Anyone who abuses drugs or alcohol -- or both -- is in need of serious help. That need was recognized 30 years ago when the first Family Counseling Center opened in Kennett, Mo. Since then, other centers have opened in Caruthersville, Hayti, Poplar Bluff, Cape Girardeau and a new center at West Plains.
This week, the centers have been observing their 30-year milestone with special events. There is much to celebrate. The centers currently serve 6,000 clients a year in 31 Southeast Missouri counties.
The 30-bed facility in Cape Girardeau is one of two facilities in Missouri where mothers can bring their children. The center is always full. Clients are referred from the legal system, state agencies or recovered clients.
In 2007, the Cape Girardeau center will begin offering psychiatric help along with drug and alcohol counseling. This will be an improvement on the existing system that refers clients to several separate agencies.
Anyone who has had a family member or friend at the Family Counseling Center in Cape Girardeau, or has supported the center at any of its frequent fund-raising activities such as car washes, knows how grateful the women are for an opportunity to turn their lives around in a setting that allows them to be with their children.
The services the centers provide in our area of the state are to be commended for their years of helping thousands of clients recover from drug and alcohol abuse. The work they do helps improve lives in so many important ways.