By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – “The director and support meetings at the ARC (Addiction Referral Center) saved my life,” said Terry C., “and I continue to give back to the ARC what was so freely given to me.” I am a dedicated volunteer assisting the director and other individuals trying to get sober. I continue to use the ARC for a safe haven which is vital to my recovery.”
These sincere words of a recovering alcoholic express the feelings of many who are and have been availing themselves of services offered at the ARC and a place to go where they can spend time with others changing their lives for the better and making lasting friendships. A minimum of four daily on-site Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Alanon and other 12-step meetings are held and are well attended. Early Risers – 6:45 -8 a.m. – is the favorite meeting of many who incorporate it into their daily routine.
It all began 47 years ago when a small group of recovering alcoholics, wanting to stay sober and help others, started a drop-in center on Lincoln Street., It flourished, was well attended and supported and eventually moved to the present location – 33 Main St.
Through its vast network of services and interaction with many Social Service agencies, ARC is knowledgeable and experienced in handling all types of referrals and placement for specialized forms of addiction and alcoholism for the afflicted, their families and loved ones. To help many who come to the ARC to build confidence, self-esteem and learn how to lead a productive, self-sustaining life, Director Marie Cheetham and the staff of volunteers also help clients with resume development, job searching techniques, computer instruction, and individual Recovery Coach support services.
The director also works cohesively with the State Court System in allowing those in the court mandated community to perform services at the ARC, while also attending 12-step meetings. This service not only directly helps the individual to become sober and drug free but it saves tax money by keeping them from being incarcerated. The group also provides speakers for area schools, businesses and organizations, informing all on the danger of addiction, introducing them to the many resources available, with the help and guidance of members of ARC’s active Board of Directors.