Refuge Recovery is a peer-to-peer addiction program that is changing lives

by Dave Goddard

If you are thinking of seeking treatment for yourself or a loved one for drug, alcohol, or behavioral addiction, you are far from alone. The number of people suffering from habitual dependence in America is truly astounding. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), nearly 20 million Americans battled a substance abuse problem in 2018. In addition, many other people suffer from behavioral addictions related to activities such as eating, sex, shopping, gambling, gaming, and more.

Addiction poses a very serious public health problem, not only to those who suffer directly, but also to the friends and family of the addict. Fortunately, there are many forms of treatment available. There are over 14,500 specialized addiction treatment facilities in the U.S. that provide a variety of care options. There are also numerous widely known grassroots programs, including Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA).

One of the fastest growing successful peer-to-peer addiction treatment programs is Refuge Recovery, a Buddhist-based, non-theistic, mindfulness-centered approach to the recovery process. Refuge Recovery positively emphasizes that recovery from addiction is possible and provides a systematic method for treating all forms of habitual dependence. No previous knowledge of Buddhism or meditation is necessary. All that is required is an open mind and a willingness to undertake the hard work required.

Refuge Recovery incorporates taking stock of the suffering caused by addiction, investigating the causes and conditions that lead to addiction, and beginning the process of letting go. Those involved in the program come to understand that there is a path that leads away from the suffering caused by addiction and engaging in a process that leads to recovery. The program does not espouse or require adopting a new religion or philosophy. However, it does recognize that meditation, mindfulness, honest self-appraisal, loving-kindness, and forgiveness are paramount to recovery.

Refuge Recovery takes place on Sunday nights at 6:30 p.m. at Parkside Yoga, 2 Wallace Avenue, in North Buffalo and on Wednesday nights at 7 pm at Veda WNY, 6161 Transit Road in East Amherst. Whether you are a substance abuse addict, a behavioral addict, a concerned friend or family member, or simply curious, all are welcome to attend. Meetings usually incorporate a 20-minute period of meditation (which can be guided upon request), a short book reading, followed by a period of open discussion.

Addiction is a serious, even life-threatening health problem, but you don’t have to suffer forever, or alone. If a mindful, meditative approach to addiction recovery sounds right for you, please consider coming to a meeting. Learn more at www.refugercovery.organd on Facebook at Refuge Recovery Buffalo.

Dave Goddard is a WNY member of Refuge Recovery. He has been clean and sober for over 30 years.