NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Holidays can be a trigger for those recovering from addictions.

The organization Celebrate Recovery held a picnic at Burn’s Park for the first time for Labor Day.

For many, the day off means spending time with loved ones, BBQ, and possibly drinking.

But there weren’t any alcoholic beverages in the ice chests.

“It’s just for every hurt, habit or hang up you can think of,” Recovery Pastor for First Assembly Church Layne Mason said.

“It’s important for them to have an event like this that they can go to and see that they can have fun while being sober and not getting pulled over, not getting arrested, not doing anything that they’ll later regret.” Celebrate Recovery Ministry Leader Joshua Scott said.

Richard Tatum is recovering and said these events help a lot of people.

“Holidays tend to be triggers for people. Many of us had bad habits when holidays would come around. We’d find parties or invitations to drink or misbehave,” Tatum said.

Dozens showed up to enjoy the picnic safe and sober.

“The same things that we had when we were facing addictions or bad behaviors, we need something to replace those,” Tatum said.

This event was also about finding a family for those who might not have the healthiest environment at home.

“Oftentimes when people come into recovery, they don’t have things to do on holidays. We have events like this so they can come and spend time with their forever family, which is a safe environment,” Mason said.

People from all walks of life can find common ground and help each other walk a new path.

“So, whether or not you struggle with drugs, alcohol, divorce, anger, co-dependency, we’re here. We’re a community of like-minded individuals having a fun and productive time on this holiday,” Scott said.

It’s not all about eating chips and hot dogs.

“We need people who will feed us positive input, who will tell us the truth but also a good time to be had. Because we don’t want recovery to be something dull, it has to be fun in order to make it stick.”

Celebrate Recovery also holds a dinner at their location every Tuesday to offer support for those who need it. You can find more information about the group here.

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