Newport News nonprofit helps those struggling with addiction during the holidays

Faith Recovery FILE
Posted at 7:36 PM, Nov 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-10 19:42:43-05

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — The holidays can be a stressful time of year, especially for people who might be dealing with a substance addiction. Within the walls of the non-profit Faith Recovery in Newport News are several programs and a family for those struggling with addiction.

Those who are familiar with the effects of substance addiction said it's a selfish disease, even during the season of giving. John Casey, a graduate of the program, went from student to teacher. Six years ago, his addiction to alcohol put him behind bars for multiple DUIs. After serving his time he came to Virginia looking for a new start.

Now five days a week, he helps keep those struggling with addiction on the path of recovery, addressing the trauma that contributed to an individual's addiction, controlling triggers and teaching life skills. But seasons greetings can be a setback for some.

"With the economy, there is that kind of stress on them but if they don't get themselves fixed first. Then being able to take care of their families in any kind of monetary way or emotional way is going to be problematic," said Casey.

Two of Casey's students with the program said the holidays weren't always very merry.

"If I was in active addiction there was no holiday, that's just the truth. If I was there with my family I was always in a rush so I could do what I wanted to do," said Chris Whitfield.

"It was always a fear of mine that my family would shut me out so i chose my addiction over my loved ones," said Donald Martin.

Faith Recovery said they've seen a lot of their students in the winter months.

"Families are together," Casey said. "You're not around or maybe you've wasted your paycheck that should've gone to Christmas presents, so however it works out, I think the holidays as stressful as they can be can also be convicting," said Casey.