Recovery specialists talk about solutions to opioid crisis

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Addiction recovery specialists gathered at the First United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge for the "Break Every Chain" event Sunday.

FUMC wanted to hold the event to reach out to the community and members, and also discuss solutions for the opioid crisis.

"People don't realize that it is so hard to get sober on your own," says Madison Nyquist, a counselor at The Journey Home, a female recovery center in Denham Springs.

They handle addictions ranging from drugs to alcoholism.

"At the end of our treatment, we try and get them into college," Nyquist said. "We try and get them a job. We want them to be self sufficient, and we don't want them to live that way anymore."

"One of the things we wanted to do as a church is take some of the shame off of it if we can, and say look, when you say this is a struggle, and you're experiencing the struggle, we believe you," said Rev. Brady Whitton, the senior pastor at FUMC. "And we want to be a help."

Doctor Terry Ellis was the guest speaker. He says he overcame alcohol addiction, and he now works as a recovery specialist.

"I believe that addiction, at its core, is a spiritual void," Ellis said. "And so I try to help people understand the spiritual connection, and help them get well."

When it comes to the opioid crisis, Doctor Ellis says he believes the spiritual approach is the best. He also says the problem has gotten so big, the country needs to address a number of areas to reach a solution.

"There are governmental policies that we have to have in place that are good and sound and wise," Ellis said. "There's a science between any kind of addiction and it helps us understand what's going on. There is a sense of personal effort where we have to be willing to make some change personally."

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