Youth recovery organization extends reach to 20-somethings

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GREENFIELD — It’s a question Linda Ostewig gets all the time.

Probably once a week, someone asks whether a friend or a relative can attend the support groups or worship provided at the Landing Place, even though they’re older than the target age of 13 to 19.

Ostewig always says they can come and observe, but it weighed on her, not having a support system in place for people older than 19 struggling with addiction.

The Landing will offer an evidence-based program called “The Bridge,” to provide support to people ages 18 to 28 in recovery from substance abuse addiction with tools of recovery management, Ostewig said. The Bridge will use the curriculum of “Living in Balance,” which draws from cognitive-behavioral, experiential and 12-Step approaches, to help people struggling with addiction to progress into a life based around recovery, she said.

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The program opens Aug. 28 at the Landing Place, 18 W. South St., and is currently being offered free of charge, Ostewig said.

It’s not just in Hancock County that people in their 20s are at risk of becoming addicted to opioids and needing recovery support.

According to a report released as part of Indiana’s Integrated Response to the Opioid Epidemic, the age group most likely to report nonmedical use of heroin and prescription opioids was 18 to 25 years. Almost one in 10 young people 18-25 years old (9.5 percent) reported nonmedical use of prescription pain medication in the past year, according to the abstract.

People in that age group of 18 to 28 often have trouble fitting in at other recovery programs aimed at adults, and those aimed at teens, she said.

“They need a feeling of belonging, of community and connection,” she said. “This way, we can also transition students out of the Landing and into the Bridge, and give them more.”

Leaders of the program have begun the process of becoming certified addiction recovery coaches through training from the Indiana Counselors Association on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. Earlier this month, leaders were reviewing the “Living in Balance” curriculum and figuring out how they could use their personal experiences to best present the information.

Terri and Scott Neal of Fortville are two of the people making up the leadership team for the new support group program.

Terri Neal, who has been in addiction recovery for nearly eight years, said Ostewig was the first person to support her throughout the process and inspired her to use her experiences to help others.

“Her vision inspired me and helped me in my recovery. (Supporting others in recovery) is what I aspire to do, myself,” she said. “When Linda explained The Bridge to me, I knew when she was talking about it that it was something I wanted to be a part of.”

Scott Neal said the couple has been involved with leadership of the Celebrate Recovery program, a 12 step, faith-based recovery program offered at Brandywine Community Church. He and his wife wanted to explore a new area, outside of the 12-step program model, he said.

The Neals aren’t the only couple coming from Celebrate Recovery to help lead The Bridge.

Carmen and Dave Scifres are also in the process of training as certified addiction recovery coaches. The couple started a Celebrate Recovery program in Peru, Indiana, before moving to Greenfield about four years ago, Dave Scifres said. Through Bradley United Methodist Church, the couple helped provide meals once a month to the teens attending the Landing, and that’s where Ostewig became acquainted with them and approached them about helping to establish the new program for people ages 18 to 28.

Ostewig hopes by offering The Bridge, she will be able to move a step closer to her goal of the Landing Place becoming the place people think of for healing from addiction, she said.

“We want to be the recovery center for Hancock County, where people can call in and get coached, and we can have different meetings and programs throughout the building for recovery,” she said.

For more information, contact the Landing Place at 317-477-8483.

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The Bridge, a new program beginning Aug. 28 at The Landing Place, 18. W. South St., Greenfield, is a support group that uses tools of recovery management offered especially to people age 18 to 28. It will be led by certified addiction recovery coaches and will pair a larger discussion with breakout sessions in smaller groups. 

For more information or to sign up for the free support group, visit thelandingplacehc.com or call 317-477-8483. 

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