By Guest Editorial Darrell Watson
Fathers House Fellowship 

Father's House part of new anti-addiction plan


September 25, 2019

There is much in the news these days about opioid addiction, and addiction in general. A recent article in the SWACH news featured Penny Andress, nurse care mgr. at KVH, who detailed our community’s efforts to address this issue and the partnership of several agencies to reduce addiction, educate people about the issue in general, and present better options for people whose lives are in disarray or turmoil. (SouthWest Accountable Community of Health)

Father’s House is excited to be part of this venture. Our goal has always been to help people get clean, stay clean, and move on into productive, faith-filled, Christ-centered lives. Our clients themselves have been most helpful in showing us the best way to do this. I’d like to publicly thank and bless those who have gotten clean and then helped others to do the same, as well as all the local agencies, businesses, churches, and individuals who have cooperated, donated, and provided opportunities to people. This has greatly helped with the costs involved in helping people help themselves. By June 2019, 68 percent of the nearly 100 people we’ve worked with are addiction-free.

We have learned a great deal during this process. Here are some highlights:

Many people are cross-addicted; we must address all addictions.

Most addicts want to stop; we must learn to assess who is desperate and committed to making a life change and focus our energy on helping them.

There are three component parts to getting free: faith, peer counseling/mentoring, and developing a new community identity and connection.

Our model for helping people has also grown since we began. The following is the most common pathway; it is a guideline, not a set of rules.

Detox and rehabilitation time: often court-mandated but not, according to addicts, of great long-term value.

Meaningful activities—community service, working at in-kind tasks, getting a job.

Life counseling: Narcotics Anonymous, Comprehensive’s workshop sessions, psychological and medical exams, peer counseling.

Identity recovery: pay off fines, restore ID and driver’s licenses, get a cell phone, establish credit, and sometimes restoring parental roles.

Establish a healthy routine: dental work when needed, exercise, daily devotions, becoming part of a team, connecting with a church fellowship.

Random drug testing, help in preparing resumes, and letters of recommendation are also part of what happens along the pathway to restoration.

We practice deliverance through prayer—it works!

In summation:

Clients need to get out of any co-dependent relationships.

Peer mentoring usually happens with a former addict; both learn from this.

Relocation—within the community or into another environment.

Most will struggle, stumble, and disappoint before they become truly stable. Patience is a key component of gaining freedom from addiction.


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