FLINT, Michigan (WJRT) - (5/21/17) - Heroin hits hard. Recovering addicts facing tough choices - find hope at a faith-based residential recovery program in Flint.
Beginning in July Life Challenge Ministries in Flint is expanding from a 90-day program to a year round one - offering individuals like Chris Dutil of Flint the consistency of living in one community --and newcomers the chance to meet guys like Chris who just celebrated his six month milestone.
"Yeah it was just this rush that I got from them, it was hard to equal and once you felt it - you just wanted to keep feeling that," explained former drug user Chris Dutil.
The Flint native describes how becoming addicted to pain killers prescribed for dental work, eventually led to heroin use.
"It's available, a lot easier than the prescription pain pills are," he noted.
At first he vowed he would never inject it. "It was like I'll just snort it - I'm never going to be an IV drug user, that's horrible--but eventually you rationalize it in your head --I'm wasting money, I'm wasting my high," he explained.
Dutil--who described himself as 'functioning' herione user --the U of M Flint grad was working 3 jobs - said it wasn't until he got 'sick of the grind' - that he finally decided to get help--for himself this time.
After going to a methadone clinic --he says he chose Life Challenge Ministries - because of its faith component:
"I knew about God," he explained, "but I never knew God - it was a big thing for me to come here and reinvest in that personal relationship."
"You can go someplace and come out with 'clean' time - 60 days - then you're back out - but what did you really gain" Dutil said. "You gained some clean time but did you really change your life?"
Dutil celebrated six months in recovery on May 15th.
At Life Challenge, the men play together, share meals, attend addiction classes and study the bible together.
The 36 year old -who will graduate on December 22- says another reason he chose the program was because of its plans to extend into a 12 month program. He calls it a blessing to not only him --but to his family:
"If you could interview my parents right now - they would tell you it's amazing to have their son back - it's an awesome feeling to know that," he said.
For more information on Life Challenge Ministries in Flint just click on the link provided.