Walk Demonstrates Faith Community Support

September 21, 2012 by  
Filed under Success Stories

A weekend walk organized by Faith Partners ministry teams in the Paducah, KY area brought attention to supporting local recovery efforts. Recovery WalkThe walk was held along Paducah’s floodwall and participants included representatives from multiple church teams. The effort was intent on both drawing attention to and celebrating the successes of people reaching out for help in dealing with problems of alcohol and substance abuse. Turnout was impressive, and the event was reported on bt the local media.

Click on Recovery Walk for more information on this event and comments by participants

Article by Lauren Adams, WPSDLocal6 News, Paducah, KY

Family Response

July 1, 2012 by  
Filed under Writings

Does this sound familiar? Perhaps you are clergy, a certified substance abuse counselor, an adult child of an alcoholic, or simply the neighbor of someone who is struggling to make the right decision about a husband, child, or other family member. The typical responses are often a complicated mix of fight or take flight or both.

Rev. Cynthia Sloan

Rev. Sloan

Families and friends who love someone addicted to alcohol or other drugs have experienced emotional pain that only another who has been in the same place can understand. One who has never experienced loving and being loved by an addict might say, “Why don’t you just leave them?” But would this be a valid solution if the afflicted person had cancer or diabetes? No, of course not.

Families and friends can help by:


  • Attending workshops on addictionGoing to open AA or NA meetings and learning firsthand from folks who have lived through the grip of addiction
  • Becoming a member of an Al-Anon family group.
  • Family members can play an integral part in the addict’s full recovery, but only if they are willing to work as hard at being a part of the solution as they have worked at being part of the problem. This not meant to be a criticism, only a statement of truth.

k1753299Everyone is reluctant to change what’s familiar. It is like having an old favorite pair of bedroom slippers. Though worn and ugly, they are comfortable and one is used to them. If one gets a new pair, will they feel the same … will there be a period of adjustment…will one miss wearing the old ones?

If you grew up in an alcoholic family, more likely than not you married an alcoholic. Somewhere in the back of your mind you found yourself doing the same things you promised yourself you would never do. Adult children of alcoholics find themselves married to someone they thought they could change or control.

Following are some characteristics of a person brought up in an alcoholic home:**

  • Hero–the well-adjusted child in the family who has it all together. They get good grades, are the star of the football team, and strive for perfection as validation. They need to be in control, but everything in their lives is out of control.
  • Scapegoat–the child who gets into trouble. He or she unconsciously chooses to be the “one problem” so that the other members of family will take their focus off the alcoholic/addict.
  • Lost Child–the “good one” who never does anything wrong to the extent of being lost in the shuffle. They grow up and typically marry someone they can take care of and/or fix.
  • Mascot–the child who makes the family laugh. They bring relief to the situation by putting on a comic mask to ease the emotional pain in the household.
  • Chief Enabler–usually the spouse who tries everything to “keep the secret.” They try to keep the family intact while it is falling apart. The only sense of relief the enabler might get is a brief period of sobriety the addict might demonstrate in response to a threat from that spouse. As the disease progresses, the enabler might feel a bit like a juggler with too many balls in the air. Eventually, this family member gets “sick and tried of being sick and tired” and either leaves and/or goes into recovery.

imageCAED7U2GThe importance of family members’ involvement in their own recovery cannot be overstressed. The family can and does make a difference in getting someone into a program of recovery. Just by becoming a member of Al-Anon, the family member learns: they didn’t cause it, they can’t control it, and they can’t cure it. The Three Cs of Al-Anon (also adopted by Alateen) provide relief and freedom to many people.

Freedom from depending on someone to provide our happiness is the start of the road to recovery. All kinds of miracles can happen when we decide we have had enough. It is time to quit playing to blame game and begin a journey toward freedom.

Pray this prayer with me:

God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I can not change
COURAGE to change the things I can;
And the WISDOM to know the difference.

*From a letter to the clearinghouse for the Al-Anon family groups, which are an outgrowth of AA; 1990, Understanding and Counseling the Alcoholic by Howard Clinebell.

**From Counseling the Chemically Dependent by Rickey L. George.

Originally published by SPSARV & the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries. Permission granted to reprint.

Rev. Cynthia Sloan serves as program associate for the United Methodist Special Program on Substance Abuse and Related Violence (SPSARV), where she coordinates the delivery of training and resources for clergy and congregational ministry development. An ordained deacon of the Western North Carolina Conference, Rev. Sloan is a licensed clinical addictions specialist in the state of North Carolina.

Understanding Youth in Recovery

November 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Success Stories

Do younger addicts and alcoholics respond to the need for treatment in ways similar to other groups? Are there unique differences in circumstance? Are their prospects for recovery better or worse than other groups?

Film producer Jack Sinclair has a genuine passion to document the experience of a younger population in need of and accepting sobriety. His riveting documentary, Twelve: Is there life after rehab in recovery? catalogues the decline, fall, and resurrected lives of 20 or so faces and voices dealing with the harsh reality of addiction.  The recovery experiences are brought into focus by delving into the individual circumstances that help identify needs, examining the arduous process of connecting, and sharing candidly the struggles that are often typical of a younger group going through the healing process. Most have found long term solutions as well as becoming integrated into the world they once withdrew from. 

To view selected sequences of this award winning documentary, and to get more information on the project, go to Twelve.

Education that Changes Lives

October 10, 2009 by  
Filed under Success Stories

Exposure to the science and treatment of alcohol and addiction related problems can lead not just to understanding, but also to profound changes in the direction of lives. Take for example Jonathan Tripplet, a gifted athlete and director of a collegiate sports and recreation program. After enrolling in a two-week program covering the fundamentals of alcoholism, the roots addiction, treatment and recovery, and closely related topics, he was moved to take a new direction in his professional life. No longer content with his role in community service, he is seeks to impact lives more directly, through counseling certification and working more closely with educating the younger population. 

Tripplet credits his change in focus to the insights gained from his enrollment in the United Methodist Chemical Dependency Summer School, held in Oklahoma City, OK, that he attended in 2008. Read more about Jonathan Triplett‘s experience there and what it has meant to him.

Recognition for Martinez UMC

October 9, 2009 by  
Filed under Success Stories

The Faith Partners ministry from Martinez United Methodist Church (Martinez, CA) has recently received a Proclamation from the City of Martinez, acknowledging their work in support of recovery efforts. The team represents the Cal-Nev Conference of the United Methodist Church and the recognition was made in conjunction with National Recovery Month.

View the official
Martinez Proclamation.

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