Olympic gold medalist to share recovery story with Governor, First Lady at ‘Recovery Reinvented’

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Olympic gold medalist Riley Salmon will share his story of addiction and recovery with Gov. Doug Burgum and First Lady Kathryn Burgum at the third annual “Recovery Reinvented.” Registration is now open for the Nov. 12 event in Bismarck, which will include opportunities for the public to share personal videos of addiction and recovery and connect with recovery resources and services.

In addition to the recently announced keynote speakers, the governor and first lady will host a fireside chat during the event with current University of Jamestown men’s volleyball head coach Riley Salmon about his addiction and recovery journey. A native of League City, Texas, Salmon was a gold medalist for the U.S. men’s Olympic volleyball team at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

“My journey illustrates that the disease of addiction does not discriminate,” Salmon said. “I represented our nation at the highest level of competitive athletics but continually struggled with alcohol and opioid addiction throughout my professional career. Now I am walking the path to recovery and want to share with others that recovery is possible.”

The governor and first lady are inviting the general public, Native American communities, business and community leaders, behavioral health providers, university and college representatives, health care providers and administrators, addiction recovery advocates, faith-based communities, first responders, law enforcement, families and more to attend the event, held in partnership with the North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Behavioral Health Division.

The daylong event from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Bismarck Event Center will feature state and national addiction and recovery experts who will focus on reinventing recovery by empowering communities to take action, creating recovery-friendly workplace environments and eliminating the stigma surrounding the disease of addiction.

The event will also include a Recovery Resources Expo, which will connect people to a wide variety of addiction, recovery, and mental health organizations and resources from across the state. Information and resources will be available to family members to help guide conversations around addiction and recovery. Recovery Reinvented awards will honor local individuals and groups that are making a tremendous impact in the field of addiction and recovery.

“The Recovery Resources Expo is a tremendous opportunity to help connect individuals struggling with addiction, people in recovery, and their family members to resources that can help,” First Lady Burgum said. “In talking with communities across North Dakota about addiction, a central location to engage with resources is something that people are always asking for. This is about our community and service providers coming together to reduce barriers and empower recovery in others.”

Recovery Reinvented is free and open to the public. Tickets are limited and registration is required. Volunteer opportunities are available for the event. For more information, to register or to volunteer, visit recoveryreinvented.com/2019/.

An opportunity is available for people to submit videos of themselves sharing their stories of addiction, recovery, and how they eliminate stigma. Videos may be published on the Recovery Reinvented website, social media, newsletters, and at the Recovery Reinvented event. To share your personal story to end stigma visit recoveryreinvented.com/events/2019/#getinvolved.

“Recovery Reinvented started in our state because of the first lady’s courage to start sharing her story of being in long-term recovery,” Gov. Burgum said. “Since she began inspiring others as a face and voice of recovery, countless others have begun to come forward to talk about the struggles of addiction and the hope and promise of recovery. Extending this opportunity for others in North Dakota provides a platform to share their stories and end the stigma of addiction.”

The Behavioral Health Conference will be held the following days on Nov. 13-15, also at the Bismarck Event Center. More information is available at recoveryreinvented.com, with frequent updates shared through social media on Facebook at @GovernorDougBurgum, @FirstLadyND, and @RecoveryND and on Twitter at @DougBurgum, @FirstLadyND, and @Recovery_ND.

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