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Arkansas recovery program hosts sober New Year’s celebration

Level Up, a faith-based addiction recovery center, created a safe celebration space for people who might feel alone or easily influenced.

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — With New Year's celebrations happening across Arkansas, there are options available to celebrate sober.

Creating this safe space is a top priority for Level Up, a faith-based addiction recovery program.

Cody Hardesty, who is a Christian music artist, said that he'll be among the hundreds ushering in 2023.

"I want to be able to share my story with others," Hardesty said.

Part of his story goes all the way back to when he was 14 years old.

"I got bullied from eighth grade to ninth grade," Hardesty said. "During those years, I was peer pressured to do meth."

An addiction that would take a toll on his life for three and a half years.

"It made my life miserable," Hardesty said. "I wasn't able to do anything to focus straight. I wasn't even able to drive."

He said his faith is the reason why he's alive, well and clean today.

It's also a big reason why he's spending his New Year's Eve with people who might be battling addiction.

Executive Director of Level Up Britni Boyce said being in a safe space promotes healthy living.

"I believe addicts should not just be sober, but we have the full potential," Boyce said. "We should be living our best lives."

Boyce said those battling addictions might feel alone and possibly easily influenced around the new year.

"We're coming together in unity," Boyce said. "We don't want anyone to be alone this holiday season."

As a result, she invited people to ring in the new year together. She wanted to create a safe and sober safe spot for everyone to be loved and welcomed.

"We want to walk into the new year as the new us, stepping into this year [and] hoping for abundant blessings," Boyce said.

She feels optimistic that the celebration will inspire someone to stay sober and even kick their habit.

"If you messed up today, if you messed up yesterday, we want you in here with us so we can love on you," Boyce said. "There is a new version of yourself and we want to help you get there."

For Hardesty, kicking the addiction was hard, but it's something he hopes anyone struggling will be moved to take positive action.

"It's a real honor for me to be here," Hardesty said. "It gives me a chance to sit and to share my story and to help people get their life right.

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