HARRISBURG, Pa. (ErieNewsNow) - The Shapiro Administration continues to celebrate National Recovery Month throughout September. The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP), led by Secretary Dr. Latika Davis-Jones, is highlighting stories of people living in recovery.

Officials say substance use disorder is a far-reaching problem that takes a toll on families of all demographics. A mother-son duo, who shared their story at the State Capitol this week, prove that it can impact anyone. 

“Addiction robs you of your gifts, hollowed him out. It scared the living daylights out of me morning, noon and night,” said U.S. Congresswoman Madeleine Dean (D) PA-04, as she spoke candidly to advocates and community members at a sit-down with DDAP about her son’s road to recovery. 

“I used to say, I feel like there's a fire in our house and nobody knows about it because I can't figure out what's going wrong. I was battling, trying to figure out what was going on, what had happened to my wonderful little boy, that he was so not well and not thriving,” said Dean.

Dean's son, Harry Cunnane, will celebrate eleven years in recovery this October. He says the road getting to this point was far from easy. 

“I didn't believe that I could be helped. I didn't believe that I should even deserve to get help because I thought that I was just such a bad person,” said Cunnane. 

Now, Cunnane and his mother are teaming up to tackle a major issue surrounding substance use disorder: Stigma. 

“The stigma that I put on myself was stronger than anything that anybody could have put on me. And that made me afraid to ask for help,” said Cunnane, adding that his story is just one of many. “Our story is one that started just like so many others, it started in a loving home.” 

It’s a positive story of recovery, one that Harry's mother hopes more families will be able to tell. 

“I want our story to be more people's story,” said Dean. 

Dean and Cunnane detail their individual experience through the recovery journey, which is a focus of a book they wrote: Under our Roof: A Son's Battle for Recovery, a Mother's Battle for Her Son. 

You can find additional recovery resources here. Those who are struggling can also find help by calling the state’s Get Help Now Line: 1-800-662-HELP (4357).