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Salvation Army helps people out of substance abuse

By Thomas Picciano, pressconnects.com

7 days ago   Article ID# 4089286
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Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center

BINGHAMTON, NEW YORK (pressconnects.com) - “We do what we do and put it in the Lord’s hands as God’s program,” said Maj. Timothy MacLean, of the Salvation Army.

MacLean is administrator of the Adult Rehabilitation Center in Binghamton. It’s a residential program that uses a faith-based approach to help people out of substance abuse.

MacLean said it’s not much different than what the organization’s founder, William Booth, did in London in the late 1800s to bring people to the Gospel. The Salvation Army website notes that among the first converts Booth made were “thieves, prostitutes, gamblers and drunkards.” Then, as now, they sought to bring people to a church for “spiritual guidance.”

All participants in the local program are required to take part in daily devotions in the chapel. Banners with biblical verses line the walls of the neat, wood-paneled room. A large tapestry on one side features the Last Supper. In the front, it’s high-tech with computer monitors and keyboards, plus a setup for musicians.

Decades ago, there were mostly older, alcoholic men in the rehabilitation center. But that’s changed with the times.

“We’re getting young people who don’t have any work history,” MacLean said.

“Now, those who come are as young as 18 and are mostly addicted to drugs like heroin,” he said.

“One of the first things I tell them is we are a Christian, faith-based program," said counselor Theresa Tague. "And you’re going to have church services, Bible studies and religious instruction.

“No matter what their faith is, we tell them that at least they can be respectful,” Tague added. “We’re not forcing you to convert.”

A brochure explains the ministry’s purpose, which includes leading people to faith in Jesus Christ and to “build up us in faith.” The program provides “a Christian atmosphere where believers can help one another return to productive Christian living.” Another purpose is to lead people to “spiritual solutions to life’s problems.”

MacLean stresses the only requirement is a willingness to be involved in the program.

“We know that there are people in our program who don’t believe or who are Muslim or Jewish,” he said.

Each participant is introduced to a “recovery” Bible, which leads to scripture verses to assist with daily living. The residential program involves more than just the religious activities; there’s counseling, work therapy and recreation as well.

A series of steps lead the way through the program, starting with orientation. Education follows. That includes getting into outside support group meetings.

The development portion says that among other things, participants must get a sponsor and look for a place of worship. A final phase called reinforcement requires a transition plan for moving out on their own with a job and a place to live.

There are many successes from the center. Some who entered as hardened individuals left differently. Tague remembered one who now has a spiritual mentor and a church.

“He’s becoming a good Christian and good family man, second time through. Sometimes, it doesn’t always work the first time," she said.

“God comes into their lives and changes them,” MacLean said. “They get off the drugs and alcohol.

“As long at they’re here, under this roof, there’s always a chance they might see the light. They might hear something that changes their life around, changes their thinking."

Copyright 2017 pressconnects.com   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 7 days ago   Article ID# 4089286

Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center    Visit Website

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