The burdens of recovering from drug and alcohol addictions have been made easier to cope with thanks to a new program offered through the Three Voices of Healing Society.
The societys three-year term contract with the District of Invermere to operate the Smokie Signals concession stand at Kinsmen Beach has not only helped tourism in the area, but has improved treatment options for First Nations in the process of getting help.
Invermere council unanimously approved the decision to award a three-year contract to the Three Voices of Healing Society on May 12th (excluding mayor Gerry Taft, who abstained from the vote due to a perceived conflict of interest after previously operating his Gerrys Gelati business at the venue) to help those who are working toward completing the societys addictions treatment program reintegrate into the community by gaining work experience in a healthy lifestyle.
Its helping reintegrate our clients back into society sober, said Delena Tikk, Three Voices of Healing Society executive director.
The idea of helping others during a time when compassion and support are critical was inspired by the San Patrignano treatment program in Italy.
They lead in the world in research on addictions, as they are advisors on this subject for the United Nations committee, said Ms. Tikk. I have followed them for years, and this is why we built our Aftercare Program based on the San Patrignano concept.
She attended training at San Patrignano in Rimini, Italy last October to learn about creating a treatment program that is focused on improving the community with educational awareness about drug abuse.
Its like walking into a university campus. There are 50 different sectors and these sectors have clients working at them, as part of their rehabilitation, and they sell products from these 50 sectors to the public, said Ms. Tikk. Thats what makes the facility totally self-sufficient and when I was there, they had 1,700 clients in residence.
However, the only way to incorporate that plan into the Three Voices of Healing Society was to find a venue outside of the societys wellness centre, which is situated on six acres of Shuswap Band land leased by the society.
When this opportunity (running the concession stand) came up, we saw it as a start to becoming self-sufficient, but at the same time training and helping our clients break down the social barriers. To no longer be a hindrance to society due to their addiction, but to become contributing members in society, said Ms. Tikk.
This project was a dream that has become a reality. A dream to see an individual survive trauma and abuse, to overcome addiction, gain self esteem, to be able to stand on their own two feet and glow beautifully. Something each one of us was born to do but a few were never given the opportunity. This program is able to do that. If it lasts five minutes, five years, or a lifetime, it is a feeling that every living person thrives for and deserves. It can and has overcome the need for that high, that chase for that next fix, because now they are on a natural high of personal accomplishments.
Ms. Tikk said she is very grateful to the District of Invermere for its generous support in helping Three Voices help others. For more information on the Three Voices of Healing Society and Wellness Centre, visit www.healingisajourney.com.