Coshocton Behavioral Health Choices celebrates National Recovery Month

| September 4, 2018

COSHOCTON – Coshocton Behavioral Health Choices (CBHC) wants to celebrate all people in the community who are on the road to recovery. On Friday, Sept. 7, in conjunction with September as National Recovery Month, CBHC will have a celebration on the court square from 7 – 9:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

“There is so much negativity about addiction,” said Jeanette Hall, director of prevention services and a counselor at CBHC. “We want to focus on the fact that people really do recover from this disease. This is great, getting the family together and having a good time.”

There will be free hot dogs and ice cream for the whole family as well as games and music.

At 9 p.m., there will be a recovery countdown to recognize people who are on their first day of recovery all the way up to those who have been clean and sober for many years.

“This is for anybody who has a day of recovery, they light a candle, and then we do a year or less of recovery and they light a candle, all the way up to maybe 50 years of recovery,” said Beth Cormack, executive director of CBHC. “It’s kind of neat to see the flame growing brighter as each person comes up to light a candle. It’s almost like an annual celebration for them. They can remember where they were and where they are now.”

The lighting of the candles is also a way of giving those who are just starting their recovery some hope that they can make it.

“People on day one can see, I can get there,” said Hall. “Somebody really can recover from this. You can get there.”

CBHC will also have an open house on Friday, Sept. 14 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at their location at 610 Walnut St. They also have recovery housing available on their campus.

“We had a young man who has been in our recovery housing for about six years and he just really has gotten it within the last year,” said Hall. “He’s starting to have a relationship with his children and working on his mental health.”

Hall also said they see a lot of women in recovery trying to get their children back.

“There are days when you wonder if you’re making a difference and then you see the little ones on the balcony in the back and it’s like, okay, this is what we need to be doing,” said Hall.

The CBHC has been serving the community for 46 years. First, they were known as the Alcohol Council, then the Drug and Alcohol Council, and are now known as Coshocton Behavioral Health Choices. They treat both the addiction and the mental illness behind the addiction because often, they are a dual issue.

“A lot of the time, addiction is mentioned in a negative light and it is,” said Cormack. “It is horrible. But there are people who have recovered from their addiction, but no one ever talks about that.”

Although the stigma of mental illness and people who suffer from addiction is breaking down, there are still those who believe people who are addicted deserve the consequences.

“People will say that until it’s their son or daughter,” said Cormack. “Then all of a sudden, that changes.”

People who are addicted can’t simply change without professional help and support as opioids cause a physical change in the brain where the person constantly craves more.

“Addiction is a disease and needs to be treated as a medical problem because it is,” said Hall.

CBHC offers a wide-variety of services to those who struggle with addiction. They offer outpatient group and individual assessment, an intensive five-day outpatient program, women’s trauma group, anger management, treatment for depression and mental health, child therapy, and Vivitrol, a once-a-month injection that helps prevent relapses in people with addictions.

“We’ve grown in what we’re offering partly because of need but also desire,” said Cormack. “We desire people to have the best life they can possibly have.”

CBHC sees more than 400 people come through their doors each year and services an average of about 75 per month. Some people are self-referrals and others come in via the court system.

Hall also said that every disease has a potential for a relapse and addiction is no different.

“Relapse is a part of rehab,” she said. “Okay, that happened, but you can learn a lot from messing up.”

Through it all, Hall said that the staff at CBHC is dedicated to providing quality service to those with addiction.

“People need to realize that we do have professionals working for us,” said Hall. “All of them are licensed professionals with a college education who have many years of experience.”

Also in celebration of National Recovery Month, CBHC is sponsoring an art contest with the theme “Recovery is Beautiful”. Anybody can submit a piece of art. Artwork must be original and reflect the theme. Contestants may use pencils, pens, markers, paint, crayons, colored pencils, charcoal, pastels, or oil pastels. All artwork will be displayed at CBHC and prizes will be awarded to first, second, and third place.

Forms can be picked up at CBHC, The Frame Shop, or Sixth Street Tattoo. Artwork must be submitted by 6 p.m. on Sept. 11. Judging will be Sept. 12.

“One of our big success stories over the years, this guy came to us seven years ago,” said Cormack. “He was brought in by an ambulance and they told us that he was going to die. I remember his skin and the whites of his eyes were yellow. We tried multiple times with him and finally, he got it. Now, he’s getting his master’s degree in social work. He could have been dead and he has done so much to change others’ lives because he has been there. That to me is a success story.”

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Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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