Recovery Jam for Peer-2-Peer is successful
WANDA ENGLISH BURNETT PHOTO
Having fun does not need to involve alcohol, smoking or any type of drug enhancement. A group of those in recovery can attest to this statement and proved their theory last Friday night as they attended the Recovery Jam at the Tyson Activity Center in Versailles.
There was lots of noise, laughter, family fun, and loud music blaring from the stage as REM One and B-Rain with DJ Rocky Styles performed. The food was phenomenal with 75 large pizzas being served along with breadsticks and more – all compliments of the Ripley County Court Services under the umbrella of Ripley County JDAI who provided financing for the event.
“I believe there is a strong recovery movement in Ripley County,” noted Shannon Schmaltz, Director of Court Services. “I have been fortunate to experience the positive changes made with those battling addiction and have witnessed the large turnouts of support when hosting our community outreach events. We had more than 200 people attend the Recovery Jam event.”
Schmaltz was quick to say he doesn’t work alone. “I want to extend my appreciation to the amazing team of Ripley County Court Services, specifically Aimee Cornett and Miki Riehle who organized the Recovery Jam. The arduous work of the Court Services staff is often underappreciated, but the positive impact from the various programs, services and community supervision they initiate significantly impacts the Ripley County Community.”
Some of the feedback from the event included: “I love Peer-2-Peer,” “My first outing sober, I was very nervous but really glad I came.”
In attendance were families, single people, lots of teens and children – anyone who has been in the recovery process who wants to help themselves and others. Schmaltz told The Versailles Republican, “The people in the purple shirts, they are running this tonight.” Those people have overcome, and are living proof you can recover from substance abuse and have a great life.
Games were set up throughout the gym area, along with a number of booths with an amazing crew of people bringing information and free prizes for those in attendance. “This is our big event of the year,” Schmaltz said, adding they have hosted a Family Fun Bingo Night, Recovery Cornhole Tournament and a Swinging for Recovery Softball Tournament in 2021, to name some of the events that bring people together. Schmaltz was thankful for the Tyson Activity Center for hosting Peer-2-Peer events and contributing to the growth of the community. He was also very appreciative of the Ripley County JDAI for the financial support so many of the events can be possible.
According to Schmaltz, the Ripley County Peer-2-Peer group was formed in 2017 when Circuit Court Judge Ryan King and Superior Court Judge Jeff Sharp realizing the need for a skill-based support group for those seeking recovery from substance addiction. He said the Judges have made all the difference in peoples lives who are in need of this support program.
This group allows those who have “been there” who can relate by similar experiences to gather and support others who are in various stages of recovery in their sobriety journey. Under the leadership of Recovery Support Specialist Josh Wilson, this group flourishes. They meet weekly on Friday nights and always welcome anyone who wants to join in. Visit www.ripleycountyp2p.com for more information about the group.
Schmaltz noted that Peer-2-Peer serves as Phase III (Relapse Prevention) of the Ripley County Courts Addition and Drug Services (CADS) Program, a nationally recognized intensive outpatient program which connects the criminal justice system with the healthcare system to address Opioid and other Substance Use Disorders. The CADS Program incorporates the collaborative efforts between the Ripley County Judiciary, Ripley County Court Services, Margaret Mary Health, Department of Child Services and Choices Emergency Response Team (CERT) and is centrally located in the Ripley County Courthouse to reduce transportation barriers.
Just as the aforementioned groups have come together to provide many services to make one successful, the people themselves are the key to making the program what it is. Those who have been in the “trenches” are the ones making a difference as they reach out to each other and look for guidance and help from the agencies who make the program strong.