2018-01-24 / Front Page

Hope for drug addicts

“Carrying the Message”
By Deborah Bennett
Millen News editor

Drug abuse is not confined to large cities and communities or to the poor and disadvantaged, it is also found in small, rural cities and counties, including Millen and Jenkins County. It is found among the affluent as well as the poor and disadvantaged. Thanks to one local recovering drug addict, however, there is now help available to those in this community who want to the break the chains of drug addiction.

A local chapter of Narcotics Anonymous (NA) has been meeting since Oct. 2nd, 2017 at the Millen Baptist Church Youth House on Mondays and Fridays at 8 p.m. The group was established through the efforts of PLP, a recovering drug addict, who saw the need for a local support group and made it her mission to do something about it. PLP cannot be identified in this article due to requirements of anonymity by NA.

Drug addiction began for PLP at the age of 15 when she first tried marijuana.

“From that I moved on to cocaine when I was 16. That lasted until I was 23, when I began using methamphetamine,” she said.

PLP, now 27, has tried rehabilitation twice.

“My first attempt was at a rehab center in Florida. I maintained sobriety for six months and then relapsed. I then went to a rehab center in California and that was the turning point for me,” she said.

PLP came home and began attending NA meetings in Statesboro. This led her to develop a desire to start a group locally. The “Carrying the Message” NA group averages an attendance of about 18 monthly. PLP chairs the group but also allows others to have an opportunity to do so.

“I want people to know that recovery is possible. You have to do routine maintenance and there is a way out. But you can’t do it by yourself. That’s what the fellowship group is for. Recovery is fun. It makes you feel better,” PLP said.

Drug-free now for over six months, PLP says she depends heavily upon her faith with a lot of support from Millen Baptist Church and her grandmother, with whom she lives, to help her maintain sobriety. She also has a sponsor with whom she meets once a week.

“I call my grandmother’s house Alcatraz,” she jokes. “But I need that right now. I’m not ready to be out on my own.”

Determined to turn her life around, PLP has a job and has enrolled in school online with plans to become a substance abuse counselor. She now sees herself as a strong person with potential.

“A recovering addict is a strong person. We say, ‘Just for today’. That is our motto,” she said.

NA sprang from the Alcoholics Anonymous Program of the late 1940s and is now well established. Today the organization is a worldwide fellowship with nearly 67,000 weekly meetings in 139 countries. Membership is open to all drug addicts, regardless of the particular drug or combination of drugs used.

All are welcome at NA meetings. For more information on the local NA group, email: carryingthemessage3@gmail.com.

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