Recovery | St. Louis Public Radio


Struggling with stress, isolation and economic upheaval
Kristen Uroda for NPR

The current era of social isolation and job loss is challenging for most everyone. But for people with a substance use disorder or who are in recovery, the COVID-19 crisis can present even more difficulties.

Daily life in the age of coronavirus is riddled with stressors, and stress can lead to an increase in substance use — as well as the possibility of relapse for those working to stay sober. And while virtual versions of critical support systems are still possible in many cases, face-to-face accountability and social opportunities are indeed diminished.

But along with those concerns, there’s also reason for hope. Jenny Armbruster of the St. Louis-based organization NCADA sees what she’s described as some “unintended positive side effects” of all of this, too.

The first-ever Sans Bar STL event drew a large crowd to the Third Degree Art Factory, despite a conscientious lack of booze.
Meredith Marquardt

From its early Lemp Brewery days to the Schlafly era and beyond, St. Louis has earned its reputation as a drinking town. But lately the city is also seeing a nightlife trend that doesn’t involve alcohol at all.

Among other beverage and restaurant industry professionals, the people behind WellBeing Brewing, a locally based company that exclusively makes non-alcoholic craft beer, have helped to catalyze the movement. So has the Wellness Council of St. Louis, which is affiliated with the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse and oversees Sans Bar STL.

The inaugural Sans Bar STL event early this year drew about 300 people to Third Degree Glass Factory for a night of music, glassblowing, tarot card readings and handcrafted alcohol-free drinks.

St. Louis Beacon graphic | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 20, 2013: Five years after the financial crisis triggered massive job-letting across the nation, analysts say recovery in the jobs sector has been uneven -- just as it has been in the overall economy.

"A lot depends on who you work for and what your occupation is. You don’t see much of a recovery if you have traditionally worked in lower-skilled jobs, even those that pay relatively well. Those are the jobs that are either disappearing or companies just aren’t doing any hiring,’’ said Russ Signorino, a longtime St. Louis labor analyst. “If you don’t have the education or type of experience that employers are looking for, you are really having a tough time finding work that pays middle-income wages or higher. It’s difficult for a lot of people.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The local housing market, which hit bottom after the U.S. financial crisis in 2008, is continuing its slow but steady recovery, says the head of the St. Louis Association of Realtors

Through August, home prices have edged up this year in St. Louis County and St. Louis, and it’s taking about a month less to sell them, said Donna Zerega, president of the Realtors trade group, which has about 8,000 members.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 18, 2013 - As St. Louis counts down to participation in National Small Business Week, Dennis Melton, director of the local Small Business Administration office in town, feels the area’s economy is looking brighter for the little guy.

“My take on the local climate is that it is on the rise,” he said. “There is an awful lot going on that hasn’t in the past. It’s probably the best time ever to be an entrepreneur.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 3, 2013 - The good news is starting to percolate up from a still recovering economy. The Conference Board recently released its May Consumer Confidence Survey and our subjective appraisal of current economic conditions has improved over April, a trend over the past few months. This tentatively rosy outlook is matched by the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index, which also is on the rise.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 13, 2013 - Congrats, 2013 grads!


Who has a job?

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 19, 2013 - The stock market is setting new nominal highs. Gas prices are not going through the roof. And just when you thought it looked as though the recovery would gain steam, some economist comes along to write that things are not as good as we thought.

We are nearing the release date (April 26) for our first glimpse at first-quarter GDP, the measure of goods and services produced in the economy, adjusted for inflation. The mounting evidence indicates that it will not be as quick as previously thought.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 4, 2013 - The topic was career transitions on this Tuesday morning in a conference room in downtown St. Louis, where 50 or so business professionals were listening intently to a panel of local human resources managers. There were nuggets to be gleaned, to be noted in memo pads.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 28, 2013 - The new president of the St. Louis Association of Realtors believes the local housing market will be taking ''baby steps” forward in 2013, as sales and prices continue their slow climb from the bottom.

"We’re just in the new normal,’’ said Donna Zerega, who leads the 8,000-member association. "I think that it’s getting better. We’re moving ahead little by little, and I think 2013 should be better, but don’t expect that it’s going to be roaring. It’s going to be little baby steps, so to speak.’’

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 4, 2013 - As the U.S. economy continues its post-recession dawdling, economists at the St. Louis Federal Reserve believe that answers can be found in the weak balance sheets of American households still suffering from the aftereffects of the housing bust.

Although the Great Recession officially ended in June 2009, they point to some gloomy facts to explain why recovery has been so slow for many families: