HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Many families gathering on Thanksgiving know the reality of helping someone through a drug addiction. As the opioid crisis grows, people are thankful for the option of recovery programs.
Loen Beasley is one of those people. He has a lot to be thankful for this year. Things like food, shelter at the Downtown Rescue Mission, and another chance.
"I was under the false impression that, okay, I've been here for a year, I feel like I've got everything under control and I stopped trusting and relying upon Him to guide my life," Beasley explained. "I put things in my own hands."
Beasley said relying on himself to stay sober didn't work.
"My mind just keeps playing tricks on me like, 'hey, it's going to be different this time,'" Beasley said. "You always want to go for something that's going to give you more of a thrill, more of a high than the things that you used to do before.
Beasley's in the year-long faith-based recovery program at the mission now.
"I kind of hit rock bottom again, like I said, just making the wrong decisions, not living my life for God," Beasley said. "I came back this time in a different mindset, a different spirituality. "
The mission's residential program is separated into four steps over a year, revolving around Christian faith. The mission believes they can break addiction through growing a relationship with Jesus.
"We believe everybody struggles with addiction in some form or fashion," Kevin Mays, Senior Director of Men’s Ministry at the mission said. "What we say is our guys just have a socially unacceptable idol."
In the US, more than 42,000 people die from an opioid overdose each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Locally, doctors say someone overdoses every day. Former users like Beasley believe fighting this epidemic has to come from something greater than themselves.
"My spiritual health is the best that it's ever been," Beasley said. "It's really pleasing and satisfying to know that that's all I need in my life is Christ."