The disease of addiction

“It’s common for a person to relapse, but relapse doesn’t mean that treatment doesn’t work. As with other chronic health conditions, treatment should be ongoing and should be adjusted based on how the patient responds. Treatment plans need to be reviewed often and modified to fit the patient’s changing needs.” Understanding drug use and addiction We are not a treatment center. Our sign says Adult Rehabilitation Center.   Our goal...

Rescued and Redeemed

I saw his grizzled face, breadcrumbs around his dry mouth, as he offered a smile that looked genuinely happy to see me. I returned the smile that probably showed more concern than joy. He didn’t look well, not like the last time I saw him. He was much thinner, unkempt, but his eyes eager to be seen, to be welcomed ‘home’. He’s not the only one I’ve seen worse for...

Redemption Stories {an introduction}

Jason stood up to share during our testimony time. “This is the best-kept secret in Broward County.” He was talking about this place, this program, this residential facility, a place I call Grace-land. He was talking about The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was talking about our ministry, our people, our heart, our prayers. He was talking about redemption. Granny and mama both saved Green...

A little story about freedom

Our sneak peak of summer starts with a Memorial Day at the end of May. Some get a day off work, the kids get a day off school so we pack up the minivan and go to an overcrowded beach or theme park. We fly our flags, march in a parade and salute our veterans and sing let freedom ring. Less than two months later we have the biggest freedom...

Which lies do you believe?

The men come to us wearing the truth of addiction. Its stench is a life rotting away from the denial they are caught in its grip. Their faces gaunt, their eyes flat, their hearts hollowed from its lies. For too many food, rest, and a hot shower will cover addictions truth: it comes to destroy. They will, again, believe the lie they can do this on their own. That lie...

When we are poured out and empty

Her eyes rimmed red as tears began to form. He sat in silence, empty of feeling having poured them out. Again. It was quiet in Jenny’s office as we sat with our feelings, our pain. Another fatal overdose. Another life lost. Another friend, son, brother, gone. He was 28. These times when we’ve poured ourselves out, when we feel empty of caring, these are the times we question: Is this...

When have you had enough?

Enough is enough. His words were heavy with conviction as he spoke to the room filled with 100+ people. Most were men, like him, addicts and alcoholics. It was a night of celebrating sobriety. One month, two, a year, 5 years and more. We’d celebrate program completions and we would share with cheers, encouragement and words of caution. Mark was the resident manager. He lived upstairs in a private room...

Is your craving lying to you?

I’m more likely to crave those tortilla chips than chocolate. You know, the blue ones that aren’t overly salted and a tad thinner than the ‘other’ ones? Yes, I’ll choose those any day over chocolate. Even Dove (seriously, Hershey doesn’t compare!) I remember hearing about the odd cravings pregnant women would have but I never had any nor did my friends. Sure, we enjoyed in more indulgences and blamed that...

Jesus Isn’t Just for Church People

It’s a bit complicated to describe our congregation. Some would say they’re a captive audience. While that description makes me flinch, it’s not all wrong. The residents in this six-month rehabilitation program are required to attend our Sunday service. A spiritual component is part of their recovery along with individual and group counseling, recreation, and work. We have a congregation of all men. Most of them are addicts. Their church...