New drop-in center for women in recovery

Linda Hamilton

Linda Hamilton saw a need for a supportive respite space for women with substance abuse issues in the Bridgton area, and has begun WomanSpace, a weekly drop-in center at the Bridgton Community Center. WomanSpace will meet on Fridays from 6:30 to 8 p.m., beginning with an open house at 6:30 p.m. this Friday, Sept. 21.

“Our mission is to support recovery for women with substance use issues,” Hamilton said. “Although there are formal meetings such as Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous active in the area, they are mostly mixed gender, and many of the services for women are not easily accessible from the Bridgton area.”

Research shows that there are unique risk factors, treatment and recovery needs specific to women with substance abuse disorders, she said. “It will be a place where they can network, find peer support, talk about what their needs are and work on addressing those needs.”

Professionals in the community who work with women in the field of substance abuse agree that a local support group with positive energy would be helpful in women’s recovery, she said, “increasing their success and, in turn, the success of families in our area.”

WomanSpace will offer a safe, comfortable environment where women will find support, get information, talk with others and relax and recharge. The women may be questioning their use of drugs and alcohol, or have been in professional treatment and want to stay clean on the outside, but aren’t sure how. Or, they might have been in recovery for years.

There will be light refreshments at the open house, where women can get information and resource materials, talk to others, or simply relax and recharge. There’ll be access to computers and the Internet, and the community center provides other opportunities, such as computer, exercise and nutrition classes, other support groups, meals and recreational activities.

The Bridgton Community Center is located at 12 Depot Street, behind the Magic Lantern and Renys. For questions regarding WomanSpace or the open house, please contact Hamilton at 523-0700.

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