On Thursday, Fayette County Pathways to Recovery partnered with Life Connect Church to host a New Year’s Eve event free of substances such as alcohol.
The event was open for anyone who wanted to attend at no cost and was family-friendly. There were games, live music, various information and participants from different recovery groups. Pizza was donated by Super Sport, which was passed out following Fayette County Public Health guidelines, according to event officials.
Approximately eight speakers joined the event to share their recovery stories. The speeches were livestreamed via Facebook as a way to allow others to participate while avoiding overcrowding due to the pandemic. Those videos are available to view on the Facebook page, “Fayette County Pathways to Recovery,” for whoever would like to look back on the event and hear the stories that were shared.
Other COVID-19 guidelines were followed during the event such as checking temperatures of those who arrived and wearing masks. Masks were provided for those who did not have one and hand sanitizer was readily available.
The purpose for having the event on New Year’s Eve, according to Peer Recovery Support Specialist Joe Cantrell, was due to receiving a grant last minute that had a theme of collaboration within the recovery community. Pathways to Recovery had to put together the event in about one month.
Peer Recovery Support Specialist Brooke Truman explained, “New Year’s Eve is one of the times when people struggle the most when they’re in early sobriety or recovery. That’s the one night a year when everybody goes and gets intoxicated. So, we wanted a sober, fun place for people to come.”
Moving forward, Cantrell explained they are considering holding the event at another time of year as several organizations host clean celebrations on New Year’s Eve already.
The event was held at Life Connect Church, located at 232 N. North St. in Washington C.H. According to Pathways to Recovery officials, the reason for holding the event at Life Connect Church was the group already had ties with local Brian Carlson.
Carlson helps connect Pathways to Recovery with referrals through the Municipal Court Probation office and is also over the Life Connect Church faith-based, 12-step program commonly referred to as “Let Hope Arise.” The program is a celebration of recovery with meetings held every Sunday.
“He was the first person we thought of when we said, ‘let’s get the recovery community together.’ He’s on our QRT team, he’s a big part of our whole program,” said Cantrell.
According to Truman, QRT stands for “Quick Response Team.” Essentially, according to Truman, “that’s when (Pathways) goes out to people who have overdosed recently and offers them resources.”
More information will be released on the QRT at a later time.
The Pathways to Recovery program was started early last year and consists of five certified Peer Recovery specialists, who have a lived experience of addiction and have found recovery. As previously reported, the program was based upon the philosophy that there are multiple pathways to recovery, people can and do recover, and that peer support and care coordination are essential to preventing the senseless number of lives communities have lost in the past few years.
Those struggling with addiction or who know someone struggling with addiction can contact Pathways to Recovery at 740-335-7282 or reach out via the Hope Line at 740-463-1009. Pathways to Recovery is located at the Community Action Commission of Fayette County, 1400 N.W. US 22, Washington C.H.
“We’re here,” said Truman. “We’re here for sober support and any types of local resources or treatment resources.”
Reach journalist Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.