PIQUA — Celebrate Recovery, a faith-based support group for those dealing with addiction, is continuing to grow after approximately two months of the new program at the Piqua Compassion Network.
The program is being done in partnership with PROTECT Piqua’s Heroin Education and Addiction Recovery Team (HEART), which saw a need for Celebrate Recovery.
Bethannie and Doug Dolder, lead facilitators for Celebrate Recovery, are part of the HEART Team with Piqua Chief of Police Bruce Jamison. The team visits people after they have overdosed to discuss different recovery options and resources. Bethannie’s participation in the HEART Team prompted her to ask, “What do we have for the people after this? What is there to help support their recovery in the community here in Piqua?”
She was reminded of the Celebrate Recovery model, which she and Doug used during their time with the Salvation Army in their programs for the adult rehabilitation centers for drug and alcohol abuse.
Celebrate Recovery began in 1991 out of Saddleback Church, Rick Warren’s church, Doug said. He described the program as a Christian faith-based 12-step recovery program.
“Recovery and people in addiction is my passion,” Bethannie said. “I’ve been just praying for what we can do to help and God kind of gave me this vision with Celebrate Recovery.”
The Celebrate Recovery model is usually based out of one church, Bethannie said. However, they wanted to bring in other churches.
“The vision that I feel that God gave me was that it would be by the community for the community,” Bethannie said. “And so instead of being out of one church, somehow, someway, it would be many churches coming together and doing it for the community.”
The Dolders introduced the idea of the Celebrate Recovery model to the HEART Team and the HEART Team introduced the Dolders to Piqua Compassion Network Executive Director Rebecca Sousek. The HEART Team and the Piqua Compassion Network then partnered to help make Celebrate Recovery happen.
In partnering with the Piqua Compassion Network, around a dozen local churches have been able to give their support to Celebrate Recovery in one form or another, whether by lending out their sanctuary space, providing food, or leading worship music for a night.
“With the Piqua Compassion Network, it’s well-known that it bore out of the churches coming together to try to help the community with not only basic needs, but what we call our path to stability programs,” Sousek said. “This fit right into that track of helping our vision or our mission statement, it exists to transform lives by providing Christian hope, education, and basic needs assistance to Piqua area residents.”
Sousek brought the idea to the Piqua Compassion Network’s board of trustees, who were on board with the idea of incorporating Celebrate Recovery into their programming.
“People are in crisis, and there are families going through this that we see impacted every day through the drug and alcohol and other types of addictions, so it was a perfect track for us to get involved because of the history and our firm commitment from the churches for PCN,” Sousek said.
Addiction and recovery also hits close to home for the Dolders, as they have also lived through it in their own lives, providing another means of connecting to people who may need help.
“I am in recovery for drugs and alcohol for the past 20 years,” Doug said. “And my wife lived through that with me, and she is also a pharmacist. She is a pharmacy manager at CVS, so we have a very unique perspective on addiction and recovery, and we feel that we’re really hands-on at the ground level trying to help folks overcome their addictions.”
Celebrate Recovery is also available to provide support for the family of someone dealing with an addiction.
“Celebrate Recovery is great because it’s not just for the person struggling with addiction but it’s also for the family members,” Bethannie said. “They’re welcome to be here as well and that be a support for them to help them through their dependency or their struggles with their family or the dynamics that go with addiction … We’re hoping to help strengthen the families.”
Celebrate Recovery is held every Thursday evening at the Piqua Compassion Network, 531 W. Ash St. The doors open at 6:45 p.m. and the program begins at 7 p.m.
“We have a time of fellowship and refreshments,” Doug said. The evening then moves to a time of praise and worship before there is a presentation of the 12 steps or eight principles of Celebrate Recovery, he said.
Following the presentation, the attendees break into two small groups, one for men and one for women.
“We have just found that when you have an all-male or an all-female group, it’s easier to build to trust and easier to share,” Doug said.
Currently, they only have the two small groups, but their hope is that as Celebrate Recovery grows and more people attend, they will split those groups up into more groups that are more specific to the type of addiction people may be dealing with, such as drug and alcohol addiction and compulsive gambling.
“The idea is that you’ll come, be a part of the large group, and then you’ll actually go to the small group that fits your (need),” Doug said.
Celebrate Recovery is also meant to serve as another means of support in addition to other recovery methods, such as the Miami County drug court program or outpatient treatment through the Miami County Recovery Council. Celebrate Recovery is also another night for people in need who may attend Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings elsewhere on other nights of the week.
Wayne Davey, another program facilitator at Celebrate Recovery, was introduced to the program while still living in Washington, D.C., after a 28-year career in the Navy and returning from a deployment in Afghanistan.
“I got a lot from it the first time,” Davey said. With the incorporation of faith into the program, Davey said,”It’s kind of like an extra depth that you don’t get at AA.”
Davey became involved in the program through a church he was attending at the time. He started attending, volunteering, and connecting with other people.
“There’s social aspects that are healing,” Davey said. “It’s a way to heal from all kinds of stuff.”
Davey said that Celebrate Recovery is for everybody and that there’s always a place for people to help.
“It’s a great way for civic leaders, church leaders, the community, and the community that has the need to kind of come together,” Davey said.
Doug and Bethannie said the reception to the program has been good.
“We see a lot of the same people coming back week after week,” Doug said. They also see new people every week, with people coming from Piqua as well as from outside the city, e.g., Trotwood, Troy, Sidney, Covington, and elsewhere.
The program has also come full circle for them, as some of the people who received assistance from the HEART Program are also beginning to utilize Celebrate Recovery as another resource.
“One of the really exciting things, too, is that we’ve had a couple people that we met through a HEART intervention are now coming to the Celebrate Recovery meetings, and that was kind of the whole point is to make that connection and have something for them to continue on with and have a support network. So that’s really exciting to see that happen,” Bethannie said.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336