportunity to connect to diverse stories from those in tribal communities, professionals in recovery, service providers on the front lines, family members and more.”

There will be four keynote speakers.

Joseph Lee is president and CEO of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, and considered one of the nation’s top addiction therapists and physicians. He will share his perspectives on the human condition, the needs of the human spirit, and the power of community and connection.

Jonathan Holth is community and client development manager for JLG Architects and co-owner of The Toasted Frog restaurants and Urban Stampede Coffee Bar. He's a lifelong North Dakotan, entrepreneur and consultant who will detail his journey to sobriety.

Laurie Johnson Wade, co-founder of Lost Dreams Awakening Recovery Community Organization in Pennsylvania, has more than 30 years of lived-recovery experience. She will share insights on how people can get involved with creating and supporting a recovery culture in their home, workplace or community.

Valerie Earnshaw is a social psychologist specializing in stigma and substance use disorders. The associate professor at the University of Delaware is the principal investigator on the North Dakota Addressing Addiction survey. She'll discuss the research of how stigma leads to substance use and undermines recovery from addiction.

Initial results and insights from the North Dakota Addressing Addiction survey will be shared at the event. More than 2,300 people participated in the statewide survey representing areas such as health care, businesses, the justice system, law enforcement, and tribal and local communities.

“Recovery Reinvented continually seeks to innovate and inspire by bringing both experts and people with lived experience of addiction to the table to talk about solutions,” Gov. Burgum said. “We have an incredible opportunity to listen and learn from North Dakotans on what they know and how they feel about addiction, so we can more effectively identify the gaps and areas to enhance programs and services.”

The event also will include a Recovery Resources Expo. For more information, go to recoveryreinvented.com.

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