Substance Abuse Center closes

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

Millie Lee Dulaney has been the backbone of the Black Belt Education Coalition.

Ironically, it is her back that has forced her to discontinue one of the coalition’s programs.

Email newsletter signup

The Substance Abuse Center is closing its doors this week because Dulaney has had to undergo treatment for chronic back problems.

The center, located at 816 Selma Avenue, has been in existence for one year and was the location for weekly Cocaine Anonymous meetings. It was created as a resource for Black Belt residents to come and receive support from individuals who have also dealt with substance addictions.

Dulaney said the coalition is looking for someone who can hold meetings long term and meanwhile, all is not lost. Resources are still available to those who may be struggling with addictions.

“They’ll have a hotline to my house. Anyone who needs help can call this number, 877-4648, and I can steer them in the right direction,” Dulaney said. “We can do outreach, and it’s available 24 hours a day. That’s what we’ll do at this time.”

Dulaney said the Cocaine Anonymous members who have come to treatment at the center have been successful at remaining sober.

Dulaney herself is a recovering addict. After her recovery, she has attended college, published books, and worked as a campaign activist in Nevada and California. She came to Selma to assist her mother, who has since passed.

“I’m not down for the count,” Dulaney said from her home on Wednesday. “I’m doing okay, other than having pain and having to lie down a lot. I call it ‘Aging 101.'”

Lawrence Matlock, a trustee for the Atlantic-South division of Cocaine Anonymous World Services, said even though the closing is a loss, it doesn’t mean members don’t have support.

“Sometimes, in smaller locations, meetings are held at somebody’s home,” Matlock said. “It doesn’t have to be at the center. But people need the support of each other to stay sober, and it could be really hard if people have to go far [to get that].”

Cocaine Anonymous is noted for its 12 Steps to Recovery Program and commitment to sobriety for recovering addicts. It was founded in 1982 and estimates that approximately 2,000 meetings are held each week in the United States and Canada. The program is not affiliated with any religious denomination, political group, sect or any other organization or institution.