A couple of months ago a spaghetti fundraiser was held for the Oxford Houses in Great Bend. Oxford Houses are residences for people who are recovering from substance abuse. We were inspired by the stories a couple of brave young men shared which helped us understand just how difficult it is to become and remain sober once a person is addicted. Living in an Oxford House helps these recovering addicts stay sober by living in a substance free environment with accountability and emotional support.
A few weeks ago the Great Bend City Council granted a license for a Beer Garden in connection with the “June Jaunt,” and will again later for the “Party in the Park.” Since then, I have been thinking that recovering addicts may have to avoid community events where beer is made available since that may be a stumbling block for them. I am also concerned about the message that we give to children and youth that alcohol must be included to have fun activities. Now that the alcohol content of beer is nearly double what it was, public consumption can be even more problematic, and people are not usually walking home from these events.
Seriously, why can’t we have fun, non-alcoholic community events that everyone, even those in recovery can attend and enjoy? It seems to me that as a caring community we should be willing to support those who struggle with addiction by showing respect and solidarity with alcohol-free community events.
Dee Anne Grummon