Where to find help
Recovery, as a goal, takes support. In this area, there are multiple ways to find it.
With addiction comes, hopefully, recovery.
But how and where?
One of the big names in treatment and recovery services in the area is Community Family Resources.
In addition to the residential treatment center in Fort Dodge, CFR offers outpatient services in outreach offices throughout the region.
“We’re in a lot of counties,” said Blake Harvey, adolescent residential program supervisor. “For residential, we take people from all over, both adolescent and adult.”
CFR has offices in Webster City in Hamilton County, Rockwell City in Calhoun County, Pocahontas in Pocahontas County, Clarion in Wright County, Boone in Boone County, and Story City in Story County.
The outreach centers offer detox services, as does the residential unit, Harvey said.
And CFR coordinates with local hospitals. It will often take people who come to the emergency room needing to detox.
Not everyone who seeks help does so voluntarily. CFR also takes in people through the civil committal process.
For treatment outside the areas CFR handles, there are other organizations that offer services.
New Opportunities Inc. Behavioral Services has offices in Jefferson in Greene County and Sac City in Sac County. Its main office is in Carroll. New Opportunities conducts evaluations, interventions and intensive outpatient services.
In Algona in Kossuth County, Prairie Ridge Integrated Behavioral Healthcare has an outreach office. The main facility is in Mason City.
“Our main facility in Mason City does have residential,” said Kelly Grunhovd, Prairie Ridge prevention manager. “We have men’s residential and women’s residential.”
Like CFR, Prairie Ridge takes referrals. People can also self-identify that they are struggling and check themselves in.
Individuals can make an appointment at any of the outreach centers, but the quickest way to be seen is to actually walk in to the Mason City office, Grunhovd said.
“People are able to get services more quickly because we have more access in Mason City for evaluations than they do in our outreach offices,” she said.
Therapy can vary in intensity, duration and levels of support.
“A lot of the difference there is social support,” Grunhovd said.
“Are the other people that live in their home, as far as friends and family members, are they supportive of the person’s desire or need to quit drinking or using? If most of my family and friends are also struggling with substances, I may want to leave that environment for a while to learn different coping mechanisms.”
Intensive outpatient treatment is usually four to six weeks long.
Extended outpatient treatment extends over one to two months.
“We recommend people go to some kind of 12-step group,” Harvey said. “In Fort Dodge, there’s Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Celebrate Recovery.”
Celebrate Recovery is “a 12-step program based on Christian beliefs. It’s based on the Bible, for any habit or hangup,” she said.
N.A. and A.A. groups also gather at the Prairie Ridge residential center. That way people can make those connections and get used to the groups before they get out on their own.
“I think ultimately, long-term, we know people who engage in a longer-term recovery process do better. Statistically, if you will,” she said. “Even a person in outpatient, we’re going to recommend, and we’re going to work with them to try to build up the supports outside of our facility, within the recovery community.”
Churches can aid in recovery, as can family members, Harvey said.
“If family members are supportive and understand and not bringing the past up all the time, it helps the person to move forward in their recovery,” he said.
“I always tell adolescents, parents are only going to change if you change. It’s about everybody getting better at the same time.”
Just about anything can be a recovery support, Harvey said.
“Whether it’s working out, fishing — something that’s going to help them replace imbalance — what they were doing before,” he said.
One place that provides for longer-term process is Gateway to Discovery in Fort Dodge.
Gateway is a two-year residential program for women. They live together in one house and work at Hope Sweet Hope studio on Fifth Avenue South.
The recovery house’s intent is to provide the added support some people in recovery desperately need. The program is faith-based, said house coordinator Angela Fisher.
“Our program focuses on the whole self, not just recovery from addiction but recovery from hurt and pain and mental health. When they are actively using, taking care of themself is on the back burner. In order to fully recover you need to heal the whole self, not just how many days have you been sober,” she said.
Ally Miller said the program works.
“Gateway, for me, is probably one of the best treatment centers I’ve been to. I’ve been to quite a few,” said Miller, one of the women in the program. “I really like the one-on-one aspect, but also it feels like a home. Not just a treatment center. It makes me feel like I am somebody, not just a number. And I really enjoy the faith-based aspect of it all. Just being able to get closer to God, or my higher power, and still be able to learn how to live life on life’s terms.”
Another resident, Julie Steltzner, appreciates the wide focus of the program.
“I like being at Gateway a lot better than a regular treatment facility because we are learning all kinds of skills, not just what’s going to apply to our recovery but what applies to everyday life,” Steltzner.
Jeanette Sumner said the Gateway program combines well with other programs to help her stay on her feet.
“We do Bible study. I go to church,” Sumner said. “I’m going to college now. I’m in Drug Court. N.A., A.A. There’s a lot of legs holding my table up. If one falls I’m more likely to still stand,” she said.
“Since I’ve been at the Gateway house I’ve become very well-rounded. There’s a lot of balance in my life now.”
If there’s a downside, it’s that it’s not easy to get into the Gateway house. The house capacity is eight, and new applicants are not accepted without first considering how people fit into the group as a whole.
Gateway also works closely with other organizations, like the YWCA, for example.
“If the Y has a client in their program, and maybe the YWCA isn’t working out for them, they might consider our program, if they need smaller-knit, if they need more structure,” Fisher said. “We’ve had people the Y has referred to us, and we have clients we’ve referred to them. Not every program is fit for every person, so it’s good to have the variety and good to have the connections.”
How does someone seeking recovery options find groups?
To find Alcoholics Anonymous groups, visit aa-iowa.org. For Narcotics Anonymous, try na.org/meetingsearch.
Narcotics Anonymous in the area:
Fort Dodge — 12 N. Seventh St., 7 p.m. Friday.
Shalom Center — 501 N. 12th St., 7 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday.
Lohrville — 109 Fourth St., 7 p.m. Monday.
Lake City — Pilgrim Lutheran Church, 720 E. Main St., 7 p.m. Saturday.
Boone — 917 10th St., 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Algona — 600 N. Ridgley St., 8 p.m. Saturday, Monday, Wednesday.
Carroll — Recovery Hall, 1240 Heirs Ave., 7 p.m. Thursday, noon Saturday.
Jefferson — Central Christian Church, 108 N. Elm St., 5:30 p.m. Sunday.
Alcoholics Anonymous in Fort Dodge:
Fox Hall Group: St. Mark’s Church, 1007 First Ave S., 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Came To Believe Group: Alano Club, 12 N. Seventh St., 8 p.m. Friday.
Girls By The Book Womens Group: Alano Club, 12 N. Seventh St., 9:30 a.m. Saturday.
Grapevine Group: 3rd Tradition Building, 308 First Ave N., 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Monday Noon Eyeopeners Group: Alano Club, 12 N. Seventh Street, noon Monday
Night AA Group: 3rd Tradition Building, 1308 First Ave. N., 7 p.m. Thursday through Tuesday.
Noon AA Group: Alano Club, 12 N. Seventh Street, noon Thursday.
Promises Group: First Methodist Church, north door, First Avenue North and 10th Street, noon Tuesday.
Reflections Of First Avenue Group: St. Mark’s Church, 1007 First Ave. S., 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Saturday Nite AA Group: Community & Family Resource, 726 S. 17th St., 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
Saturday Noon Alano Club Group: Alano Club, 12 N. Seventh St., noon Saturday.
Sunday Morning Group: Alano Club, 12 N. Seventh St., 10:30 a.m. Sunday.
Sunday Night Big Book Study Group: Alano Club, 12 N. Seventh St., 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
Sunday Nite Open Group: Alano Club, 12 N. Seventh St., 6 p.m. Sunday.
T.G.I.F. Group: Alano Club, 12 N. Seventh St., noon Friday.
Third Tradition Group: 3rd Tradition Building, 1308 First Ave. N., noon seven days a week.
Thursday Night Big Book Study Group: Alano Club, 12 N. Seventh St., 7 p.m. Thursday.
Tuesday Alano Group: Alano Club, 12 N. Seventh St., 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Tuesday Noon Group: Alano Club, 12 N. Seventh St., noon Tuesday.
Wednesday Night Group: Alano Club, 12 N. Seventh St., 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Women’s AA Group: YWCA, 826 First Ave. N., 7 p.m. Monday.
Alcoholics Anonymous other towns:
Humboldt — Methodist Church, 107 Fourth St., Room 34, 7 p.m. Monday.
Jefferson — Central Christian Church, use north door, 106 N. Elm St., 7 p.m. Thursday.
Manson — His and Hers Group: Catholic Church, 1076 Eighth St., 7:30 p.m. Monday.
Pilot Mound — United Methodist Church, 210 Third St., 7 p.m. Monday.
Webster City — Trinity Lutheran Church, 1229 Kathy Lane, 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
Lake City — Historical Center School, 211 S. Center, 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Carroll — Basement of Morrison Apartments, 117 E. Sixth St., 8 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday; 10 a.m. Thursday; 8:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday. Light My Fire (Candlelite) Group: The Recovery Hall, 1240 Heirs Ave., 8 p.m. Saturday. Sober And Crazy Group: St. John’s Lutheran Church, 801 E. 18th St., 7 p.m. Sunday.
Sac City — South Courthouse Annex Basement, 100 S. State St., 8 p.m. Monday
Algona — Finn House 600 N. Ridgley, noon Monday, Wednesday Friday; 7:30 p.m. Tuesday; 6 p.m., 8 p.m. Thursday; 9 a.m. Saturday. 401 Diagonal St., 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Emmetsburg — Iowa Trust Savings Bank, 2101 10th St., 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.
Clarion — 210 Second Street N.W., 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Gilmore City — United Methodist Church, 111 S.E. Second St., 7:30 p.m. Monday.
Laurens — First Christian Church, 344 W. Section Line Road, 7 p.m. Friday.
Pocahontas — United Methodist Church, 115 W. Second St., 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Eagle Grove — 510 S. Jackson Ave., 8 p.m. Wednesday.