Recovery from addiction is a step-by-step process but this business in Pratt helps in a variety of ways, every step of the way to freedom.
Addiction is a trap that can take hold of people overpower their lives. Helping people break free from addition is the goal of DCCCA in Pratt.
Samantha Bauer (Landis) provides peer support for clients as they work their way to being free from addiction. As a recovered addict who has been clean for four years, she has a unique perspective on what it takes to break addiction and has a very specific goal for her clients.
“I want to save lives. I want to give back what I received. This is my passion,” Bauer said.
Bauer said recovery is a step-by-step process that will help clients live again. But clients have understand that recovery is reachable only if they are willing to do the work. She is here to help them succeed.
“My goal is to help them take the steps to recovery,” Bauer said.
Bauer said it can be difficult for clients to succeed in recovery when they are lacking other basics in their lives like finding a job and being able to pay bills, have food, clothing and paying for child care.
Jessica Harmon, DCCCA clinical coordinator, said getting treatment may not be a high priority if a client is struggling with basic life needs.
Addiction is not limited to a specific age group. From early teens through age 70, anyone can become an addict. Trauma can often trigger an addiction and that can happen at any age, Bauer said.
Having a support person is vital for success. Bauer understands the every day fight that takes place and she hopes her story will inspire others to succeed.
Addiction is a struggle but it is in that struggle, and there will be many struggles, that people learn how to conquer and improve their lives.
“You have to fight through bad days to get to your best,” Bauer said.
Getting a second chance may not be enough in addiction. It may require a third or fourth or more but that doesn’t mean they can’t succeed, Bauer said.
Part of the struggle is the community perception of addicts. The community only sees the bad part of the person but don’t know their whole story. If the community can open their eyes, they can see the clients better and give them that second or third or fourth chance.
Bauer works hard to be a friend but one with boundaries. She will help find resources and provides her personal contact number on her business cards.
Bauer said she looks for the good in each and every person. She doesn’t want them to feel unwanted or unsafe.
“I care for each and every person who walks through our door,” Bauer said. “I treat them with respect and don’t look down on them.”
Clients need someone to listen to them and not judge them. Bauer helps them understand there is no reason to be scared to get help and she will work hard for them to succeed.
“You are not alone. You become part of me and I will fight for you,” Bauer said. “It’s hard but we won’t stop fighting for them.”
One of the key factors for success at DCCCA is therapists being able to relate to the clients. Harmon said not all the therapists have an addiction background but they can relate and do so without being authoritarian.
There is a delicate balancing act for staff members. They have to be supportive but avoid becoming enablers at the same time. Staff has to hold clients accountable but not shun them. Staff has to be able to see the clients potential so the client can see it too.
Addiction is a constant companion. It carries a stigma for the client and the client’s family. It can be heartbreaking for the family. Their past is always there and reminds them where they come from. Families also need to know what they need to do to help their family member recover.
Besides helping clients deal with addiction and conflict, employees need to be aware of what the client needs to succeed too.
It takes special people to work with addicts. They can’t work for DCCCA and be heartless.
Recovery is hard work. It takes time to overcome it and it may take months before any progress is seen.
Addiction is rough. It can stack up and the client can give up. But there is a tough reality clients have to face if they want to succeed.
“Don’t tell me you don’t have a choice,” Harmon said.
But beneath it all, clients do want a better future and that the goal of DCCCA.
“Our mission is to improve lives,” Harmon said. “I love it. It’s a challenge but its rewarding to see growth in clients and staff.”
The DCCCA staff offers assessment evaluation, residential treatment (no beds at DCCCA), community intensive sessions three times a week, out patient two days a week, peer mentoring twice a week, community out patient, adolescent care, alcohol and drug information to schools and more. Harmon would like to expand DCCCA services to more groups, like families. She wants to get the community more involved.
For information on DCCCA, visit dccca.org or call 620-672-7546. The DCCCA office is at 501 South Ninnescah in Pratt.