September 29, 2005

Oscar, an ASC Peer Educator and member of ASC's Recovery Support Program, takes a moment out from the nonstop fun at the Family Picnic to strike a pose with his daughter and grandson.

On Sunday, August 20, ASC's Recovery Support Program, H.I.G.H. On Recovery ("How I Got Help") hosted its second annual Family Picnic in Central Park for nearly 80 participants and family members.

H.I.G.H. On Recovery services at ASC are peer-designed and peer-delivered, with the aim of promoting long-term recovery from substance use.

Open to all, the picnic reached out to men and women in early recovery, offering an opportunity to socialize and have fun in a drug-free environment.

"The Family Picnic is about relaxation, and quality time with friends and family, but it's also about helping people build camaraderie and realize a sense of purpose in their lives," says Eric Driver, Program Manager of ASC's Recovery Support Services Program.

ASC provided a bountiful spread of traditional picnic fare for everyone who attended. Children tested their skill in catch-and-release fishing at the Harlem Meer, families played games together, and volunteers regaled the kids with face painting. Participants received gift bags with information on recovery and risk reduction, along with materials on ASC's array of programs.

As a result of the event, a number of people previously unaffiliated with ASC have visited our main offices to pursue additional ASC services.

"We're thrilled with the outcome," observes Driver. "Events like these are especially meaningful for people whose history of drug use has left them estranged from their families and communities. People in recovery—especially those living with HIV/AIDS—need to break through their isolation and establish a network of peers who are going through same thing they are. That's what our program and events like these are all about."

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