Group offers hope in fighting addiction

By Lisa Burnett Originally Published May 26, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated May 24, 2013 at 11:55 a.m.
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Nick Hillemann

Rachel Campbell is a volunteer at Kelly’s Second Chance, a Beebe nonprofit that started out as a halfway house. Cambell said the group is made up of volunteers who assist people in need to get into rehab programs around the state.

— Albert Einstein, one of the more celebrated minds of the 20th century, is quoted to have said, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” It is such a belief that provides Rachel Campbell with an outlet of hope for utilizing her passion to help others.

This comes through in her involvement with Kelly’s Second Chance, a Beebe faith-based nonprofit organization that assists people in overcoming addiction.

Campbell, one of the founding members of Kelly’s Second Chance, said the group has been helping others since 2005.

She is the mother of a recovering drug addict, so she has experienced some of the same emotions as other families dealing with a drug-addicted family member.

“Everyone in our group has someone in their family or knows someone with a drug problem,” Campbell said. “We’ve all been touched in some way by drug use.”

The organization was named after Kelly Dean, a man who struggled with drug addiction and sought recovery. Shortly after completing rehab, he was killed in an auto accident, Campbell said.

The nonprofit has been in existence for eight years, and Campbell said the group isn’t looking to stop anytime soon.

“We’re going to keep it up however long we can do it,” Campbell said. “I think drugs will be around for a long time.”

Campbell said the group of nine volunteers meets monthly to discuss strategies in getting help for those in need.

“We assist [addicts] in getting to rehab and work with them to get jobs,” Campbell said.

In order to make arrangements for addicts and recovering addicts, fundraisers are held occasionally, such as golf tournaments, cookbook sales and an annual Bunco Bash.

The number of people who benefit from Kelly’s Second Chance varies, Campbell said.

“We may get three or four calls in one week, and then we might not get any calls for a month,” Campbell said. “There’s probably anywhere from 20 to 50 people we help.”

Calls come in to the Kelly’s Second Chance hotline, operated by Campbell, from cities all over the state.

“We’ve had calls from Des Arc, Little Rock, Jacksonville, just all over,” Campbell said.

Campbell chose to run the hotline because she has had direct contact with addicts — her experiences with her son.

She said her son was instrumental in getting a Narcotics Anonymous group started in Beebe.

Campbell said her son’s insight regarding the mind of an addict has been beneficial to people who call the hotline because they open up to him when they learn that he has been at a low place before.

Kelly’s Second Chance does its best to find a faith-based recovery facility and get the person admitted, treated and on the way to recovery as soon as possible, Campbell said.

“The length in rehab can range from six to 18 months,” Campbell said. “I get really excited when they get out of rehab and stay clean.”

The organization works with local businesses to assist recovering addicts in finding a job after completing rehab.

Campbell said that because some of the recovering addicts having little job experience, employment is often found for them with restaurants in the area.

Success stories are Campbell’s favorite stories to hear, but she realizes there are times an addict can fall back into old habits.

Such downturns spawned a phrase often said by addiction recovery professionals: Relapse is part of recovery.

To that end, Campbell said, “We do anything we can because we have a passion for it.”

To volunteer with Kelly’s Second Chance, contact Campbell at (501)882-2300.

Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

Online Reporter Lisa Burnett can be reached at 501-378-3887 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

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