Therapy dog to assist at EKY addiction centers

Published 10:38 am Thursday, March 23, 2023

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A new furry face is joining Addiction Recovery Care (ARC) as a puppy, appropriately named “ARChie,” will visit ARC’s facilities providing comfort to those battling addiction and past traumas.

Two women near the St. Louis area, donated the dog to ARC.  Betty Jean Clark and Christine Brandt formed Mystic Kashmir Goldie’s for breeding golden retrievers in 2021. When they learned about Addiction Recovery Care, they knew their pups could help clients heal from trauma bettering their odds at discovering recovery.

According to ARC, post-traumatic stress, or PTS, and substance use disorder, SUD, often occur together after a traumatic event.  Research shows that people with PTS are more at-risk for substance use disorders, with 27.9% of women and 51.9% of men with lifetime PTS also experiencing SUD.  And for those pursuing recovery from SUD, trauma can make sustained recovery more challenging.

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“The folks that we serve at Addiction Recovery Care are fighting a lot of battles they don’t want to talk about related to traumas that sometimes a confidant in a dog ear is a little easier for folks who have suffered trauma and are working through the chains of addiction,” said Lawrence Vinson, ARC’s Chief of Staff.

ARChie will undergo six to nine months of training at Canines 4 Comfort in Illinois.  There he will learn to become a therapy dog and live as a member of Vinson’s family.

“He has the best personality already. He is very laid back and super chill. He is very compassionate,” Vinson noted.  “It’s surprising to me how calm he is.  I’ve never had a puppy that is 15 weeks old and is laying at my feet fast asleep with other people in the room.”

Vinson says ARC will consider adding more therapy dogs in the future.

Addiction Recovery Care operates a network of 36 licensed, Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities-accredited addiction treatment centers in Central and Eastern Kentucky.  Headquartered in Louisa, Kentucky, ARC offers a full continuum of care including detox, residential, transitional, intensive outpatient, outpatient, medically assisted treatment, vocational rehabilitation, and job training.