Community-Academic Partnership for Lake County; Journey through Recovery
Lake County, IL, is experiencing an increase in drug overdoses. According to the Lake County Coroner’s Office statistics, drug-related overdose deaths have already surpassed last year’s total number of deaths for the entire year.
Northern Illinois Recovery Community Organization (NIRCO) has partnered with Buehler Center for Health Policy and Economics, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University addressing health barriers in long-term recovery for persons of color. The project will bring together community organizations, government, representatives, policymakers, service providers, academic researchers, and persons with lived substance misuse experienceâ€’.
Carmen, 54, Lake County resident, shares how her health concerns connect to her long-term recovery success.
“My recovery and my weight loss journey started at 53-years-old. I was 284 pounds and a size 24. I made a conscious decision to do a complete lifestyle change, no drugs and alcohol, and no food to substitute my addiction. Exercise eat different [to] think different [and] be different. I’m now 57 [pounds], and a size seven. I’ll be 55; no diabetes, don’t have [high]blood pressure, no physical problems. God is good, and I could have only did this with recovering in a change of life in a different mindset.”
According to, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA), recovery-oriented care and recovery support systems help people with mental and substance use disorders manage their conditions successfully. The recovery is a process of change through which people improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential. Four major dimensions that support recovery should focus on health, home, purpose, and community.
NIRCO is excited to bring this community-academic partnership for Lake County. This work is funded by a seed grant from the Alliance for Research in Chicagoland Communities (ARCC) at Northwestern University. ARCC, located in the Northwestern University Clinical & Translational Sciences Institute (NUCATS), partners with Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH) to provide community-academic partnership grants.