New family program at ORR

Arturo Flores talks in his office at Owensboro Regional Recovery on Tuesday in Owensboro.

Owensboro Regional Recovery not only helps its clients with substance and alcohol recovery programs.

It also teaches their loved ones about codependency, or relationships that enable addiction, immaturity and irresponsibility. Also, the program provides families with a set of best practices to support their loved ones in recovery.

ORR regularly hosts family education evenings to help people navigate the right approach for people in recovery.

For example, some clients’ parents pick them up every weekend to take them home for a visit, said Arturo Flores, ORR phase II coordinator and an ORR alum. While that is a loving gesture, it pulls clients away — at a critical time in their recovery — from the recovery community, which is a strong means of support.

Some families take care of a client’s child support payments while they are in treatment, Flores said. Or loved ones may offer spending money to ORR clients.

That’s the wrong message for those recovering from addiction, Flores said. When families give too much, they enable their loved one’s poor behaviors and keep him or her from learning valuable life lessons about the satisfaction that comes with working and earning.

The center strives to make clients self-sufficient, so those behaviors often hurt more than they help, Flores said.

About 50% of ORR clients have loved ones still active in their lives.

Every three months, clients’ families and loved ones are invited to come to ORR to gather for supper and talk about ways in which they can support someone in recovery. Meetings last from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The next meeting is set for Saturday. No reservations are needed.

“The evenings are sometimes about how families and loved ones can be part of the problem instead of part of the solution,” Flores said.

Classes are informative and not an evidence-based curriculum.

“I try to tell loved ones to let us do what we do,” Flores said.

Flores often invites an Al-Anon speaker to make a presentation. Al-Anon offers services to those who are affected by another person’s addiction.

ORR clients who have a loved one in attendance receive an overnight pass as an incentive to invite families and others they care for.

Usually up to 30 families attend, Flores said. Family education evenings are free.

“The advantage is that addiction and alcoholism affects everyone around you,” he said. “In my own personal experience, I made my family sick.”

At one point, Flores’ family shut him out completely because they didn’t understand ways to cope with his addiction. Family education evenings can help families understand their loved one’s behavior.

Part of Flores’ goal is to link families with more information that can help them thrive when their loved ones are seeking recovery or in recovery.

For more information about these sessions, contact Flores at 270-689-0905.

Renee Beasley Jones, 270-228-2835,

Renee Beasley Jones, 270-228-2835,

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