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Recovering addict wants to build support network for others
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Avery Nix is hoping to launch a Recovery Community Organization to bring supporters together in the fight against drug addiction. - photo by David Barnes

The perfect man may have some wisdom to dispense about how to stay out of trouble and leap the pitfalls of temptation.

But Avery Nix has learned that shared experience is the greatest teacher of all, particularly when it comes to supporting recovering drug addicts.

“I really do believe that the more people in recovery who lean on others in recovery — that’s ultimately what helped me so much,” he said.

Northeast Georgia Community Connections

What: Drug addiction support group for those on pathway to recovery, as well as family and friends willing to support the journey to recovery.

When: 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 19

Where: First Baptist Church, Room 201, 751 Green St. in Gainesville

Flag football for recovery

What: Event for addiction recovery community and supporters

When: 4-8 p.m. Saturday, June 16

Where: 525 Prior St. NE in Gainesville, on the baseball field at City Park near Martha Hope Cabin and the tennis courts. Snacks and refreshments available.

Nix, who attended and played football at North Hall High and continues to reside locally, has spent much of the last year becoming a vocal and dedicated crusader in the fight against addiction. He has been featured in The Times’ series of stories and podcast on the opioid crisis.

With that crisis flourishing amid the easy availability and nightmarish consequences of prescription painkiller abuse, Nix wants to share his experience using intravenous opiates, including heroin, to help others crawl out from under the claws of addiction.

He has in mind developing a Recovery Community Organization, a kind of nonprofit found in many communities across the nation that are led and governed by people in recovery and treatment for substance abuse.

RCOs provide advocacy, outreach, education and peer-based recovery support services, Nix said.

“It’s one person in recovery helping another in recovery,” he said. “I think we need RCO’s all over the place, not just in Gainesville.”

Though it’s premature to say what a local RCO might entail, and when it might launch, Nix said a flag football event scheduled for Saturday, June 16, is a start that will unite supporters and interested sponsors.

“I don’t want to just speak it into existence,” he added.

But the motivation and desire to launch an RCO occupies Nix’s thoughts and actions.

“I believe that’s what worked for me,” he said, adding that support and resources from many people and many places got him clean, open a career path in addiction recovery support and mend broken relationships. “It has taken a village.”

Nix has a daughter now to teach, and that makes the life and death battle of drug addiction an everyday fight he chooses to wage on behalf of others.

“Ultimately, people are dying,” he said. “Every day.”