New addiction recovery model launches in Windsor

Bob Cameron, executive director of the Downtown Windsor Community Collaborative; and the Rev. Robert Clifford, rector of All Saints Anglican Church, unveil the new ReAct addiction recovery program on July 11, 2019. Photo by Mark Brown, Blackburn News.

An addiction recovery program that aims to address the root of addiction problems is now in Windsor.

The Downtown Windsor Community Collaborative (DWCC) has officially launched the fundraising and logistical efforts of the Re:Act Program, which stands for Recovery Education for Addictions and Complex Trauma. Re:Act has been in place in several other Canadian cities and is an outpatient program designed to complement other treatment methods.

The key to success through the Re:Act Program is finding the root cause of addiction by addressing the trauma that has taken place in the past of the person with an addiction. The DWCC said 90 per cent of people experiencing addiction had some traumatic experience in their childhoods. The more telling statistic cited indicates that no one who is in recovery stays clean and sober if they do not develop healthy relationships or a strong network of people they can rely on for support.

Bob Cameron, executive director of the DWCC, said the program is in two parts.

“The first is a 30-day, where we look at the forming and the understanding of how we can make sense of the puzzle of our lives through trauma, and as folks graduate from the first cohort, they enter into phase two, which will be 60 days of inner working, evaluation, and reflection,” said Cameron.

Both parts consist of classes on identifying and understanding complex trauma and specific group therapy. Bi-weekly one-on-one counselling is part of phase one and is upgraded to weekly for phase two.

Re:Act is already in place in Winnipeg and Surrey, BC and is very useful in taking some of the workload off other addiction programs and recovery services. Some of the partners for the Windsor version of Re:Act include the Windsor Police Service, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, and All Saints Anglican Church, which will serve as the venue for the program.

Hughie Carpenter, a peer support worker and a recovering addict who has been clean for 20 years, wished he had this kind of a program at his disposal.

“It’s kind of like a doctor sitting beside you and talking to you, and then he realizes that you ate something that’s giving you the poison. Just taking the time to get inside,” said Carpenter.

The DWCC has set a fundraising goal of $150,000 for the first year. Cameron said training is expected to start next month with the program beginning in earnest sometime in the fall.

For complete information on the Re:Act Program and how to donate, visit their official webpage on the DWCC website.

Peer support worker Hughie Carpenter speaks at the launch of the ReAct Program at All Saints Anglican Church in Windsor, July 11, 2019. Photo by Mark Brown, Blackburn News.