A welcoming and supportive space has been created beneath the Shamokin Public Library on East Independence Street to help people recover and regain their strengths.

There are pool and ping-pong tables, TVs and games in this large open space, all set up to help people come together to fight back against addictions to alcohol or drugs.

On Sunday, they celebrated the opening of the Oasis Community Recovery Club with an open house.

“About two years ago, I started this little project, and by the summer of 2019, we had our 501c (non-profit status) in place to get started,” Danielle Houtz told us on Sunday.

The Oasis Community Recovery Club is a “recovery clubhouse,” a place to hold all types of support meetings and events that support all efforts to maintain sobriety, she said.

The club is hosting five support meetings a week and looking to expand the offerings. In addition, the club sponsors “sober events,” such as parties on Super Bowl Sunday and New Year’s Eve. This year, a gathering is planned for Thanksgiving evening.

The efforts can be especially helpful for those fighting back against addictions because community and peer support are key factors in helping people on their journey to recovery, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

In an article titled “Principles of Effective Treatment,” the NIDA notes that a person’s motivation to change course away from addiction can be enhanced by “providing incentives for abstinence, building skills to resist drug use, replacing drug-using activities with constructive and rewarding activities, improving problem-solving skills and facilitating better interpersonal relationships. Also, participation in group therapy and other peer support programs during and following treatment can help maintain abstinence.”

Clearly, the Oasis Community Recovery Club has established an effective agenda, but they will need sources of funding as they continue to move forward.

“We don’t have grants yet, but we do fundraising,” Houtz said, adding that the community has helped by providing food and supplies. “But we are living on donations.”

We commend the founding members of Oasis Community Recovery Club for their efforts to help others, congratulate all on the opening of their new club space and wish them the best.

Tax-deductible donations are welcome. They can be mailed to the Oasis Community Recovery Club, 707 N. Liberty St., Shamokin, PA 17872.

NOTE: Opinions expressed in The Daily Item’s editorials are the consensus of the publisher, top newsroom executives and community members of the editorial board. Today’s was written by Digital Editor Dave Hilliard.

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