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National Recovery Month: expert shares ways to start journey away from addiction -

EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - In recognition of National Recovery Month this September, experts are sharing ways you or your loved one can start your journey to recovery from addiction.

Eau Claire Sober Living Executive Director, Michelle Markquart, said addiction is anything you're using to try and avoid pain, whether that be shopping, food, work, exercise, and most commonly: drugs and alcohol.

Markquart said people may relapse into addiction when they think recovery isn't going fast enough, so they turn to their old coping mechanisms. She noted relapsing can be part of the journey and is not something to be ashamed of.

Five years ago, Markquart herself got clean and sober, which has prompted her to help others do the same.

"It's finding what you need to stay clean and sober," Markquart said. "For me, I have my five things and that's eating healthy, exercising, my spiritual connection, connection to others, and doing something that gives me purpose. As long as I'm doing those five things within my week every week, that keeps me clean and sober."

If you think you have an addiction, Markquart suggested reaching out to your local treatment facility or your local Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous group to find out the best next step for you.

More options can be found at the La Crosse County Human Services website or by going to the Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Healthline website.