BRISTOL - The new residential drug and alcohol treatment center in Bristol is working with the Appalachian Substance Abuse Coalition to get the faith community involved in its work. In an event sponsored by ASAC and hosted at Bristol Lifestyle Recovery, the aim is to bring the local faith community together to talk collaboration, connection, and support in providing faith based recovery options for addicts in our area. They're learning how they can open their hearts and doors to the needs of recovering alcoholics and drug addicts. Among them, Jamie Nunley, the very first resident at Bristol Lifestyle Recovery, who's making good progress so far.
"I wasn't used to it at first because there's a lot of love here and I wasn't used to it without there being an ulterior motive...it's more than a client and staff relationship. I feel like it's more of a family relationship," Nunley says.
"He is just a wonderful young man, he has just had an extremely difficult life. And so he is overcoming that. We're seeing great growth in him," says community outreach director at Bristol Lifestyle Recovery, Linda Austin.
While living at the facility and receiving counseling, Jamie checks out for work. He's working for the first time in almost 10 years.
"Actually my counselor is also my pastor at the church I'm attending. I became a member since I've been here. It's a methodist church in Abingdon, VA," Nunley says.
"Families are being bombarded with addiction issues and we have congregations in every singe county. What we're trying to do is link up all the congregations, the different denominations, the different belief systems, and kind of get them to share educational and informational resources so they can combat addiction," says Director of the faith based initiative in Tennessee, Monty Burks.
Austin says establishing a faith based network would be a valuable asset to the recovery center.
"We want them to come in here, be mentors, we have invited the churches to come in and share a meal with our residents, just ways to socialize with them and just to help them feel normal," Austin says.
These partners are just the beginning of what advocates hope will turn into a faith network for recovering addicts.
For more information and resources on ASAC, please visit: http://www.stopsubstanceabuse.com
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