Abuse Shelters Filling Up in Amarillo

John Davidson
John Davidson
Jerry Billington
Jerry Billington
Connie Garcia
Connie Garcia

People with substance abuse issues in Amarillo are finding a lot of doors closed to them... Because programs are at capacity.

Shelter directors say most of the time a person becomes an addict or alcoholic because of a traumatic event. That's true for John Davidson... Who says he began to drink when he was a paramedic and received call that changed his life.

"I responded to a car accident and my brother-in-laws little brother was killed. Actually he was alive when I got there, he died in my arms. I just didn't know how to deal with it."

Davidson says the hope for men program at Faith City Ministries saved his life.

As it does for many men who are dealing with all types of addictions.

The director of the program says it is so important since most have long term addictions, so they need to learn a long term solution.

In fact he started asking men in the program when the first time they used drugs was... The answers he received are shocking

"The average age was 7 1/2 and that was with one man starting about 21, 22, but 5, 6, 7 year olds were the norm as far as their first time." Director Jerry Billington says.

The program is always close to full, but luckily they haven't had to turn anyone away yet.

The women's side is full and has been since they opened...

Connie Garcia says with Faith City Ministries says, "Drug abuse is on the rise, the meth problem is on the rise and we are seeing more and more people coming in."

While there are more seeking help... The shelters can't offer beds they don't have...

And that is something Ddavidson says has to change... So more people can get help

"Its not the substance, it's their heart, and when you get your heart right the substance is not an issue anymore." Davidson says.

The men currently have about 5 spots available in their program and two women will be graduating later this month, meaning their spots will open in the program... But at least one is already taken.