Seen in/Heard on: WAMC Northeast Public Radio 

Friday, May 17, 2019

A recovery center in Saratoga Springs has doubled in size. The center hopes to provide new programs for people battling addiction and their families. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard took a tour.

Healing Springs Recovery and Outreach Center in Saratoga Springs has a new look. Through funding from the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services and the federal State Opioid Response program, the recovery center that opened on High Rock Avenue in 2016 has expanded from 1,500 to 3,000 square feet.

The expansion includes a new library, office space, an art room, and a multi-purpose “living room” that can be used free of charge for people in recovery or seeking recovery. There’s also a larger, existing room that can be used for a variety of meetings and activities.

Janine Stuchin is Executive Director of The Prevention Council of Saratoga, which operates the recovery center.

“But here we can have on Friday nights, yoga can be going on on one side, we can have movie night on this side. Or game night. Or people that simply want to come here and talk, but not do art. So folks are doing are in the other room…” said Stuchin.

The center does not provide treatment services, but is intended to be a sober environment where people can support each other.

Stuchin says the center is “heavily utilized.” Healing Springs accommodates 400 people a month.

“We are open and support all methods, all paths to recovery. So we would welcome anybody in recovery, seeking recovery from addiction, and their family members. And family can come even if a loved one is not ready to go through treatment and seek recovery,” said Stuchin.

In addition to offering new programs and activities, the expansion has allowed Healing Springs to bring on a new part-time certified recovery peer advocate.

Family Support Navigator Brendan Norton, who is in recovery himself, has a master’s degree in counseling and works with families across Saratoga, Warren, and Washington County.

“So my role changes  a lot – this thing rings all the time – so that’s often a big part of what my day looks like…” said Norton.

Norton says Healing Springs is a place where people looking to overcome substance abuse can be referred to other services. He says it also can be a place where families can meet other families in similar situations.

“There’s very much the stigma of addiction that’s still alive today. And I had one mom say to me, ‘I don’t know what’s worse, my daughter’s addiction or other’s attitudes about her addiction.’ So families can connect with other families who are here for the same reason. And there’s no judgement. So that’s one of the biggest things. It’s a judgement free zone and a little bit of hope,” said Norton.

Healing Springs is located at the Mill at 125 High Rock Avenue in Saratoga Springs