Rural Recovery: Triad Church Opens Doors To Support Group For Addicts, Others

Recovery Groups Needed In Rural Areas

TRINITY, N.C. -- Each week a group meets at Poplar Ridge Friends Meeting in Trinity, but it's not for your typical church service.

The meeting is called Celebrate Recovery, a religious-based support group that meets every Thursday night.  Most people who go are recovering from addiction, but it's open to anyone who wants freedom from "hurts, habits and hang-ups."

Heroin Addiction Resources, Recovery Help

"It's an umbrella program that covers a broad spectrum of struggles," explains Mark Culler, a group leader.

When it comes to addiction, there's a big a big need for support groups and services across the Triad, especially in rural areas.  Culler has been through addiction treatment in Greensboro and says he wanted to start the program in another place it's needed.

Chris Hatfield says he's been going since he got out of rehab.  He recently celebrated six months of sobriety and says the group helps him stay on track.

"I'm in the process of now busting out of my cocoon and becoming a new person, a better person," Hatfield tells.

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"You think you're the only one out there suffering," says Michelle Lundgren, another group member.  "Recovery is not just drugs and alcohol. It's about anything that's going on in your life."

Lundgren lives right down the road, which makes it convenient for her to come regularly.

A lot of recovery resources are based in Greensboro or High Point, where there's a larger population.  Many group members say this Celebrate Recovery is one of the only local groups they can find close to home.

"Folks might be a little more reluctant if they have to get on the road and drive 30-45 minutes to a support group," says Christopher Varner, a small group leader who comes to meetings for PTSD.  "It's already a touchy experience to come to a support group, to admit that you have issues here but to have one right down the road it really helps out a lot."

The church also recently launched Celebration Place, a spot for kids while their parents are in the group meeting.

"We always have a lesson that corresponds with the lessons that we're teaching with the adults," Culler adds. 

The Celebrate Recovery group has been meeting since June and it's grown to about 20-30 people each meeting.  The meetings are confidential and offer a safe place to share experiences each week.

For more information, you can email CR@prfriends.org.

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