TIFTON — After more than two years of effort, the OASIS Recovery Community Organization held its grand opening Thursday, Feb. 28.

The center, located at 902 South Main Street, had been championed by Judge Herbert Benson as a safe space for those who are seeking to break free from the cycle of addiction.

The center boasts approximately 7,000 square feet of space, and contains a game room, TV room, meeting spaces and classrooms. There are also quiet rooms for one-on-one counseling, meditation and reading. There are two computer rooms, one of which has a child’s play area attached so parents can work on things such as obtaining their GED and looking for jobs while giving their child somewhere to play.

Symposiums were held throughout 2018 to obtain input about the center from the community and those suffering from addiction and their families. The center received grants for the project in September of 2018 and has been working to open its doors since then.

An RCO, Benson explained while addressing the Tifton/Tift County Chamber of Commerce in February of 2018, is a safe space for recovering addicts.

OASIS, which stands for “Overcoming Addiction with Sobriety, Information and Support,” will play an important role in combating addiction in the area.

He said RCOs assist and support people in their recovery efforts, and can offer many different paths for addicts who are trying to turn their lives around. The goal is for the RCO to be an information center for any person or family member that wants information about addiction or rehab facilities.

It would offer guidance and counseling, according to Benson, for those who are just beginning a path to recovery and help for those who are already in recovery but need help reintegrating into the community.

Benson said that now that the center is open he is both excited and nervous.

“I’m relieved that the doors are open,” he said. “I’m nervous, too, because I want it to succeed. I think it will succeed. The more people we can make aware of it and it’s existence the better.”

He said that while he doesn’t like to see the center full because addiction is a problem, “the problem is already out there and we want to make sure that the people who need it know about it.”

OASIS is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. with plans to expand their hours in the future.

Follow Eve Copeland-Brechbiel on Twitter @EveCopelandTTG.

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