September is National Recovery Month By Rebekah Hurst, editor
Project Lifeline is a community program that serves with Drug Free Coalitions across Tennessee in aiming to unite, educate and support people, organizations and any entity in breaking down the barriers for those wanting or needing recovery. Allen Burnette is in his third year as Project Lifeline Region 5 South Recovery Coordinator. Although he is located in Winchester, he covers 13 counties in Southern Middle Tennessee, including Coffee County. “The mission of Project Lifeline is to provide support to others with substance use, mental illness, or co-occurring disorders and to help them achieve their personal goals by self-determination, personal responsibility and to help them in self-directed recovery,” said Burnette. “Also, we want to change public perception on the disease of addiction and ‘reduce stigma.’” One of the reasons Project Lifeline was established stated Burnette, was to in fact, reduce the stigma related to the disease of addiction and to increase community support for policies that provide treatment and recovery services. Along with Burnette, there are nine other men and women that are in long-term recovery, who are coordinators throughout the rest of Tennessee. Burnette himself is in long-term recovery. “I struggled with addiction for a little over twenty years and I have been clean since Oct. 27, 2006,” he said. “We all work very hard and diligently to help our communities and state recover from the disease of addiction.” Project Lifeline also serves as an asset to the Coffee, Franklin, and Lincoln County Drug Coalitions, and the Coffee and Franklin County Drug Courts as well by providing the recovery resources that are necessary for the individuals they serve who are recovering from substance use abuse. At times, it also helps in diverting people from incarceration into treatment programs. Burnette believes the surrounding community can help Project Lifeline as well by supporting those in recovery. “Whether through outreach events or just by lending a helping hand, each act of kindness helps in more ways than one might realize,” he said. Project Lifeline reaches out to those in need through speaking engagements, establishing recovery meetings, uniting people who are already in recovery, and through community events. One such event, the 3rd Annual Recovery Month Celebration, will be held Sept. 24 from 5-8p.m. at Waggoner Memorial Park off of Hwy. 55 in Tullahoma. The Celebration will include a cookout, Corn Hole Tournament and recovery testimonies. For more information on Project Lifeline, the 3rd Annual Recovery Month Celebration, or to have Allen Burnette speak to your organization, please call 931-308-7689 or email him at email@example.com.