UPDATE: WVVA Special Report: Celebrate Recovery healing families - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: WVVA Special Report: Celebrate Recovery healing families


PRINCETON, W. Va (WVVA)-- As the drug problem continues to ravage the area, a program at Johnston Chapel Baptist Church in Princeton is working to turn things around.

They start with a group of people who have "hurts, habits, and hang-ups." Then, they work through a year-long "Celebrate Recovery" program to begin healing those issues.

They serve people suffering from a variety of addictions, from pornography to drugs, even control issues. 

The atmosphere-- safe and trustworthy.

"We want to assure you that whatever you first of all, this is a safe place," said Pastor Jim Simmons, who works at the church. "Whatever you talk about stays here."

It's all about changing the bigger issues, to then, heal the addiction, he told us.

"You want to delve deeper into your own issues and begin to unravel the past," Simmons said, "and begin to understand why you made decisions that you did."

Then, the healing begins. But a big part of it is God.

"It's helping folks come to a place where they say, 'This problem I have is bigger than me,'" said Simmons. "'I need help. I need a power that is stronger than me.' So He is identified as the higher power."

For more on "Celebrate Recovery," check out its website.

This program works with the addicts as well as their families. 

Jason Dillow, a former addict whose family was healed by the program, says it brought him closer to God-- which in turn, helped him be the man his family needed again.

"God's word tells me I have to be the spiritual leader of our home," he said.  "I have a role to fill. And I don't just have to-- now I want to."

He and his family have been instrumental in bringing Celebrate Recovery to the church. It has helped them all-- because of course, addictions don't just hurt those who abuse substances, they affect families too.

During their first year with the program, Jason said he noticed a change.

"I noticed that trust was coming back. A little at a time," he said.

His wife Tera agreed.

"[He was] being more involved with the kids, helping go to the grocery store, helping cook supper. Being more involved with our family," she said.

We filmed a Celebrate Recovery meeting-- they go on every Thursday at 7 at the church-- with permission, only using video of those who gave their permission.

To find a Celebrate Recovery group near you, use  this group locator.

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