Recovery: Programs that help addicts deserve praise

When Pastor Bill Frey came to the Mid-Ohio Valley, he noticed something he had not seen anywhere else.

“I noticed a need for recovery ministry in this town,” he said. Whereas in some other places the problem might be hidden, ” … here it was obvious.”

Blind eyes cannot be turned to the problem. It is affecting us all — from the homeless and dirt poor to members of our most well-known and well-to-do families — the Mid-Ohio Valley (nearly all of West Virginia and Ohio, frankly) has been struggling for years under a substance abuse plague that many of us took too long to acknowledge and begin to fight.

It is hard to fight hopelessness, when so many who proclaim themselves in a position to do something about it either do not, or do the bare minimum for appearance’s sake. But as has been the case so often throughout our history, local churches are the perfect place to begin healing and helping the afflicted and downtrodden. They are the perfect place to help people learn to hope again.

In Frey’s case, he formed Celebrate Recovery, first at Cornerstone and carried it through as part of that congregation became Thrive Worship Center. The faith-based addiction recovery program (and others like it) is an important part of our community’s effort to pull each other up.

“The treatment centers know we are here and we will send a car if they want us to,” Frey said.

The approach is working — one participant called it “a new journey and a new way of life that I never knew existed before.”

As we have said before the substance abuse epidemic requires a cultural shift — an all-approaches strategy, rather than a one-size-fits-all effort. Celebrate Recovery and other programs like it are helping some addicts, and that is truly something to celebrate.