Christmas message of thanks from the Family Recovery Center

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you. Once again I would like to come to you and say “Thank You” for all of your support this past year. It has been an eventful year in many ways.

Our family here at the Center has grown. In looking back when I took over the helm of the Recovery Center, we had a total staff of four individuals, and today we total almost 80 staff members who work with you in all our offices and throughout the communities of Columbiana and Jefferson Counties.

To say it has been a difficult year, is putting it mildly. We have experienced the tremendous increase in illegal drug use, and the opiate crisis continues to stymie us as to what the total and complete answer is. We continue to expand our programming to work with those suffering from addiction as well as their families.

We have implemented several new projects including Project DAWN, where we are making Narcan available to members of the community. Awareness of this program is growing at this time. In our Jefferson County office we have expanded there also, as we are working closely with the county Health Department in trying to curb the increase in various health risks to its residents as a result of drug use.

Through our weekly contact with you via the newspapers, we know that we have been able to reach out to you. A number of individuals have called and requested help with their own issues and/or family matters. Hopefully, we can continue this into the year 2018.

Success in this field of endeavor has not always been easy. As you may know, many individuals may not reach recovery and/or sobriety after the first attempt. Many individuals are often unable to identify what is really bothering them and make that phone call to work towards changes in their lives.

Mental health issues or problems are often masked by medication and/or denial. Youngsters may not see need to deal with the various high risk issues in their life after our first interventions with them. Bullying among youth, social media and other avenues of communication as television and video games continue to thwart healthy development among our youth.

“I am finally finding myself, like I am getting little pieces of myself back.” These are the words of an individual who saw herself depicted, one Sunday, in an article Family Recovery Center had prepared on Depression. She always gave of herself, repressing unpleasant emotions. Mustering the courage to make that first phone call, she is now putting herself back together again.

Still, success can be seen in several different ways:

A number of women have graduated from our Fleming House — a transitional home for women and their children. They are now committed and engaging women in our area, holding jobs, and becoming responsible citizens in the community and remaining in recovery.

The House of Hope recently opened for women early in recovery.

Renaissance House I and II for men continue to provide housing and services for men who are seeking a healthy recovery and prepare for the work world.

The Oxford House continues to provide a home for the 13 various support groups each week. A fair estimation is that close to 325 individuals attend these different meetings each week. Further, the House provides a family-like environment for each of the holidays as it is today, Christmas Day.

We are able to provide continuous programming in our all school systems through the collaboration with a number of resources, including the Columbiana County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board, the Jefferson County Prevention & Recovery Board, the United Way of both counties, Jobs and Family Services, and the school administrators.

County judges, through their various Drug Courts are collaborating with Family Recovery Center to make their “clients” receive the level of treatment needed to be able to move back into a whole and healthy life style.

We have been able to add committed and creative staff, along with those you already know, and who will continue to work with you in your time of need.

Finally, we have been able to grow as a result of your continued support and contributions throughout the year.

Family Recovery Center has had a number of “angels” land in our back yard. To each and every one of you we say “Thank You” for your continued support of our special projects, including the Fleming House in Lisbon. This year, various churches and service clubs continue to gift our children and residents throughout out all our programs.

The various churches of the area continue to provide us with volunteers who work with our women and men, transport them to various appointments, and continually provide us with food and clothing. They mentor our clients and their families, helping them learn about family life, living skills, parenting know-how and other aspects of life that many of us take for granted.

School groups, along with other volunteers, have provided our youth with educational and learning experiences, coaching our youth along the way.

The Center continues to partner with a number of different organizations throughout the area, creating a synergy of services that allow us to sustain a uninterrupted stream of services for those in need. We strive to offer options and hope to expand the horizons of our clients.

As you hang your stockings by the chimney with care; bake those wonderful Christmas cookies, bringing back memories of youth; and exchange presents with you loved ones, please remember that you are loved for all the kindnesses you have shown us during this past year. We at Family Recovery Center say “thank you” and wish you a very happy and healthy new year.