For 16 years, Bob Rice has been drug-free and alcohol-free, but it wasn’t too long ago that his life was full of challenges.
“My life was caving in around me,” said Rice, of Rock Hill. “I had a lot of issues with substance use and some financial management problems.”
It’s because of his struggles that Rice now helps others find their own path to recovery. Rice now serves as the executive director for FAVOR (Faces and Voices of Recovery) Tri-County, through which he helps people recover from substance abuse to turn their lives around.
FAVOR Tri-County, a nonprofit serving York, Chester, Lancaster and Fairfield counties, focuses on advocacy, education and peer-based recovery support services. The organization is part of the statewide FAVOR South Carolina.
“I value my recovery because it has given my life purpose and meaning,” Rice said. “It allows me to be a loving husband, father and grandfather, a law-abiding citizen and a productive member of my community.”
FAVOR Tri-County’s Rally for Recovery is 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday at Fewell Park, 1204 Alexander Road in Rock Hill.
The annual event is in support of National Recovery Month in September and will feature food, fellowship and activities.
Amid the national Opioid crisis and other substance abuse issues, Rice said the organization aims to help people find other ways to deal with their struggles.
In York County, more than 17, 000 people, or 7.6 percent of the population, are in recovery from substance use, according to the national FAVOR organization. More than 23 million Americans are recovering from addiction to alcohol and other drugs.
“One thing we want to draw attention to is the reality of recovery in the lives of millions,” Rice said. “Our focus is on the solution. We’ve spent enough time focusing on the problem, now it’s time to focus on viable solutions.”
We’ve spent enough time focusing on the problem, now it’s time to focus on viable solutions.
Research suggests the brain can heal during recovery, Rice said.
“Recovery does give back what addiction takes away,” he said.
Rice has an office at Renew Our Community (ROC) in Rock Hill, where FAVOR Tri-County offers fee-free recovery coaching provided by volunteer certified peer support specialists several days a week.
The organization also partners with the 16th Circuit solicitor’s drug court program to meet weekly with drug court participants. During the meetings, people meet with their peers to develop a recovery plan and set goals.
The idea is to help people in recovery take responsibility for their own journey, Rice said.
“We try to encourage them to develop a strategy of their own recovery, and we walk with them as they pursue that recovery journey,” he said. “We value the fact that there are many paths to recovery, and the one that is going to work best for any individual is the one they choose.”
Thanks to a $50,000 grant from the S.C. Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services, FAVOR Tri-County has plans to soon open its own recovery community center in the community, Rice said. FAVOR Tri-County must match the grant amount by providing a facility and volunteer hours, he said.
The group is looking for an affordable space in Rock Hill, Rice said. He said the center needs to be located near people it will serve, regardless if it is close to areas where substance abuse may be common.
“Being in a community among the people you serve is more important than having a facility that’s distant from any kind of influences like that,” he said.
At the center, the organization will offer services such as peer-led recovery groups, in which participants rate themselves in different areas of their life and explain what it means to be where they are, Rice said.
The exercise is to help them understand why they may struggle in certain areas of life and understand that “recovery, as life is, is full of challenges,” Rice said.
Having a dedicated center will allow FAVOR Tri-County to expand what the organization can offer to the York, Chester, Lancaster and Fairfield communities, Rice said.
“Recovery is contagious and we’d like to have more people exposed to that element and hopefully catch it,” he said.
Recovery is contagious and we’d like to have more people exposed to that element and hopefully catch it.
Bob Rice, executive director of FOCUS TriCounty
Saturday’s rally will feature a magician, a comedian, music, henna tattoos, face painting, BBQ and recovery messaging, Rice said.
“Come out and have some clean fun,” he said.
Amanda Harris: 803-329-4082
Want to go?
What: 8th annual FAVOR Tri-County Rally for Recovery
When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sept. 23
Where: Fewell Park, 1204 Alexander Road, Rock Hill
The rally will feature a magician, a comedian, music, henna tattoos, face painting, BBQ and recovery messaging.
More information: favortricounty.org