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History of ACARA

Ken Wilson, owner/director of Steppingstones To Recovery, had been complaining for years about the substance abuse treatment providers in the CSRA not communicating with each other and working in a vacuum. Taking a peer, Steve Winkelman (director at the Insight program) to lunch one day with the same old complaint he was confronted with “What are you going to do about it?!!!” Ken then returned to his office in September 2008 and invited all known substance abuse treatment providers in town to a common meeting to share ideas, different program admission requirements, upcoming seminars, and to mutually support each other. That month only 6 people showed up but in a short period of time the idea caught on and within a year the organization came up with a name for itself and sponsored their first annual Run For Recovery with 125 runners in September 2009, the national annual Recovery Month!

The second year the organization not only organized a Run for Recovery but a dinner to promote awareness for recovery – this event has become a regular September gathering in Augusta with politicians, representatives of the legal profession, church pastors, counselors, and interested persons who want to promote recovery and support the treatment of addictive diseases.

At this point in time there are no loftier goals than those stated here, though the future may bring more efforts to unite for community projects and issues.

A year or so ago the coalition decided to create this website to direct people who call our agencies to consult for substance abuse treatment in the CSRA. The agencies in the coalition spend inordinate amounts of time referring callers to agencies that are appropriate for different needs and this website is an easy to use resource for such seekers.

All substance abuse treatment providers have an open invitation to attend the monthly meetings of ACARA on the last Wednesday of each month, 12 noon – 1 p.m. The coalition provides a salad and drinks and if an attended wants to bring his/her own soup/sandwich they are encouraged to do so.