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Recovery is only a step — or 5k — away

By Lorenzo Salinas



The path to recovery starts with one step — and in this case, a very literal step toward a walking path in Port Arthur.

Golden Triangle Recovery Community Organization is hosting its first ever Southeast Texas Walk of Hope at the Carl Parker Center in Port Arthur. It is a 5K run and/or walk dedicated to those who suffer from addiction.

The walk starts at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Carl Parker Center on 1800 Lakeshore Drive in Port Arthur. Registration is $15 and includes a T-shirt and wristband.

Erica Arabie is a recovery coach with Spindletop. She and fellow coach Juanita Dixon organized the walk to fill a perceived gap in recovery awareness within the community.

“We work with all kinds of people and discuss mental health and substance abuse recovery,” Arabie said. “As a person with lived experience, I can say there’s not a lot of talk about addiction and recovery out there.”

She described addiction as a shame-based disease, something not given much heft in society as a whole.

“There’s no awareness for addiction and so we want to bring awareness for addiction,” Arabie said. “So those people could have options.”

She highlighted the need for addiction awareness, since there are already dozens of walks for cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

Arabie wants people suffering from addiction to know there are options for them to get help, including government-funded centers and peer-supported groups like Spindletop.

“We’re here to bring some options to the community and to insure they have some hope,” she said.

The walk will start at the center and proceed down the seawall to Rose Hill and back. There will be three different cooling stations along the way to refresh participants with either water or Gatorade.

Arabie said she hopes the Walk of Hope would bring in at least 150 people, but she said organizers have prepared for twice that amount.

Golden Triangle Recovery is an information bureau that caters to those who have suffered or are suffering from addiction.

“We have monthly meetings in the Beaumont probation office where everyone in the community gets together and has information for people in recovery,” Arabie said.

She said that she and fellow workers have definitely seen an uptick in addiction numbers since Harvey.

“Sometimes those huge events cause depression, especially if you lose everything…” Arabie said. “And we’ve learned in our experience, with our lived experience, that others are more likely to listen to us as opposed to others because I can tell you I’ve been exactly where you’ve been.”

Proceeds from the walk will go to the 2018 Southeast Texas Recovery Rally in the Park, held annually at Gilham Circle in Port Arthur.

“This is open to anyone who wants to participate, and is focused on anyone who’s suffered from addiction…” Arabie said. “We’re here to bring hope and to remove the stigma of talking about addiction.”

For more information, call either Erica or Juanita at 679-4370 or 499-4987 respectively.