Program helps men recover from addiction - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Program helps men recover from addiction

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CHARLESTON, West Virginia -

Many people in West Virginia struggle with drug addiction.

Watching a loved one suffer can be devastating for families who don't know where to turn for help.

That is why we have been working for weeks on a special report about a drug rehabilitation program that seems to be working.

The Union Mission in Charleston started their Foundations program 5 years ago.

It is a strict, religion based program that lasts anywhere from a year to 18 months. Because the program is young, they don't have specific figures about how many people have kicked the habit. But they say a majority of people who have completed the program have stayed clean since graduation.

One of the program's recent successes is Malden resident John Good. He got hooked on prescription drugs following an accident that left him in a great deal of pain.

"I'd been in jail twice for prescription fraud and drug abuse," Good said.

He was in jail when he heard about the Foundations program. A judge allowed him to give it a try.

"We are used to doing it our way and that is the only way," Good said. "All that ever did was land us in jail. This is the hardest thing I've ever done"

Good and others at Foundations have to stay clean and give up all drugs while they are at the facility. There are structured rules that spell out how they dress and how they maintain their rooms. They also attend classes and go to work.

A pallet shop next to the dorms gives them a chance to show off their talents and help earn money to support the program. They ask the community to donate wood pallets that they rebuild or turn into wooden crafts.

Singing is also part of the daily routine. The men in the program practice after lunch and perform at area churches.

Many of the men said other rehabilitation programs did not work because they weren't addressing the real problem.

"The last rehab I was in, probably three days after I was out, I was using again," Good said. "I never really dealt with the problem, which was in the heart."

Good will be graduating from Foundations in a few weeks. He has repaired relationships with his family. And now he has hope for a better life.

"These right here were jail tattoos," Good said, pointing to markings on this arms. "I've changed my life and I'm living for God now so I put the words prayer and purity beside them."

They are words that all of the men now live by.

"It was just a blessing to become part of this program," said Foundations graduate Doug Green. "It has in a short period of time radically changed my life."

Foundations has room for up to 40 people at a time. Right now there are several open spots available. Participation is free for those who cannot afford to pay. But the group does not get any government funding so they depend on donations from the public to stay in operation.

For more information about how to get help for you or a loved one call the Union Mission. You can call the main office at 304-925-0366. You can also call the

Crossroads Men's Shelter at 304-343-4352.