Addiction treatment center seeking volunteers for community garden in Cedar Hills
Courtesy Tyson Brewer
For years, I Am Recovery has worked to help treat people with alcohol and substance addiction issues. On Saturday, they’re asking the public for help with a volunteer event to create a community garden in Cedar Hills.
“People in today’s world live in isolation and distress. Many people who suffer from addiction and/or mental health have turned to less than productive substitutes for real connection. As the counterfeits of real connection are replaced with genuine connection, people return to their roots. We all need each other and in recovery we can learn that better than ever,” said Jared Casey, I am Recovery owner.
Community members of all ages and experience levels are invited to weed, dig and plant seeds side-by-side with those in recovery. The event will be held from 4-8:30 p.m. at the center, 3784 West Valley View Drive. The garden will include flowers, vegetables and spices that will be donated to local food banks and charities. The food will also be used to make meals for shelters and other community gatherings.
“By engaging in a shared activity like gardening, individuals in recovery can showcase their strengths, talents, and resilience, challenging stereotypes and promoting understanding and empathy within the community,” said Tyson Brewer, I Am Recovery communications director. “The collaborative nature of gardening fosters a sense of unity and highlights the common humanity we all share, helping to break down barriers and reduce stigma surrounding addiction and mental health challenges.”
Prior to founding the treatment center, Casey worked in the industry and came away feeling that many facilities cared about profit more than quality care, were not willing to put their client’s needs first and were not striving for long-term recovery. While numbers vary across different studies, Casey said a sobering moment for him was hearing that 7% of addiction patients stayed sober in the first year after treatment.
Courtesy Jared Casey
“This number made me sick. I looked around and the people that were doing well above 7%, even up to 80%, were people completing 3-6 months of treatment and engaging in communities through service, attending recovery meetings, playing sober softball and spending time with new friends in recovery,” Casey said.
Casey implemented just that into his own center. In order for clients to retain lifestyle changes they have made, he and the staff work to develop deep connections, good routines and a sense of purpose and belonging.
The organization recommends using compassion, love, patience, education and self improvement to relate to friends and family members who are experiencing addiction or mental health problems.
“I love witnessing miracles. People are my favorite, and seeing the light come on for someone that has been in darkness is an unbelievable feeling. Everyone knows someone struggling, but to witness someone healing from what seems like an impossible sickness gives hope to everyone involved,” Casey said.