Craft, ministry high on helping addicts recover

Tim Craft, founder of High on Hope Ministries, spoke at the event, sharing his story, words of encouragement and statistics relevant to fighting the drug epidemic. (Photo by Madeline Scarborough)

ELIZABETH — High on Hope Ministries held a panel discussion Saturday night at the Elizabeth Baptist Church in Elizabeth, with the goal of equipping those in attendance with the resources to help people battling drug addiction.

This was the fifth panel discussion in the state, and the ministry plan to continue until they have been able equip every county in West Virginia and some in Ohio.

“We have seen great fruits come from this effort,” said Tim Craft, founder of High on Hope Ministries.

Craft shared that he was addicted to opiates for 12 years.

“I lived for so many years searching for my identity in drugs. My addiction escalated quickly and before I knew it, I was shooting heroin every day,” he said.

At the end of the evening, those in the crowd were able to ask questions to a panel made up of members from local treatment centers in the area, the sheriff and recovered addicts. (Photo by Madeline Scarborough)

Craft talked about the loss of his little sister to an overdose in 2013 and how his lack of coping skills, a common problem among users, dragged him into a darker hole and deeper addiction. This, ultimately, led him too, to overdosed in February of 2014.

“Just after that, a friend of mine reached out to me. He wanted to see me get the help I needed,” said Craft.

That friend introduced him to Jesus and Craft entered a faith-based recovery program called DreamLife with Eddie James Ministries. He eventually became the director of that program.

Craft, who is now six years clean, said he found everything he had been searching for through faith.

“I took Seroquel looking for rest, Valium for peace and Lexapro for joy; the problem was not what I wanted, but where I was looking for it,” he said.

The community of Wirt County came out Saturday to Elizabeth Baptist Church in Elizabeth to learn how they can help fight the opioid addiction plaguing the nation. (Photo by Madeline Scarborough)

After that, Craft said God put it on his heart to start High On Hope Ministries to help combat the addiction crisis in the region.

According to Craft, High On Hope Ministries is founded off the verse Luke 15:04, Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’

“There are plenty of those lost sheep, but will you go after them? Sometimes the best thing you can do is to fight for those who are not willing to fight for themselves,” said Craft.

Craft presented those in attendance with information about local detox centers,12 step programs and short and long term treatment options.

“The goal is always to get them into a long term program, as that has a higher rate of success than short term treatments, but they must be willing to go and ready to transform themselves,” he said.

A list was provided for local detox and treatment options. (Photo by Madeline Scarborough)

Craft said helping others overcome addiction can be stressful, inconvenient and challenging, but the end result is a “beautiful gift from God.”

“Life is inconvenient, but if you are not willing to work through those inconveniences, you will not accomplish anything,” he said.

Craft said there are things everyone can bring to the table to help combat the drug crisis.

“As an employer be willing to give someone who has recovered with a record a chance at a job; as a community member help them re-adjust to life without drugs, stress, homelessness and other factors can bring a relapse; as a person, be kind, listen to them and check on them. You could lead them to recovery,” said Craft.

Craft pointed out that many people out of recovery do not have a support system within the community, a license to get places and are weighed down by records obtained in their past, making it hard to rebuild and move forward from recovery.

“The issue we are having now, is after treatment we do not have facilities or resources to help people rebuild,” said Wirt County Sheriff Travis Corbitt.

Corbitt said Wirt County is working on a joint facility with Calhoun County for the transitional period people face after recovery.

“They have worked so hard to get clean and re-enter the community, we don’t want to lose them in that transitional phase after they have come so far,” said Corbitt.

At the event, Abby Craft, Tim Craft’s wife and a recovered addict herself, also shared her story of recovery, finding Jesus and living life after recovery to the fullest, accomplishing goals she never thought possible.

“The road to recovery is narrow and not easy, but walking it is worth it, and completing it is nothing short of a miracle,” said Tim Craft.

Madeline Scarborough can be reached at mscarborough@newsandsentinel.com


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