September is National Recovery Month, a time to increase awareness about substance use disorders and to celebrate recovery. Dean LeMire and his family have a lot of reasons to celebrate.
Dean LeMire gets up every day, kisses his wife and daughter and goes to work to save other people from a disease that nearly killed him.
LeMire is the consummate young professional – suit coat, close-cropped beard, soft-spoken directness, glasses. LeMire oversees operations of the SOS Recovery Community, a new collaborative which provides peer-based recovery support for people battling addiction. (The Foundation supported the planning process for SOS.)
“I’m truly living my dream of helping to put recovery on ‘Main Street’ and bridging large gaps in supportive services for vulnerable folks in my back yard,” Lemire said.
Before he took his current job, LeMire was substance misuse prevention coordinator for One Voice for Strafford County, one of 13 regional prevention networks in New Hampshire, which were launched through a partnership between the state and the Foundation. And he helped open Bonfire Recovery Services in Dover.
And before that, addiction nearly killed him.
I needed this small investment to get my life back...I have managed to do a lot with that investment.
– Dean LeMireTweet This
It started with alcohol, then a relative’s prescription meds and, finally, heroin. He managed to graduate from college – but he can hardly remember how.
LeMire got 28 days of treatment in a publicly-funded treatment center followed by three months in a halfway house.
“It was exactly what I needed,” he said. “I needed this small investment to get my life back. I was given a brand-new life. I have managed to do a lot with that investment.”
He is on a professional track that he had never imagined even existed. He got married, had a daughter. And he has “helped a lot of people out of their substance use predicaments.” He is 30 years old.
“Now, I have a purpose,” he said. “I have a story to tell. It helps people to understand that recovery is possible.”