RENO, Nev. (KOLO) – Reno’s Salvation Army is making a push to help more men battling substance abuse by getting them into free treatment.
Like many in Washoe County, Michael M. spent years battling his addiction.
“I was addicted to meth, alcohol, marijuana, and all of that. It’s what I would do to mask my pain from previous childhood things that, you know, caused a lot of resentment, a lot of rebellion.”
After losing his family relationships, including with his son, and being in prison twice, he knew it was time for a change.
“When I started applying for programs when I was gonna’ be released from incarceration, this is the program I filled out an application and it was approved,” said Michael M.
He says although it was difficult to adjust to the program and work with others, the structure of the Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Program gave him confidence and hope.
“From the therapy to the chapel services to the homework, just every day, make your bed, tuck your shirt in,” said Michael M. “It’s designed to teach you all the things that you might’ve either taken for granted or that you never were taught as a younger man.”
Program beneficiaries participate in spiritual offerings, AA meetings and work therapy, where the men sort donations for 40 hours a week to help keep their minds busy and learn to cope with the stresses of the workplace.
“We have people from all walks of life,” said Major Darren Trimmer, Washoe County Coordinator for Salvation Army. “Whether they’ve come from the prison system, whether they’ve been homeless out in the streets, we’ve even had businessmen who have a thriving business and because they need help, they come to us.
The facility has 68 beds and 31 of those are available. Chaplain and director, Wade Furlong says each year they graduate about 250 men and believes it’s the spiritual component that makes the program special.
“We introduce people to God, that allows them to heal their hurts, their hang-ups,” said Furlong.
If it wasn’t for ARP, Michael says he would probably be in jail. He will be graduating in three weeks and his mother and son will be attending the commencement.
“They’re proud of me and I’m looking forward to spending the rest of my life with them.”
The program is open to men ages 18 to 62 with alcohol or drug addiction. Before starting they have to be sober, free of serious criminal background and willing to commit for six months.
For more information, call Revered Wade Furlong at (775) 688-4571 Ext. 310.
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