As West Virginia struggles to manage its massive drug abuse problem, one church in the state has decided to offer aid by opening a recovery house intended to help addicts overcome their addictions.
According to the Christian Standard, Gateway Christian Church in Saint Albans, WV created the recovery house in an effort to provide recovering addicts with a Christian community. House activities are reportedly tied to the church.
Dave Stauffer, the lead pastor of the church, said in a statement that the recovery house was necessary because "the problem is so big. It’s bad everywhere. We can’t ignore it. We want to reach people with the gospel, but it’s hard to do that when they are strung out on drugs."
According to Verta Health, West Virginia is the number one ranked state for drug abuse problems and is 33 times worse than Ohio, which is ranked at number 2.
West Virginia's drug problem is also 168 percent greater than the national average, the health group states. Further, in rural areas of West Virginia, 20.8 million painkillers were distributed to just one rural town of just over 3,000 residents between the years 2008 and 2015. In another nearby town called Kermit, a single drug wholesaler delivered the equivalent of 5,624 opioids to every resident, including children.
After considering several different options for offering aid, Gateway Christian Church ultimately settled on opening a recovery house, the Christian Standard reports.
The house already has residents but is likely going to welcome more in the coming months. The church uses a 12-step recovery program in the house, and the typical stay is between 6 to 12 months.
"They love that we are doing something," Stauffer told the Christian Standard. "A lot of people talk about this problem in our country, but not everybody does something about it."
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John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Washington Gazette, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.