An Escape from Addiction

Children grow up in alcoholic homes. It’s a hard reality and a story we hear over and over from men and women who enter Raleigh Rescue Mission’s recovery program. And the sad consequences are often a repetition of their parents’ mistakes.

Homes that provide little or no parental supervision leave kids to make choices without guidance or wisdom. And in many cases, those kids follow the example set by their parents — and the pattern begins all over again.

Carl was one of those who learned by example. Both his parents were alcoholics, and his dad was in prison most of the time. That meant his mom was the only one at home and he was generally free to do whatever he wanted.

Instead of the healthy supervision of a loving parent, Carl was left alone. He had all the freedom in the world to make his own decisions. His role models were an alcoholic mom and his peers at school and in the neighborhood. It’s no surprise he followed their lead.

When he started using crack cocaine, things went from bad to disastrous. He began breaking into people’s houses to steal things that would help him get drugs.

At the age of 21, Carl was sent to his first term in prison. And when he got out, he returned to the only things he knew: drinking, drugs and back to prison.

During the interludes when he was on the streets, he was often homeless. He described that experience as a simple consequence of being addicted to cocaine and having no home: “You really live like an animal, but you can’t see it because you’re blind.” That’s the devastating consequence of addiction to drugs.

Ironically, it was Carl’s alcoholic father who recommended Raleigh Rescue Mission’s recovery program.

Like so many who come to our doors, Carl struggled at first. “When I first got here,” he says, “I didn’t trust nobody.” But God is gracious and faithful — and He began to work in Carl’s heart.

The Mission has been teaching Carl how to deal with life and how to have a closer relationship with God. And he’s learning how to love other people. He likes to encourage people he knew on the street and tell them that God can do for them what He did for Carl.

Today he’s looking ahead to a future for the first time in his life. He plans to work locally as a truck driver and hopes to get married and have kids some-day.

There’s a wonderful benefit to this restored life. Carl will be a great mentor for his kids. A presence in their lives and someone who will help them make good choices.

Carl is already having this kind of positive impact on the people in his life. His mom is walking with the Lord and doing much better. And Carl likes to encourage people who are still living the life he’s given up. He knows what they’re facing and what they need.

He also knows it could only happen because generous people in the community provided the resources and prayers that turned his life around. His message to all of you: “I want to thank you for leaving the door open for an addict like me — for somebody like me.”

This is what makes your generous support so important. By helping people like Carl, you are making our community a better place for all of us. And you’re reflecting the grace and compassion of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Thanks to you, Carl will break the cycle of addiction in his family.