Hometown Hero: Counselor Patricia Tucker  seeks ways to improve clients’ lives

  • Hometown Hero Pat Tucker in her counseling offices in downtown Tilton on Thursday. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Hometown Hero Pat Tucker in her counseling offices in downtown Tilton on Thursday. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 4/17/2022 6:27:17 PM

Patricia Tucker got a late start to her career in substance use recovery, but with a busy private practice and roles in several community organizations, she’s making up for lost time.

Thirty years after she enrolled in school at age 49, Tucker is a prominent member of the recovery community in New Hampshire, with no plans of retiring any time soon.

“I have to retire sometime, but not today,” she said. “It’s not for everybody, but if you like it, then it really is a great place to be.”

For most of her career, Tucker worked in administrative roles at various doctor’s offices and hospitals.

After her family grew up she decided to go back to school and study something that she thought would make a real impact in her community: addiction recovery.

“I was around a lot of people that were in recovery and I saw how much their life changed when they were recovering,” she said. “I just wanted to help that process.”

Tucker graduated and started her career at the state’s Multiple Offender Program, a treatment program for people convicted of drug-related crimes that has since been dismantled. She later joined Concord Hospital’s substance use department as a counselor.

Finally, she opened her own practice in Tilton, where she sees about fifteen patients a week.

Tucker’s unceasing commitment to her community has inspired many, including her family.

“She is always willing to help put in the extra time. If someone is in need, she’s out there looking for clothes or baby formula donations,” said Ashley Tanner, Tucker’s granddaughter. “Where does she get all this energy?”

Over her years, Tucker has seen several positive trends in the world of recovery. There are more resources available, like recovery houses and peer support programs. There is also a notable decline in stigma associated with addiction, she said.

Tucker’s job is emotionally challenging at times, but she said it is all worth it when she feels like she can imbue her clients with hope.

“People that have substance use disorders sometimes don’t have a lot of hope,” she said. “What I’ve liked over the years is giving somebody some hope that their life can be different.”

She said one of the most important parts of her job is mentoring younger counselors who want to make a career out of substance use recovery. Michelle Lennon, the executive director of Archways which was formerly known as the Greater Tilton Area Family Resource Center, said Tucker is always available to support providers in the field.

Other counselors frequently call Tucker to talk out problems, ethical dilemmas, and when they experience loss in their personal lives.

“She’s always made herself available,” Lennon said. ” When we’ve had losses that are pretty devastating, she comes right over.”

Tucker was involved in building Archways from the very beginning and served on the board of for many years, Lennon said. She has been a staunch advocate for recovery resources in local town meetings.

Tucker believes that recovery counselors can create positive, intergenerational impacts.

“If just one person can get in recovery, it affects so many others,” she said. “This is a generational disease: it’s passed down from generation to generation. If one person can get in recovery, their children have a much better chance.”


Teddy Rosenbluth bio photo

Teddy Rosenbluth is a Report for America corps member covering health care issues for the Concord Monitor since spring 2020. She has covered science and health care for Los Angeles Magazine, the Santa Monica Daily Press and UCLA's Daily Bruin, where she was a health editor and later magazine director. Her investigative reporting has brought her everywhere from the streets of Los Angeles to the hospitals of New Delhi. Her work garnered first place for Best Enterprise News Story from the California Journalism Awards, and she was a national finalist for the Society of Professional Journalists Best Magazine Article. She graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in psychobiology.



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