TWIN FALLS, Idaho — The Walker Center has been committed to participating in Alcohol Awareness Month throughout April.
For the past 27 days, they have showcased a piece of artwork on their Facebook page created by current patients and alumni each day.
“To produce a little bit more empathy, compassion, and understanding as what it may look like on the other side of the bottle,” said Tom Arthur, long-term recovering alcoholic and Walker Center outreach coordinator.
The staff at the Walker Center said their focus this month is on spreading awareness and reducing the stigma associated with alcohol addiction. They offer outpatient treatment in Twin Falls and inpatient treatment in Gooding for drug and alcohol addiction. The center said they have seen an exponential increase in alcohol use during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have our highest level that I can remember in being here in the last 6 and a half or 7 years being referred to a residential or hospitalization for their alcohol use,” said clinical supervisor Sarah Walling-Gifford.
The Twin Falls Crisis center said out of the approximate 3,000 people they help in a year, 70% of them are dual diagnosed, with one of the diagnoses being a substance use disorder.
“Being an alcoholic myself,” said Arthur. “Hopefully show some people that there is some hope out there too. That if they are suffering or if someone, they love is suffering that recovery is an option, and they don’t have to spend the rest of their lives drinking themselves to death.”
The Walker Center will continue to share the artwork of past and current patients for the rest of the month.