Church Offers Program to Help Those with Addictions and Their Families

Rod was 12 years old when some older teens in his neighborhood introduced him to alcohol and drugs. Although he didn’t necessarily see it this way at the time, he began using the substances to escape the pain he felt from his father’s suicide six years earlier. Within a short time he was addicted.

For the next 15 years, Rod regularly drank and took drugs. His sense of loss always escalated around the holidays; his father had died about that time of year, and when Rod was in his early 20s, his grandfather, with whom he was close, died on January 2.

“I felt all of these bad emotions associated with the holidays,” he explains, “so I ended up running from them. I put on a fake face and acted like I was really happy and partied it up.” And every year, that partying—compounded with feeling estranged from his family and experiencing the high emotions that many people experience during the holidays—led to more alcohol consumption and drug use.

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