Recovery advocate to get posthumous honor at tea

Posted April 28, 2010, at 8:10 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:45 a.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A longtime advocate for recovering addicts will be honored posthumously at the Blaine House next month.

Joan Adams Harris will receive special recognition for her work in addiction treatment and recovery during a Silver Tea to honor Women in Recovery at the Governor’s Mansion on May 20.

A native of Florida, Harris moved to Castine 25 years ago. She died last week in Blue Hill at the age of 67.

Her own recovery had lasted 34 years and inspired her to become involved with addiction and recovery, first as a volunteer in Florida and then, after receiving an associate degree from the University of Maine, as a licensed substance abuse counselor.

Harris had worked for the past several years at the Open Door Recovery Center in Ellsworth. Her colleagues at Open Door nominated her for the Blaine House honor.

Harris, they said, was “one of those individuals blessed with a gift for reaching suffering addicts of all ages.”

“As a substance abuse counselor for the past 15 years,” they wrote on the nomination form, “Joan has exemplified the qualities of leadership, recovery and unconditional love for suffering addicts. [Her] compassion combined with wisdom and experience has made her a tremendous power of example for both our staff and our clients.”

In addition to her work at Open Door, they said, Harris remained active as an advocate to ensure that the needs of clients were being met in the community, and continued to speak of the need for services to her peers and the general public.

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