According to Webster’s dictionary, redemption is defined as to ransom, free or rescue by paying a price or to convert into something of value. To restore is to give back, return or put back into use or service. In terms of alcohol and other drugs, recovery does just that for those affected by the abuse or dependency of alcohol and/or drugs. Until the early 20th century, dependency was viewed as a moral issue. “If only they were strong enough…had enough willpower…had enough faith…loved their family more…” were familiar refrains. Over time, we have come to recognize that alcohol and other drug abuse/dependency is a complex biopsychosocial process. Addictions are insidious killers of societies, families and individuals. The toll is physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. While it is estimated that only around 7% to 10% of Americans are directly affected by addiction, it is reported that at least 50% of the population is affected by the overall effects of substance abuse issues. Here in Cenla, we are not immune from the negative impacts of drug and alcohol abuse. We are fortunate, however, to have a dedicated community of professionals dedicated to providing human caring, love and understanding to those seeking Redemption, Recovery and Restoration in Cenla.
Edgefield Recovery Center
Edgefield Recovery Center, located in Cheneyville, is a JCAHO Accredited residential substance abuse facility, offering a medically supported detox, while implementing a Twelve Step, Alcoholics Anonymous program. Edgefield is nestled on 22 acres of land adorned by live oaks and pecan trees, with Bayou Boeuf as its back yard. Edgefield’s mission is to provide excellence in professional quality care, treating each client with integrity, compassion and dignity.
The original owner of Edgefield was Ernest L. Klock, a native Canadian and engineer who had worked in the sugar industry in Cuba and the Dominican Republic. While in the Caribbean, he built a railroad, golf course, large estate, school and housing for workings, becoming friends with President and Generalissimo Rafael Trujillo and famed aviator Charles Lindbergh. By 1940, Edgefield Plantation was operating a 300-acre sugar and cotton farm and a 200-acre cattle operation. Additionally, the Klocks owned the local band and the Meeker Sugar Refinery. In 2009, Rob Rayford, Jr. of Alexandria acquired Edgefield. His vision was to turn Edgefield into a residential substance abuse facility, pursuing his passion for helping those struggling with addiction. The location and comfort of ERC is not a coincidence. When founder and CEO Rob Rayford, Jr. set forth in establishing this campus, his demands were that ERC provide a dignified, private, serene and spiritual environment for those seeking recovery from chemical dependency.
Edgefield utilizes a combination of biochemical treatments, evidence-based therapy processes (such as psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral therapy models), involvement in spiritually-based self-help groups (such as Alcoholics Anonymous) and other tools to support recovery. It has been shown that the longer an individual is involved in the treatment process, the better the outcome for the individual. Likewise, one individual caring for another is key to achieving success. The professional staff at ERC possess well over one hundred years of combined clinical experience in assisting individual and their families with their recovery. The ERC staff is comprised of credentialed physicians, social workers and nurses, supported by a sterling team of paraprofessionals dedicated to positive outcomes. Clients cannot do it alone, healers cannot do it alone; it takes a combination of these with awareness, knowledge, love and a “power greater than ourselves” to see miracles happen.
For more information about Edgefield Recovery Center, call (888) 372-2673 or visit www.edgefieldrecoverycenter.com.
Fresh Start Ministry
Located in Winnsboro, Fresh Start Ministry was founded in 2001 as an outreach ministry or River of Life Church with a vision to reach those people hurting from drug and alcohol addiction. “At Fresh Start, we not only counsel clients on drug and alcohol addiction, but our staff helps to offer each one a ‘Fresh Start’ on a new life in Christ,” says Executive Director Clay Russell. “If a person wants to get free from addiction and stay free for the rest of their lives, there is no place better to get that help than Fresh Start. Over the last several years, we have seen hundreds of men transformed by the power of God who are now actively involved in the ministry of the local church.” Currently, Fresh Start’s 48-room facility is licensed for 94 men. Fresh Start Women’s Center, also located in Winnsboro, has a maximum capacity of 28. In this seven-month recovery program, residents learn to deal with the roots of their addictions from a Christian perspective. God is raising up a generation of radically changed people who are carrying a message of freedom to those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse.
In the first phase of treatment, residents spend their initial thirty days of in-house training with group and individual counseling as the main focus. Individuals establish and improve their relationship with God through private reflection and prayer, daily devotions, chapel services, pastoral counseling, singing and social activities. Phase two of the program lasts 90 days, and incorporates work therapy, where participants work for one of Fresh Start’s businesses, which include a thrift store run by the Women’s Center, a lawn care service, a firewood service, a car wash and a remodeling service. In the third phase of the program, students spend 90 days working towards employment with a local business. Students deposit money into individual accounts set up and monitored by Fresh Start. In this phase, a GED course will be offered to those students who have not previously completed high school study. Upon completion of the 7-month program, students receive a Fresh Start Certificate and the money earned during their stay will be released to the student to assist with transition expenses like rent, deposits, utilities, etc.
For students that have completed the program, Fresh Start offers an optional 6-month intern phase. In this phase, students will have an opportunity to lead others to freedom from drug and alcohol abuse through mentoring, sharing testimonies, and even leading group sessions. Students who have paying jobs will continue to work while staying at the center.
Fresh Start Ministry is funded, in part, by a broad range of sources, including local churches, private donations, local businesses, civic groups and government programs. It is a registered 501c3 non-profit corporation and all donations to the ministry are tax deductible. The program requires an induction fee of $500 at admission from each participant, which helps cover the cost of the admission process. Thereafter, additional monthly fees will apply, which are tax-deductible, but non-refundable.
Drug and alcohol addiction tug at every fiber of communities and account for more crime than any other cause. Yet the drugs, without question, are symptomatic of a deeper problem. We believe the answer lies in a faith-based program that promotes a relationship with God as the foundation of recovery. Numerous studies indicate that faith-based recovery programs are working all over the country. Fresh Start’s inpatient program maintains a success rate of over 70% for those graduating the program. The body of Christ is uniting to make communities better places to live by helping the addict recovery permanently. Chains are being broken and people are beginning to experience the abundant life Christ has to offer.
For more information on Fresh Start Ministries, call (318) 435-7061.
Pathways Community Health
Pathways Community Health provides Central Louisiana with client-driven care to advance the health needs of people impacted by drug, alcohol, gambling and mental health issues. Its experienced staff uses evidence-based practices to work with adults and adolescents, along with their families. In 2014, the Central Louisiana Human Services District selected Pathways, part of Compass Health Network, to serve the community in multiple ways including adolescent and adult outpatient substance abuse treatment, outpatient gambling treatment, co-occurring treatment in a residential setting, room and board for homeless veterans and primary residential treatment for mothers with substance abuse issues and their dependent children.
All local services include a comprehensive assessment of each client, individual therapy, family therapy, group education, group counseling, case management and referral for on-going care. Depending on a person’s need, Pathways offers both inpatient and out-patient options. The Central State Hospital campus in Pineville houses several programs: an adolescent intensive outpatient program, treatment services for the 9th Judicial District Court Juvenile Drug Court and Gateway Adolescent Treatment Center. Also located on the hospital grounds are the Red River Treatment Complex, Phase II Women’s Halfway House and Bridge House Men’s Halfway House.
The adolescent outpatient program groups and sessions are after school, and eligible clients can qualify for transportation services. Family sessions are held depending on the schedule of the client’s parents to help maximize their participation in the treatment and recovery process. The Juvenile Drug Court Program provides an alternative, incentive-driven sentencing program for offenders with substance use problems. A judge presides over a weekly status hearing attended by the client, the treatment team, an Indigent Defender Board representative and a juvenile probation officer. Each agency reports on the client’s progress, needs and recommendations. Gateway Adolescent Treatment Center is a 16-bed residential facility for adolescents ages 13 to 17 who suffer from problems with drugs, alcohol and behavioral issues. The average length of stay is approximately 24 days, and then the client is referred to a lower level of care, usually in his/her community.
Red River Addiction Complex provides adults suffering from the negative effects of alcohol, drugs and/or experiencing mental health disorders a safe environment toward recovery. At 64-bed residential facility, clients receive psychiatric evaluations and also have an option to use telepsych services if diagnosed with co-occurring disorders. Also available at the complex is an eight-week program for 9 to 11 hours per week. It can be an entry level of care or used as transitional treatment from residential treatment. Women needing supplemental care along with primary or residential treatment might benefit from the 36-bed Phase II Women’s Halfway House. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program is a primary substance abuse program and the client’s dependent children can, if so desired, attend the program with the mother. Bridge House Men’s Halfway House is a 31-bed facility that offers secondary treatment for adult men continuing their recovery process from alcohol and/or drug addiction. Bridge House also provides housing for homeless veterans and those veterans attending the outpatient substance abuse program at the Veteran Affairs Hospital campus in Pineville.
Pathways also provides outpatient and intensive outpatient services for both adolescents and adults clients and their families affected by alcohol and drugs in Avoyelles (Marksville), Catahoula (Jonesville), Grant (Colfax), Vernon (Leesville) and Winn (Winnfield) parishes. Each person receives an assessment to determine which level of care best meets his or her needs. In Marksville and Leesville, Pathways partnered with the judicial courts to provide adult drug court treatment services. Pathways also provides an outpatient setting individual and group counseling for those individuals seeking treatment for pathological gambling.
All of the programs mentioned are DHH licensed and CARF accredited. Pathways focuses on the strengths of each person to facilitate achievement of goals and to provide quality care to clients with qualified and experienced staff. Pathways is part of Compass Health Network, which is comprised of three main entities–Pathways Community Health, Crider Health Center and Royal Oaks Hospital. The agency serves more than 139,000 people annually in Missouri and Louisiana in the areas of behavioral health, alcohol and drug treatment, prevention services, supportive housing services, community-based behavioral health support, school-based behavioral health support, primary care and dental services.
For more information please contact Kathy Pflipsen, director of operations, or David Brocato, director of recovery and addiction services, at (318) 441-5900. You can also reach Pflipsen via email at email@example.com or Brocato at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seven years ago–spring of 2008—Mickey Mangun had an encounter with a unique group of individuals in our community when a member of her extended family came to visit and wanted her to join him for an AA Meeting. One room, one meeting, and a lot of pondering and prayer brought her to the realization that The Pentecostals of Alexandria had an opportunity to minister help, healing, and hope to a significant number of people in their own congregation–as well as a much broader scope of people in the community. She remembers, “When I entered that people-filled room I saw love, compassion, acceptance and encouragement demonstrated on a level I had not experienced before. That day a passionate fire was born in me that is still ablaze.” Gathering a core team of individuals with specific life experiences and connections to the addiction community in Central Louisiana, Mickey began the process of establishing what is now a vital, vibrant outreach and recovery ministry at The Pentecostals. SEVEN was born.
SEVEN ministers to those individuals who are in need of recovery or in recovery, as well as their friends and family members. Whether you yourself are struggling or have struggled with an addiction, or whether you love someone who is or has been an addict, this program is for you. Even if you are not addicted to drugs or alcohol, if you just have a hurt, a habit, or a hang-up you’d like Jesus to help you with, you’re welcome at SEVEN. SEVEN offers weekly meetings on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday evenings at 7:00pm in the Family Room of the GA Mangun Center at 2817 Rapides Avenue in Alexandria. Saturday night meetings follow the Celebrate Recovery lesson plan, individualized by each instructor to fit “us”. On Monday and Wednesday nights, SEVEN hosts open discussion meetings. There may be a particular topic of discussion introduced by the leader, or there may be an “ask it basket” –simply a time of discussion and sharing to provide strength and hope to participants.
How do you attend a SEVEN Meeting? Just show up at 7:00pm on Monday, Wednesday, or Saturday in the Family Room of the GA Mangun Center—the middle building on campus—just look for the purple SEVEN banner!
In addition to SEVEN, POA also offers two additional recovery ministries—Grace House and House of Mercy. Despondent, lonely, and needing-a-second chance men are given the opportunity to build a new life at POA’s Grace House. To qualify for residence at the mission, candidates must be at least 18 years old and physically able to take care of themselves. Upon their arrival, men must demonstrate their will to stay by obeying house rules, attending church, and participating in Bible studies–following the steps of the program. Grace House first opened in 1988, and has continued through the years to offer help to those in need of help in building a new life for themselves. In the more than 20 years of its existence, thousands of men have been blessed by the services of the Grace House. Many of the men, years later, remain members of the POA and are involved in church ministries in other locations as well. John Russell, who now pastors Calvary Tabernacle in Alexandria, was once a Grace House resident. Similar to Grace House in its desire to provide shelter, help and hope, House of Mercy is located on the POA Campus and provides ministry to women, age 18 and older. At present, both the program and the building are undergoing renovations. Opening date late fall of 2015.
For more information on SEVEN, call (318) 442-6676, (318) 427-6614 or e-mail email@example.com.
Trudy J. Nelson, Clay Russell, Jason Young and Pamela Nolde contributed to this article.