The AODA Volunteers of Waukesha County

The AODA Volunteers of Waukesha County are recovering people who regularly visit area facilities and reach out to those who are either new in recovery, or those who are considering abstinence from alcohol or drugs.

The AODA Volunteers of Waukesha County originated in December, 1982 when six volunteers began visiting inmates at the Waukesha County Huber Facility (the work release jail). The volunteers talked about their own experiences with abstinence from alcohol and other drugs, and shared their message of hope.

Since 1982 the Volunteers have evolved from visiting just one facility, to making regular scheduled visits to multiple facilities, including: the Waukesha County Main Jail, Waukesha County Huber Facility, Waukesha County Alcohol Education Series, and the Waukesha County Mental Health Center. We visit these facilities once or twice a week. We believe that there is no other group of volunteers in Wisconsin that reaches out to both addicts and alcoholics this way.

Pairs of Volunteers visit these facilities to share our experience, strength and hope with men and women suffering from alcoholism and other drug addictions. We share our own experiences when we were actively using alcohol and other drugs, and how those drugs affected us mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and financially. We talk about what happened to put us on the path to recovery. We share our hope, remembering that even when we were in the depths of despair and our lives in shambles, there was still hope, hope for the promises of recovery. We share our strength in the vibrant recovering community, and our confidence that life no longer needs to be a lonely struggle.

By sharing our recovery, we help remove the stigma that exists in our community and around the world; the stigma that drug dependency is a failure of willpower and a defect of character. This stigma underlies the unfortunate belief that alcoholics and addicts cannot be helped, and that the only ways for society to deal with addiction are incarceration, institutionalizing, or by turning a blind eye. We have a disease, and know that it is certainly treatable. Our lives have changed so much that we welcome the opportunity to influence others effectively, positively, and by example. We strive to reduce the fear and uncertainty that hobbles our listeners. We share the firm belief that We Can Recover.

The positive impacts on the community are immeasurable. Our program gets people back to work, strengthens families, reduces domestic violence and prevents dependency-related accidents and illness. Successes also reduce the need for government costs for treatment, incarceration, therapy and social services.

The volunteers carry the message to the alcoholics and drug addicts who still suffer, and to the community at-large. We carry the message in many small, subtle, but powerful ways. These quiet behaviors help rebuild confidence and change behaviors so that recovering men and women can become productive members of society.

What We Do

We offer help in many ways:

  • By our involvement in the recovery community and programs that seek to assist those with addictions.
  • By sharing our experiences at area facilities that either treat addictions, house those with addictions, or incarcerate those with addiction related offenses.
  • By sharing our hope, that others may come to learn as we have, that an addiction can be overcome by a “desire to stop” and participation in 12-step recovery programs.
  • We provide resources here on our website to direct people to help and services in the recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction.