|Letter from the Founder
2020 is fast coming to an end and it’s been a year of uncertainty and time we’ve never seen before. But the one constant through all of this has been God’s love and faithfulness.
Ten residents have completed our program this year. More than any year previously since God began the 24/7 House. And we are so grateful.
We were blessed this year with the Baxley Christian Church and Lauri Jo Upchurch providing transition housing for women. We are also working on a plan to have a transition house for the men’s program in place by the end of the year 2021. Glen and Mandy Stone have one now that can house men who want to stay in the community and build on their recovery.
I would like to think our wonderful and dedicated staff for their service and thank you to the community for all the support given to 24/7 House, the churches, businesses, and individuals who are so faithful in their monetary support.
Most of all we thank God for continuing to bless and protect the 24/7 House program. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and remembering Jesus is the reason for the season.
|FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS DESK 2020
H.R. 3884 passed the House of Representatives on December 4, 2020 by a vote of 228-164. H.R. 3884 is the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act. Bill 3884 decriminalizes the use of marijuana and expunges the records of those already convicted of marijuana use. This bill will also allow taxpayer dollars to be used to provide grants for the cannabis industry. As an addiction’s counselor, I do not believe illicit drugs should be legalized.
Is marijuana harmful to the brain?
In the first study to link casual marijuana use to major brain changes, researchers say that even occasionally smoking marijuana may rewire your brain and cause structural changes. The study is published in the Journal of Neuroscience.
Multiple studies have linked marijuana use with a higher risk of psychosis, which is a medical term that applies to symptoms that involve losing touch with the real world, such as hallucinations or paranoia. For example, in an analysis published in 2016 in the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin, researchers looked at previous studies of about 67,000 people.
They found that people in the study who used the most marijuana were more likely to be diagnosed with a psychotic mental-health condition, such as schizophrenia, than people who had never used marijuana.
Please keep our country in your prayers.
Michael Smith CAC1/NCAC Executive Director
|This Christmas is special to me. I am clean and sober. A fews night ago, I was in tears stressing about all the friends and family that I wanted to gift this year and seeing my budget it just isn’t an option for me to bless them how I would like to. Sitting there alone, I started praying. I sat quietly and I realized the best gift I can give myself, my family and loved ones is my sobriety, there will be no more missed moments, no regrets, no feelings of shame, no hangovers or having to make excuses and lies to leave so I can get my hands on anything to feel better. There will be no more fuzziness and no negative thoughts or feelings. Instead, I will experience only freedom, joy, peace, and love. I will be present for every holiday now and make it the best. I want to experience everything. Get proper relaxation and rest, no passing out or nodding off from being too high. I will experience deep connection and make new memories. I can be true to myself and my family. I can live each and every moment without blurring the edges with drugs or alcohol. Christmas is so much less stressful with this new outlook. I feel healthy, calm and most importantly I feel “a part of” and alive. I have never felt those feelings. I couldn’t think about what I would get people for Christmas before I got sober. I was so selfish and dependent on drugs and alcohol that’s where my time and money went. Drugs and alcohol became my best friend, my family, my love. Thinking about holidays only made me want to get closer to the drugs and alcohol. Now I get excited about holiday, especially Christmas! I know I can’t see into the future and yes, there is bound to be certain things that may happen and things that are outside of my control, but today, I work a program of recovery thanks to the 24/7 House. Today, I know the tools and use them enough it has become my new healthy habit. I can prepare for whatever might come up. Triggers are everywhere every day, but they come in different forms and holidays are the main attraction for my triggers. I’m not worried this Christmas because I know I will stay true to myself, stay close to God and stay in the moment. I am prepared for those events; I’m staying on my path of recovery this holiday.
|WHAT ADDICTION AND RECOVERY MEANS TO ME!
MY LIFE IN ADDICTION STARTED WHEN I WAS 14-YEARS OLD, I STILL REMEMBER THAT FEELING TO THIS DAY. THRU MY LIFE IN AND OUT OF ADDICTION I CAN REMEMBER SIGNS THAT WOULD POP UP THAT MADE ME THINK I HAD A PROBLEM BUT WOULD NEVER ACCEPT IT, SUCH AS:
DRINK EVEN WHEN I WAS SICK, DRINK WHEN THINGS WERE GOING GOOD DRINK WHEN THINGS WERE GOING BAD, WOULD NOT EAT AT A RESTRAUNT UNLESS THEY SERVED ALCOHOL NO MATTER HOW MUCH OR LITTLE ALCOHOL, I HAD AT MY DISPOSAL I WOULD DRINK IT TILL IT WAS GONE. I DRANK MYSELF INTO 3-REHABS, 2-DUI’S, MULTIPLE FIGHTS, DIVORCE A FEW HOSPITAL STAYS AND CAUSED A HUGE GAP BETWEEN ME AND THE ONES I LOVED BUT I STILL COULDN’T QUIT!
IN MARCH OF 2016 I QUIT A VERY GOOD JOB BECAUSE I HAD BECOME HOPELESS AND ALL I WANTED TO DO IS SIT AT HOME ALL DAY AND DRINK TILL I DIED! FINALLY, AFTER ABOUT A MONTH MY DAUGHTER
CAME AND GOT ME AND GOD DIRECTED ME TO WERE I NEEDED TO BE, AT THE 24/7 HOUSE.
AFTER ALL I HAD BEEN THRU, I STILL BELIEVED I ONLY NEEDED TO BE
HERE FOR 3 OR 4 MONTHS BECAUSE I NEEDED TO GET BACK TO ATLANTA, GET BACK TO WORK AND SAVE MY BEAUTIFUL HOME, THOUGHT I COULD HANDLE IT ON MY OWN, (THAT’S THE INSANITY OF ADDICTION). AFTER ABOUT 4-MONTHS OF BEING IN THE PROGRAM A LIGHT CLICKED IN MY BRAIN THAT SAID MAYBE I DO NEED THIS, I’VE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO BEAT IT FOR LONG SO MAYBE I CAN LEARN TO LIVE LIFE WITHOUT IT!
IT IS NOW DEC 2020 AND IM STILL HERE BECAUSE OF GODS GRACE. MY LIFE IN RECOVERY IS AMAZING COMPARED TO WHAT I LET MY ADDICTION DRAG ME THRU. WITH GODS GRACE AND MERCY, I HAVE NEW LIFE, ALMOST LIKE BEING BORN AGAIN WITH YOUR SALVATION THRU CHRIST!
TODAY I HAVE HOPE AND A PURPOSE IN LIFE, IM NOT THE SELFISH PERSON I USED TO BE. I HAVE A DESIRE TO DO GODS WILL, BE A PRODUCTIVE MEMBER OF SOCIETY AND A PASSION TO HELP OTHERS!
GODS GRACE HAS BROUGHT ME AN AMAZING PEACE THAT I’VE NEVER EXPERIENCED BEFORE, A PEACE KNOWING NO MATTER WHAT ITS GOING TO BE OK BECAUSE I HAVE MY SALVATION!
IM GRATEFUL FOR WHAT I HAD TO GO THRU IN MY ADDICTION IF IT MEANT GETTING WHAT I HAVE TODAY! Jimmy Kerr
Legalization of Marijuana?
Marijuana has a reputation as a relatively harmless drug, but researchers are learning more and more about the effects it may have on the brain.
An increased risk of psychosis, changes in the brain’s reward system and the scrambled neuron signals that may underlie “the munchies” are just some of the many potential effects of marijuana use on the brain.
“The biggest risk related to the use of marijuana is the increased risk of psychosis,” said Dr. Scott Krakower, assistant unit chief of psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, New York. Another significant risk, for those who use marijuana during their teenage years, is an increased likelihood of an IQ drop.
My first Christmas
Growing up in a dysfunctional home I never understood what Christmas was about. I had a mistaken belief it was about Santa Clause and getting gifts. Being in addiction for 26 years I don’t remember a lot of Christmases with my family because I was always drunk high, or in jail and prison. So, Christmas for me has never been enjoyable but since coming to the 24/7 House and getting myself in a right relationship with Jesus, plus having a sound mind to enjoy the best gift there is, forgiveness of my sins and becoming a new person. I look forward to being with my new sister’s in Christ, which I have gained my being here and the support system I have with 24/7 House staff and volunteers. I have love so I can genuinely enjoy my first Christmas and look forward to so many more after restoration comes with my family through surrendering my life and my Will over to the care of God and trusting that He will make all things right at His appointed time.
|My first Christmas
Christmas was always a toss- up as a child. The holiday I grew to love as a child became lonely and dysfunctional through my teenage years, eventually being spent high or in a mental hospital. My last five Christmases were less than ideal, the most recent one was in jail. I could not picture ever having that magical Christmas experience I had as a child ever again. In my stay here at the 24/7 House, I have learned to love my life, to love people, and to trust God again. Christmas is not about presents like I had in early childhood nor is it an extravagant party. It is a celebration of God’s son who saved me, redeemed me from the possibility of never seeing another Christmas again. Getting to celebrate it sober with the people I love in recovery is the best gift I could ever ask for. Andy
Over the last several Christmases I have either been locked up or to high to remember anything going on. I never once celebrated Christmas for what it really stood for. I always just thought that it was about the gifts. Thanks to the 24/7 House staff, volunteers, and residents I have come to see Christmas for what it is about. This is my first Christmas clean and sober and I give all the glory to God and the wonderful home and family that I have gained here at the 24/7 House. If it were not for them there is no telling where I would be this Christmas. Today I am grateful for my first Christmas. I have already received the best gift, my recovery! Krista
Christmas for me was always a time I had to keep appearances to please others. I bought the best gifts to show I had it all together when in all reality I was dying inside. I have spent the last eleven Christmases high or in jail and before that I never really understood the meaning of what Christmas really was. This year is my first Christmas ever knowing what it is truly meant to be. I believe Jesus Christ was born just for the people like me who have lived their whole life with no true meaning or purpose. The love and grace I’ve been given since I’ve came to the 24/7 House eleven short months ago is incomprehensible and the miracles, I’ve seen not only in the lives around me but in my life as well gives me no reason to ever doubt His existence again. Today I have a relationship with two amazing God-fearing children that He personally gave to me. I am blessed to be able to spend my first Christmas with them as well. I am blessed to have a new family and a sense of hope that cannot be taken no matter the storm I face. 24/7 House and God have given me a chance at life, and I am learning how to live it for the first time. Mikale