Many are coming to Amarillo to get sober - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Many are coming to Amarillo to get sober

More young people with addictions are coming to Amarillo for help.

Faith City Ministries is seeing more than double the people at its recovery program compared to last year. And they're coming from area towns as well as other states to get sober.

Administrators say they're either hearing about the program or finding out about it through the web.

Melonie Harmon is a current student with the program. She says, "I'm from Lubbock. And I've been an alcoholic for about 20 years. I mean it started in high school. Just started in parties. But it just increased and increased over the years."

And John McIlroy graduated from the recovery program. He says. "I started drinking when I was 13. And by the time I was 16. I was full-fledged alcoholic... When I ended up in the psych ward in Lubbock. It finally registered with me, you know, this is not good."

Faith City Ministries Director Jena Taylor says the duration of the program is what makes it 50% more effective than the average rehabilitation services. She says, "Our program is more successful than a rehab center because it lasts a year instead of six weeks. It takes six months to completely reorganize the chemicals in the brain after they quit using."

They've also added five counselors and included more classes this year. The majority being seen now are in their early 20's. Harmon says, "It's a year of my life to get my life back. And it was just worth it." McIlroy says, "I look at my life for what it had become. And it gave me the tools and the time to get it together."

Harmon already has a job lined up when she graduates from the program in about three months. She says she'll be, "taking care of mentally and slightly disabled people from all different ages." And McIlroy graduated about a year ago. He says, "I've got a full time job. I was blessed with a vehicle."

Part of the recovery program gives these people the opportunity to get an education paid for by Faith City donations. They spend about $12,000 per student.

Jessica Abuchaibe, NewsChannel 10.

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