Users can get help

Published 11:59 pm Wednesday, July 8, 2009

For addicts, the road to recovery begins with one simple step — asking for help.

“Addiction is addiction,” said Misty Rogers, a 10-year meth addict who, for the last 16 months, has been “clean” thanks to The Lovelady Center in Birmingham.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s meth, if it’s cocaine, if it’s alcohol,” she said. “There’s not a lot of difference in addiction. For me, it was meth; it took 10 years of my life. Now I’m here and only by the grace of God. I sit back and look and know, if I hadn’t went to jail and come here, I would be dead today.”

Rogers’ road to Birmingham was a hard one. The LaGrange, Ga., native was arrested in New Brockton for possession and manufacturing methamphetamine. She landed in jail and later a home and eventually a chance at a new life at the faith-based rehabilitation center for women and children called The Lovelady Center. There, 273 women and 50 children live within its walls, dealing with “all kinds of addictions.”

There are many types of rehab programs available throughout the state — many faith-based and many private pay facilities. There are 16 drug rehab facilities throughout the state approved by the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles. They are as close as Opp’s Crossover Ministries and Dothan’s The Haven and Spectracare. They are as far away as Bessemer’s The Foundary and The Fellowship House and Mobile’s Waterfront Rescue Mission.

Also in the state are private pay facilities like Dothan’s Bradford Health Services and Luverne’s First Step Substance Abuse Treatment.

At each of the facilities, there is a single common denominator to the patients inside their walls — those that need help must first ask for help.

“First thing is that you have to call; if you need help, just call,” said Debbie King, the adult counselor at Bradford Health Services. “That’s how recovery starts.”

Locally, Opp’s Crossover Ministries, which accepts both men and women, has a slightly different approach for entry into its program.

“The way our program works is that an applicant will write us a letter stating that they need help, they want to get out of the problem they are in,” said director Todd Sasser. “At that time, we start a correspondence with them whether they’re in jail or in prison or someone off the street. We set up an interview and do an assessment and it goes from there.”

Sasser said if at any point it’s determined that a client needs immediate help, a vacancy in another program is found.

“If you need help and you ask for it, we’re going to find you a spot. Period,” Sasser said.

Sasser said he once had a client to ride up in front of the Opp facility on a bicycle who said, “If you don’t help me, I’m going to die.”

“These people realize they’re knocking on death’s door if they don’t get help,” he said. “All they have to do is call. The help is out there.”

To contact Crossover, call 334-493-1030 or e-mail or visit the Web site at