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Hope is Dope

BC3 event focused on physiology of good feeling

December 10, 2018 News Extra

Ken Clowes tells his own story of beating addiction at Monday night's Hope Night event at the Butler Art Center. Tanner Cole/Butler Eagle
Jerrod Markle, 31, of Butler paints a picture at Hope Night. Markle, a member of Hope is Dope's advisory board, was taking part in one of several endorphin-stimulating activities at the night's event. Tanner Cole/Butler Eagle

Drugs aren't the route to a good time.

That was the message Monday during Butler County Community College's “Reset Your Brain” classe as the college's staff, the local group Hope is Dope, which ran the class, and the Butler Art Center organized a night of fun. After all, good times are key to addiction recovery, according to Hope is Dope's leader and the author of a book by the same title, Steve Treu.

“Endorphins are the body's opioids,” Treu told the crowd. “Say it with me everyone: 'We must produce endorphins.'”

The festivities all centered around releasing good-feeling chemicals into the brain, according to Tracy Hack, BC3's coordinator of community leadership initiatives. Fun nights spent with others can help mend out-of-whack brain chemistry, the theory goes.

The meeting Monday was a trial run. It's hoped to be a companion to recovery programs in the area. If it continues, future sessions may involve things like yoga or comedy shows. They're all going to be free. The next will likely be in January. “Reset Your Brain” classes begin again in April.

These kinds of companion events are needed, Treu argues, because many recovering addicts feel emotionally dropped off once they've gotten sober.

Read the full story in Tuesday's Butler Eagle.