| Advice for helping an addict|
My husband and 19 yr old daughter go down to Mardi Gras every year for an outreach. This year my husband said he had met a young man who is from New York and is a heroin addict and needed/wanted a new start. We all knew the risks and everything before we allowed him to come here to live near us in the Cinci. area.
Actually a year prior, the pastor who leads up this outreach (Pastor Troy) found L. (this young man we are helping)on the streets of New York and kept him with him for a few days while they were witnessing on the streets. L. wanted to get clean then so Pastor Troy arranged for L. to go to Teen Challenge in New Orleans. L. didn't last. The withdrawls were too much for him and he wasn't ready.
He has been to rehab before. He's been on heroin for most of 4 years - since he was about 15. he has only been clean 6 months of those 4 years.
Anyway, when my husband met him this past month at the outreach at Mardis Gras, he told us he had been clean for 1 month. Once we flew him here, he admitted that he had only been clean for 2 weeks. After a week here- he admitted he had only been clean 2 days prior to getting here. Of course he had withdrawls the first week or so but he hid them as much as possible. His habit was smaller than in the past so the withdrwals were not as severe.
He lived on the streets for a few years as well, as a squatter and living with other homeless kids who just want to do what they want and are totally engulfed in the drug culture.
He was totally cuture shocked to come here :) We officially live in Northern Kentucky. I have noticed so many strange things about his mood and behavior.
My daughter's good friend, who is also a young christian man, volunteered to get an apartment with L. to help keep him accountable. But he is gone alot for his job. we try to have him over everyday, take him to church with us and pretty much just make him part of our family. We are loving him but also trying to keep him accountable - though he does have freedom. he does not have a license or car. So he really can't get around much. But he did meet a young man from church- who is questionable (as far as I'm concerned) and they have stayed out until the wee hours of the morning a couple of weekends.
O, yes, I forgot to mention that my husband gave him a job at his company so that he has regular work and is there with alot of christians. he also opened an account with him at the bank and is having him only write checks (no debit card) so that My husband can keep track of his money.
Ok, that said-- this weekend will be about 30 days for him. My husband sent him to be drug tested (a surprise to L.) and L. admitted that it will come back positive because marijuana stays in your system for up to 4o days if you use it regularly- which he now admits he was right before he came here.
L. wrote me an email today from work saying that heroin was his drug of choice but that he had also used recreational drugs,etc...Xanax, Clonopin, Suboxone, Cocaine, Mushroom, LSD, PCP, Crack, Marijuana, DXM, Ecstacy, and heroin.
So any of these may show up. As far as I know most hard drugs do not show up after about 10 days or so. My concern is that he may have been using since he got here. he is very stressed about the drug test and knows he will fail it (supposedly from when he was still in New York.)
My husband is meeting with him tonight to see if he is serious about staying here and staying clean, growing in his walk with the Lord (if he is really saved?) ect... earlier tonight my daughter dropped him off at the bank near his apartment afterwork and he admitted to my husband that he was tempted to wire money to get heroin again- but did not.
I don't know if we're kidding ourselves and he should just be in rehab or teen challenge (though i don't think he'd go because he left once already) I had hoped with prayer and with Christ (and I really thought he was wanting to turn from his old lifestyle) that this might work.
Does anyone have any advice or anything? We love him and want to help him. I've never talked to his parents we just flew him here without talking to them (probably a mistake). He's from the Bronx and is from a completely different world it seems. But we know God does miracles and our family was very open to kids (of any age) who needed help.
I probably missed alot of info but my fingers are tired :) if you have any other questions just ask or pm me.
In Christ, Chanin
| 2009/4/2 19:32||Profile|
Phoenix, Arizona USA
| Re: Advice for helping an addict|
I have done some work with street addicts myself so I understand your heart to reach out to this young man. I have learned that addicts will say or do almost anything to get something for nothing. Therefore, you will have to test this young man to see if his statement that he needs/wants a new start is really the truth.
As an example, I ministered to a man at a local homeless shelter who seemed to express a sincere desire to get off drugs. When I brought the man to the local Teen Challenge center the first thing they did was test his sincerity. The admissions officer told him they could help and he asked the homeless guy to get together $50 and then he would let him stay there. The homeless man left angry and did not return, he was expecting something for nothing. Admittedly it can be difficult for a homeless man to put together $50 but the admissions officer would have been satisfied if the man had returned with just $5, it would have proved his sincerity. Teen Challenge operates off of the kind donations of the community and they are faithful stewards of that money, they will put it to the best use they know how using the wisdom God has given them and the experience of many years of ministering to addicts, you may want to seek their advice.
Teen Challenge is outstanding in helping these men to change through a relationship with Christ. They are tough, they don't fool around, and they minister Christ to those who are hurting.
I will join you in prayer for the Lord to give you wisdom with L. to go along with the heart of love.
| 2009/4/2 21:09||Profile|
| Re: |
Very good advice from Ron.
Joining in with prayer.
| 2009/4/2 21:15|
| Re: |
Thank you. My husband just got back from talking with him and he says he really does desire to stay clean-- but it's taking so much work especially from me and my daughter since we are more 'intuitive' maybe. but we are just more emotionally involved- trying to read his motives and using discernment at all times. My husband is very busy with his own job- as he owns his own company. he cannot put the time into L. like he probably needs. Though he does take him to bible study lunch on Tuesdays and has Monday morning prayer/bible time with him and other christians at his office.
My husband and I talked a few minutes ago and he is going to talk to L. tomorrow about going into a christian rehab- preferably Teen Challenge- there is one here in Cinci. If he agrees, then we can start over again with him after the 30 days or 60 days (not sure how long it is) with his continuing to work at the job Dan has given him, etc....
I just know that right now he has no coping skills on how to live life without drugs. he does not know how to handle problems or pain and anything.
I am praying that he will agree to go to Teen Challenge. maybe he will since he will have none of the withdrwls that he had last year since he is already off of heroin right now.
I do believe that he has seen and done and heard things that I have never even dreamed of. Even though he claims to be a christian he does not really know what is wrong or right as far as things like video games, music, etc.... he was talking to my 13 yhr old son the other day about how he wanted to get a video game called The House of the Dead so that they could play it together. Ever since he has been here, I have watched him like a hawk around my youngest 2 children (10 and 13) I know it's going to be a process and living a christian life is completely new to him. Plus I can't help but think that he has some brain damage (even temporary) from all the drugs.
He did tell me also when he got here that he had been on 4 or so medications prescribed by a psychiatrist. Mood stablaizers, antidepressant, medication for insomnia, etc... they had diagnosed him as bipolar. But I know that most of this is just the effects of the drug use. And he knows this as well. Thats why he went off all medication and heroin before he got here.
Sometimes he does zone out though. Sometimes he seems normal and sometimes he seems slow. I guess this is normal for a drug user who has used so many kinds of drugs for so long?
Anyway, I would love for the Lord to do a complete miracle in L's life. I know he wants to change but he doesn't really know how. I know I am completely incapable of helping him unless God intervenes!
In Christ, Chanin
| 2009/4/2 22:28||Profile|
Los Angeles, California
| Re: |
God bless your husband for preaching the Gospel every year at Mardi Gras and thank God for you and your families willingness to help and take this young man in!!! I know Pastor Troy and the ministry God has given him and have spent time with him witnessing on the streets of New York City. I think can give some advice from my experiences. I have worked with several heroin addicts in the past and continue to work with them everyday. I am currently working with 4 of them and know several more. Here are some observations about heroin addicts.
1. Heroin is one of the most addictive and debilitating of all drugs
2. I believe that heroin addiction is demonic and one of the strongest demonic oppressions I have come across
3. Heroin addicts are notorious liars!!! It is almost as if they have some sort of compulsive lying spirit that goes along with the bondage to addiction. And they are also VERY good liars.
4. Almost every heroin addict I have met wants to change and wants to be free from the addiction. They dont like being addicted to heroin and taking heroin at least those who been addicted for a number of years. Most have sorrow and want to change.
5. They are EXTREMELY hard to help
Most heroin addicts have sorrow because of how the drug has ruined their lives and wrecked their bodies. I am working with two heroin addicts currently one of which his neck is eaten away from abscesses and boils from shooting in his neck and hands and the other womans legs are festered with open sores and swollen from the poison of the drug. Both are sorry and want to change their lives as most heroin addicts do. The problem is that the sorrow they have is not Godly sorrow which leads to repentance and salvation. They are sorry because of what the drug has done to their lives and NOT because they have sinned against a holy God. There is a big difference. There are many in prison who are truly sorry for their crimes, but are sorry because they are sitting in prison and have ruined their lives and not because of their sins, crimes and rebellion against a holy and righteous God just like many heroin addicts.
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. (2Co 7:10)
I would suggest trying to discern what type of sorrow this young man has. We spend much time preaching and teaching about the terrible sinfulness of sin, the righteousness and holiness of God and the work of Christ on the cross. Sometimes it takes a while for it to sink in, but when the Spirit reveals these truths it produces Godly sorrow which leads to repentance and salvation which leads to freedom and victory.
I would also pray for deliverance. It does not have to be a kooky type of charismainia deliverance exorcism. Just pray that the bonds of sin and devil be broken off by the finished work of Christ on the cross and for complete deliverance from any bondage or hold from the enemy or any demonic forces command it in the name of Jesus. If deliverance does not occur simply follow Jesus instruction and fast and pray and then pray again. I would continue to fast and pray until deliverance occurs. I have seen heroin addicts completely delivered and set free from one prayer with no with drawls, cravings or desires for the drug.
And lastly it is a long process with heroin addicts. I was just recently working with a young man who was addicted to heroin who had been clean for a couple of months. I also adopted him into our family and was going to give him a job and then one day he just up and left back to the drugs. He has recently disappeared and I fear now he is dead from overdose or in prison even the other heroin addicts have not seen him.
Also please remember that you can not save this young man so many times in our love and desire to help we do everything we can to help save these lost souls and inadvertently lose track of the fact that we can not save or change them. If there is any hope of this man being saved, delivered and changed it is found solely and only in Christ Jesus make sure you always keep this fact in the front of your mind.
God bless you if there is anything else I can do to help or any other questions I can answer please let me know. Also feel free to call me if you or your husband would like to talk PM me for my number.
| 2009/4/2 23:15||Profile|
| Re: |
Patrick has some good advice, i will share from my own experience
its hard to give good advice when not having meet this young man, but i think you should be prepared this man could go or stay. He is still young and i doubt he hit bottom hard enough yet, the drugs isent really the problem even thou they outwardly manifest them as such. The drugs is one of the symptoms of an inward problem, that may differ from person to person, and as patrick says its spiritual. His greatest need ad help is to be born again. I can remember in my days as an addict i decided with all my might and i was so determined that now i am quiting, i am never touching that stuff again even if i die. And that was no light decision it was with all my will, all my longing all my heart mind and soul. I hated the drugs and what it had done to me my life the loved ones around me, what i had become, but even after such decision it sometimes was not even one hour ad i had taken something again. I was convinced in my own mind i was insane or something worse, today i can understand a bit better.
and also as you say the worlds of difference, coming out from the streets into a loving christian world will be unreal, it will be a shock. but give him some time, for me it took six months to get my head back so to say, for feelings to be controlled again and better understood, this boy has for many years been using drugs for fun, for medicne, for a friend, for everything, when he was happy he took drugs, when he was sad he comforted him self, when he was lonley he took them, when he was scared he took them.
for me it took about six months to get a sense that i could live normal the first time i stopped with drugs, i was about 20 years old.
i later fell back, i got a job, apartment, girlfriend and so on, but i fell back and fell even deeper that time then the time before.
i meet with the Lord 6 years later and was born again, what no rehab or program could do the Lord did. He sets the captives free, we cant, we can lead them to him that can. I pray it will work out for you and him.
about drugtests its true marijuana can stay that long, you have to be a heave smoker but its possible, its also individual, two people an take same amount for same timeperiod and when tested one an be lean and another not. Also i would reomend testing for medical heroine, the stuff you give heroine addicts that want to quit, dont kow what the American name is but usually its a substance you drink or swallow. These "medicines" are not usually on tests but very often used as a drug as it has almost the same effects as the drug it supposed to cure.
anyway, god bless you
| 2009/4/3 0:23||Profile|
| Re: |
I am a former alcoholic and now work with a Bible-based recovery program called Reformers Unanimous. Our big emphasis is on Bible memorization. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness he quoted Scripture. It is important for former addicts to know their Bibles because they will have times of severe temptation in which they feel like they'll lose their minds if they don't get a fix. The thing to do in times of temptation is to quote Scripture like Jesus did. "Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee." Psalm 119:11
Here are some good verses to memorize:
"Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." John 8:34-36
"Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness." Rom. 6:18
"But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life." Rom. 6:22
"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." Rom. 8:2
"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." Gal. 5:1
"Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." Rom. 6:6
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Gal. 2:20
"And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." Gal. 5:24
"Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace." Rom. 6:12-14
It takes a while to do all that memorizing, so have L. write these down in a small notebook or on index cards and carry them at all times. Tell him that next time he is tempted to use, pull out his Scripture notes and read through them first. He will probably find that by the time he finishes throwing these verses at the tempter, the temptation will have passed.
My favorite verse in times of temptation is Matt. 28:18 "All power is given me in heaven and on earth." That means all power over the world, the flesh and the devil. All power to keep his children free from sin.
| 2009/4/3 9:03||Profile|
| Re: helping an addict|
Thank you all for your kind words of advice. We now have a meeting for Thursday at 10:00 am with a counselor at Teen Challenge in Cinci. He said he will be able to tell if Leo is really ready to want to change. We are telling Leo today about this meeting but that we are NOT taking him there and just dropping him off. he does have a choice in the matter. I am praying that maybe the Lord will soften his heart as the days lead up till Thursday. I know he will not want to go when we tell him.
Please pray for God direction and for the softening of L.'s heart. I think it would be so good for L. to learn the skills that Teen Challenge teaches. 6 months is a long time, though.
He is also very anxious about waiting for the drug test results from Dan's office. So we will see what they show.
In Christ, Chanin
| 2009/4/3 10:10||Profile|