Ben's Story of Hope

"My name is Ben and I am 38 years old, from Blacksburg, VA. I'm a father of 3 beautiful girls. I grew up in a Christian home and attended my Grandfather's church. At age 13, my parents divorced and I became very bitter and angry. By age 15, I stopped going to church and started smoking cigarettes, drinking and smoking marijuana.

I continued to smoke weed and party through high school and by age 20, I was totally hooked on painkillers. At the age of 24, I was arrested for the first time and charged with conspiracy to manufacture and distribute meth. I was sentenced to 26 months in Federal Prison Camp in Beckley, WVa.

After being released and living in a halfway house, I fell off a ladder and broke 2 major bones in my wrist. Before I knew it, I was strung out on pills again. I never thought that I would be anything other than a drug addict. 

In Spring 2015, I overdosed on heroin and fentanyl, almost losing my life. After 18 months in jail, I was ordered to come to Teen Challenge,...

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How to Walk With Your Loved One Through Relapse

Have you ever longed for something that was in your power to get but failed to get it?

Perhaps you had the ability to land your dream job. But at the last minute, you did something to blow the opportunity.

Or maybe you played a sport. You had a chance to take the game-winning shot. And missed.

How did you feel?

Would you have wanted your spouse to leave you over the missed job opportunity?

Did you hope your coach would yell at you for blowing the game for the entire team?

Of course you didn’t.

What you wanted was understanding.

What you needed was for someone to be present with you through your missed opportunity.

And walking with your loved one through a relapse is the same.

We must show understanding.

The person wanted sobriety. It was in his or her capability to get it – and keep it. But (s)he blew it. The same way you may have blown the interview, the game-winning shot, or anything else in life that created a missed opportunity.

(S)he needs support at this time more...

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Love – the Great Healer of Addiction

Have you ever asked yourself what is the most powerful force in the universe?

Is it gravity? The laws of motion? Earthquakes?

What would be the most powerful thing in the world? The one thing that would be strong enough to change everything. The biggest, strongest power in all of creation.

If you’ve ever thought deeply about this, you’ve probably considered many options.

But have you ever considered love as one of them?

It is for love that parents run through burning buildings to get their children out of smoky rooms.

It is for love that two people leave their separate lives behind and become one life together in marriage.

It is for love that God created us. And again for love that Christ died for us.

Love is, according to the Bible, as strong as death (see Song of Songs 8:6).

And that is why, love is the great healer of addiction. It digs deeper than psychology, supports stronger than friendship, and heals more thoroughly than medicine.

When your loved one is battling...

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Shedding off Your Old Identity

Have you ever heard the phrase “Once an addict, always an addict”?

If you’ve been around any recovery program, you probably have.

Whereas the intentions of this statement are well aimed, they are still misguided. We’re not trying to criticize those who say this. Nor are we seeking to condemn those who believe it. But we do want to challenge the thought and seek what God has to say about it.

But first, why? Why would we even want to challenge what has largely been accepted as factual in regard to addicts and recovery?

The reason is because of the implications of the statement. If “Once an addict, always an addict is true,” then hope of transformation is lost.

If we will always be addicts, then why even try to change?

The answer is because change is in fact possible, and “Once an addict, always an addict,” isn’t actually true.

In fact, the Word of God tells us the exact opposite – that once an addict, you don’t have to...

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The Importance of Connecting with Others in Recovery

How do athletes increase their chances of winning games?

What do investors do to increase the probability of earning good returns?

The answer is the same for both.

They do the things that have been proven to work.

Athletes, for example, exercise. They practice. And they eat healthy before a game. Why? Because these things have proven to be effective ways to accomplish their goal of winning games.

Investors select quality companies, consistently put money into them, and hold out for the long haul. Why? Because these steps have worked in the past.

The same is true for addicts in recovery.

How do addicts overcome addiction and avoid relapse? By doing the things that have worked in the past for others who have successfully beaten addiction.

One of those things is connecting with others in recovery. Building friendships with people who can relate to your struggle is essential. We all need others to encourage us through hard times. And overcoming addiction tends to be one of those hard...

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How an Addict’s Mother Can Find Hope and Peace When Your Child Is Stuck in Addiction

It’s been said that dealing with an addiction is one of the most difficult things to deal with in life.

Being an addict surely isn’t easy. But watching your child deal with an addiction is extremely difficult to deal with.

As an addict, you have control. You make the choice of when to change or for how long you will live with that addiction.

But as a parent, you feel hopeless. The situation is beyond you. You’d even change places with your son and deal with the addiction yourself if it meant he could be free from it.

But you can’t. Your son is stuck.

And that is tormenting.

But just because you are experiencing a tormenting situation, doesn’t mean you have to be tormented. You can find hope and peace in your situation.

In fact, there are 3 ways you can experience hope and peace as a mother with a child stuck in an addiction.

Listen to Other People’s Stories

When we find ourselves in hopeless situations, one of the best ways to get encouraged is to...

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Placing the Blame Where Blame Belongs

Imagine yourself flying in an airplane. You’re in the back seat. Suddenly, the plane nosedives and you begin losing altitude. Sitting in the back, away from the controls, you cannot do absolutely anything about the situation. Hopelessness leaves you breathless.

Now consider the same scenario. Only this time, you’re the pilot. The plane nosedives, but the controls are right in front of you. Your willingness combined with your ability to take control of the situation put you at ease. You grab the controls and lift the plane upwards, continuing on towards your destination.

What’s the difference in these two scenarios.

The answer can be found in one word – responsibility.

In the first situation, you were not responsible. It was someone’s else job to fix the situation. Therefore, you were hopeless.

In the second situation, however, you were in control. It wasn’t anyone else’s fault. And since it was your responsibility to fix the problem, you...

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How to Recognize and Deal with Manipulation

Think about how free you would feel if you never allowed yourself to be manipulated again.

How much more of a sense of control do you imagine you would feel?

Perhaps you have been trying to help someone you love recover from an addiction, but in the process the person has manipulated you into frustration.

You always saw yourself as a strong person, able to stand up for yourself. But you love the addict so much that (s)he has been able to use your love against you.

You suspect you’ve been being manipulated but aren’t exactly sure.

In this post, we want to help you recognize if what you are dealing with is manipulation.

But we want to take a fresh approach.

Instead of the typical “5 signs you are dealing with a manipulative person” which are general repeats across the internet, we want to help you identify more specifically if you are being manipulated or not.

And we are going to help you do that by analyzing, not the person manipulating you, but by analyzing...

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How to Encourage Your Loved One While in a Recovery Program

Recovery programs like Adult and Teen Challenge excellent.

Countless lives have been saved in them. Families have been restored through them. They truly are helpful centers of hope for addicts and for those who love them.

But they aren’t without their challenges.

When an addict is in a program, the family often wonders how to help.

They don’t see the addict every day. Communication isn’t always perfect. And sitting around waiting back at home while hoping for the best can be difficult.

But that doesn’t mean it’s hopeless. In fact, there are several ways families of addicts can help the person they love while in a recovery program.

Let’s look at 4 opportunities together.

Attend Support Meetings

It is not uncommon in recovery programs for family sessions to be held. These are done with the family, the addict, and the program staff. Some of them are even done as open group sessions.

Being present at these meetings communicates several...

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Kailah's Story of Hope

My name is Kailah.  I’m 24 years old, born in Trenton, New Jersey but grew up in Virginia.  This is my story.  This life I have been given could be seen as many things.  Some people may even say unfair, tragic, broken, defeat, even hopeless.  That’s how I used to see it.  

Just a few words of what the world taught me to be defined as.  Words played to me by the events of my life to confirm to a broken heart that it was deemed worthless.  So this empty soul began her quest of validation.  Thanks to the powers of a praying Mother my heart was always seeking; a seed beneath the surface, just waiting for the cultivation of a hardened heart to break through.  

That point hit last year and due to a series of events my life changed the moment it ended.  The seeker inside of me knew something was missing so I needed to fill what spaces my past had left...

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