Getting over addiction is the challenge of a lifetime for many West Virginians.
But getting the right help could also be just the beginning.
Chris Lusk gets up and goes to work like almost everyone else, suiting up to serve food at the Chick Fil A Restaurant in Beckley. What sets him apart is the journey that brought him to this point.
Lusk lives with addiction that he is beating one day at a time. While growing up in Wyoming County, Lusk wanted what all of us want.
To fit in.
“I just wanted people to like me, that’s all,” Lusk said. “And I’ve seen that the cool crowd, or what I perceived as the cool crowd, that’s what they was doing. So that’s what I started doing.”
What started out as a way to make friends threw his life on a downward spiral. Lusk became addicted to prescription pain killers.
A way to blend in with the crowd became an everyday, desperate drive for his next fix..
“You use to get high and you get high because you use,” Lusk said. “You get to that point. You’re so down and out.”
Unable to hold down a job, Lusk said addiction was his way to run away. His chance to escape from anger, guilt and shame.
His life started to look hopeless. But he soon discovered there is always hope.
“There is freedom from addiction,” Lusk said. “And it’s found at a place like here.”
And that is Brian’s Safehouse in Mount Hope, where dozens of men like Lusk come to conquer their addictions. It is there that these men work their way through a 12-month faith-based program that teaches them to become productive members of society.
“We’re here to change lives one at a time, to save lives at one at a time,” Pease said. “And that’s what’s happening.”.
More than two years sober, Lusk continues pushing forward to achieve the goals addiction kept him from reaching.
He’s working on an associate’s degree at New River and Community Technical College. He’s also saving money to buy a house.
For Lusk, its rehab centers like Brian’s Safehouse that gave him another chance at a normal life.
And he feels others can find hope there too.
“It means just how the word says, safe,” Lusk said. “I’ve learned to become a safe person here and I’ve learned to notice unsafe qualities in other people. I feel loved. I feel a part of something that’s bigger than I am.”
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