Recovering from addiction

Published 8:34 pm Saturday, July 28, 2012

Church-based 12-step program begins operation

One of the first faith-based addiction recovery programs in Suffolk is now up and running.

After a year and a half of training, Trevor MacMillan and wife Shea are leading the branch of Virginia Beach-based Recovery for Life, which will be operating locally out of Open Door Church on Kings Fork Road.

“It’s going to help people’s pocketbook,” Trevor MacMillan said. “It’s a proven program, so you … can choose to stay local in Suffolk versus travel that far.”

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The free program is open to anyone struggling with any sort of addiction or compulsion, including alcohol, drugs, sexual addictions such as pornography, behaviors like anger, and more.

It has been in operation for two weeks and already has seen six clients, MacMillan said. Currently, the participants meet in a group, but as more seek help, the participants will be split by gender and also by addiction, he said.

The Virginia Beach program on which it is based was founded in 1998 by Dr. Paul Hardy. It has grown so much that it now offers seven different meetings on four nights of the week and draws about 250 people weekly.

MacMillan said the program is based on a traditional 12-step program, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

But unlike those programs, it guides participants using the Bible along with the 12 steps. It also encourages them to get involved with a church and small-group Bible study, MacMillan said.

Open Door Church is excited about the possibility that some of those helped could begin attending their church.

“They’re open and excited and ready for whatever type of new members that would bring into the church,” MacMillan said. “We’re just excited for what it can bring to the community.”

He said the program also aims to help the entire family recover from addiction.

“In some families, you might have an alcoholic parent, and you might also need a place for their kids to come,” he said. “It’s intended to be a whole family support system.”

MacMillan said he is working with Western Tidewater Regional Jail, as well as the Probation and Parole office, to let potential clients know about the program.

“It’s going to be a good after-care program on the jail side,” he said. “We will support people in their struggle as they’re making it locally.”

The program will meet every Thursday at 7 p.m. at Open Door Church, 816 Kings Fork Road. Signs will point the way to the meeting area. Refreshments are served.

No registration is needed in advance, MacMillan added.

For information on receiving services, men should call 544-0735 and women should call 390-8883.