Outdoor addiction recovery program seeks applicants | News

Verdun Adventure Bound in Rixeyville is currently accepting applicants for Project SOAR, a free eight-week recovery program for addicts.

The upcoming spring rotation, which begins March 15, will include kayaking, rock climbing, woodworking, gardening, cooking, yoga and meditation. Participants meet at the recreation center Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 am to 3 pm and are required to commit for the full eight weeks. Registration is limited to 15 participants. Applicants must also be sober.

Aimed particularly at those in the early stages of recovery, the program is designed to help participants overcome critical factors that lead to relapse by promoting physical and mental wellness, and fostering healthy coping mechanisms, according to a press release.

The first 90 days out of rehab or incarceration especially is a “crisis period” in recovery, said Sean McElhinney, executive director of Verdun Adventure Bound. “You’re going back to everyday life, navigating relationships, maybe going back to old activities.” So the point of the course, he said, is to teach participants healthy habits and give them a chance to network more positive relationships.

In creating the program, McElhinney and his staff worked with Spiritworks Recovery Center in Warrenton and counselors from the Rappahannock Rapidan Community Services Board. Come As You Are, a Warrenton-based nonprofit, has helped fund the program, and the SEE Recovery Center in Culpeper provides transportation for participants, said McElhinney. The first Project SOAR was held in January 2020, a second in the fall of 2021.

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