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Clara Downing Bain is founder and president of North Carolina Recovery Support Services.

Her vision began more than twenty years ago when she noticed as a young therapist a major disconnect between the agency providing treatment and the community of consumers engaging in treatment.

In the mid 1980’s Ms. Downing-Bain began her professional career as a biology classroom instructor at William Parker High School in Jersey City, New Jersey.  After being offered a stipend to participate in a project to reduce the new incidences of HIV through reducing drug injection,  she  accepted a job as a counselor with Spectrum Healthcare as a Methadone treatment counselor in inner city Newark, NJ.  “My experience there as a counselor opened my eyes to the realities of how addiction devastated not only the individuals suffering as the addicted persons, but their families and their communities.”

“From my first experience as a Methadone counselor, I knew in my heart that it was no turning back.”  My aim was to move forward and do what I could do to be a part of the solution to bring hope back to individuals, families and communities, not only as an addiction counselor but an advocate for people suffering.

“I have been so blessed to have the honor of walking with suffering women and men who shared their life journey with me.”

Ms. Downing Bain firmly believes that treatment is most effective if presented within the content of the consumer’s culture and experiences.  “In order for treatment to have positive outcomes for our consumers, I believe providers must know the history of the community,  as well as  understand the attitude consumers being served have in regards to institutionally-based treatment for addiction and other mental health services. Understanding the attitudes and cultural values can play a vital role in the approach a therapist or agency must take in order to engage and maintain a trusting relationship between the agency and the consumer.”

“I believe that traditional treatment models and best –practice models must be implemented with the community up front and engaged or the revolving doors will continue.”

North Carolina Recovery Support Services began with the intent to bring change through involving the community in the treatment process by offering trainings to churches, local colleges and of course going directly to where the need was most obvious, to the streets and asking the people suffering from addiction and mental illness questions about their own life goals and aspirations as well as the barriers and attitudes about treatment.

“My belief is if you want to know how to help someone suffering, ask the person who is suffering.”

My personal vision is to expand North Carolina Recovery Support Services locally, nationally and internationally.”  “People are suffering in many nations from untreated addiction and mental health disorders.”

“Furthermore, my hope is that NCRSS will continue the approach of taking into consideration the impact of history and personal experiences that impacts attitudes on each and every consumer that walks through our doors, and rather than judge them, we continue to understand that we are all traveling the same journey of life but some have taken different paths.”

We will always ask our consumers, “What is it that you want out of life and how can we help you make that your reality?“

Ms. Downing-Bain attended North Carolina State University, Jersey City State University and has received her North Carolina State Board Licensure and Certification.

Ms. Downing-Bain is married to David Alfred Bain Jr., who is also a clinical addiction specialist.

She and her husband reside in Clayton, North Carolina. Clara writes poetry, short stories and holds public readings in the Raleigh, New Jersey and Florida areas.

She is a member of NADAAC and has received certificates of appreciation from Wake Technical Community College