A Special thank you to Alan Bobbett- Director of Hebron Center,
President of ICAADA
Our intake manager, Charles, pours heart and soul into interviewing men for admission into our recovery program, often accepting calls late at night or early in the morning, from families and loved ones of those struggling with addiction.
We make it a policy to pray with each person that calls, knowing that their friend, son, husband, father, brother, uncle, cousin or grandfather may not yet be ready to come in, but that God hears their heart cry and is aware of the situation.
Over the last month, he had several conversations with a family, and ultimately, with their son, who needed treatment for a severe opioid addiction, taking pain killers by the handful. This young man was a no show for two interviews, then, called again, stating that he was ready, and knew he needed help. After he failed to show for his intake interview yet again, his family contacted us, saying that he had passed away from an overdose the night before.
This is not the first time we have had this happen. We’ve seen men leave early, saying they were not ready for change, and pass on within days. Every time we see an early departure, we pray for God’s mercy, knowing that the odds are not good. Completing a program is no guarantee of success, yet running away is a guarantee of failure.
These events not only sadden me, they stir up a righteous anger and desire to do more and serve more. The national trend amongst states is to cut treatment funding. Illinois just cut all non-Medicaid funding for treatment with no prior notice, essentially removing access to help from 55,000 people overnight, and causing the loss of 5,000 jobs. Indiana is threatening to remove needed treatment and mental health medications from 1000’s of consumers in this state as well, and we hear of other programs and services being cut on a daily basis.
I write this not as a political commentary, but as a spiritual one. Places like the Hebron Center and our Christ Centered recovery support groups become more and more important as access to treatment disappears. At one point, it was said that only the very poor and the very rich could afford treatment. Soon, it will only be the wealthy. Places like Hebron where men and families can come regardless of ability to pay are the future, and what we need to be investing in.
I know God’s heart towards the poor and needy– scripture abounds with God’s attitude towards them, reflecting what our attitude should be as well. From Deuteronomy’s instruction to be “openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.”(15:11) to Samuel’s statement that “He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor.” (1 Samuel 2:8) we are reminded over and over that “The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.”Psalm 9:9.
I covet your prayers personally, as well. I was recently elected to serve as President of the Indiana Counselors Association on Alcohol & Drug Abuse, ICAADA, representing 1,000 Indiana counselors, and serving on the international board as well, representing over 40,000 counselors globally. I am honored to serve in this way, and feel fully the need to serve professionally and ethically while still using the platform as an opportunity to share my faith and belief that Jesus makes a difference when people are in recovery from addiction. Please pray that God will give me opportunities to share my personal story of faith as I serve in this role for the next 3 1/2 years.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support. May the Lord continue to richly bless