OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) — Blaine Mathew, a spokesperson for Addiction Recovery Care, says the holiday season is often the hardest time of year for those in recovery.
“I’ve got almost seven years of recovery. I’ve been through the struggle. I’ve been on the streets. I know how hard it can be…they’ve been in jail, and they really just want to see their family. So, a lot of times folks will end up leaving recovery centers or falling back because they’ve missed [or] lost time with their loved ones,” says Mathew.
“There’s more time often to reflect about things that are maybe more negative in nature,” says Dr. Lionel Phelps, the Vice President of population health at RiverValley Behavioral Health.
Officials say 84 percent of those in recovery report moderate to very high levels of anxiety during the holidays.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, facilities like ARC and The Gathering Place are hoping to reduce that number by providing a chosen family.
“During Thanksgiving, we’re gonna have extended hours. So, we’re gonna be open from 8 a.m. until midnight. We’re gonna serve a dinner from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and all are welcome.”
“We’ll be serving those holiday meals. I even talked with Harry at the Pitino shelter. He said on Thanksgiving they’ve got an open door policy. If you want a meal, you can get a meal. Friday, [Nov. 17] Beverly’s Hearty Slice is giving out over 300 different meals to folks.” says Mathew of the ARC.
The ARC says clients will also create meal centerpieces and participate in a special gratitude meeting.
Dr. Phelps, of The Gathering Place, says they’ll play games to bridge the gap between family and community. He says patience and self care are also helpful tools.
“Whether, it’s increasing exercise or paying attention to what their eating or anything to help them focus more on being healthier and feeling better,” says Dr.Phelps.