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Some people might have called Joey a “functioning addict,” if there is such a thing. For most of his adult life, he was able to hold a job, pay his bills, and be active in his tight-knit family. Looking back, Joey can see that the drugs were just a symptom. The real problem was how he handled the negative experiences of his childhood, including hurt, resentment, and disappointment. They nearly destroyed him. Eventually, Joey’s habit took control of his life. He could no longer hide his addiction. The night and weekend binges spilled over into the days. His sloppy work on the job caught up with him. Finally, Joey was fired from his good-paying construction position. It was all downhill from there. “I was scared that I was either going to die or do something that I’d regret,” he says.
“I started seeing myself on a path to destruction. “I just knew I had to make a change. But the most I would last sober would be two or three weeks. Eventually, I’d go back to my addiction.” Since coming to CityTeam, Joey has learned more about what makes him tick — and why he turned to drugs. “Drugs are just a symptom,” acknowledges Joey. “The real problem is how we handle life. And it all stems from what we go through, and the things that we need to break free from, the people we need to forgive. Holding on to those resentments leads us to destruction.” CityTeam’s focus on faith has enabled him to connect with God. “I don’t have to be alone again, because now God is in my life. In the four months that I’ve been here, so much has changed.”
In addition to spiritual mentoring to help him grow in his faith, Joey has been able to take advantage of classes to help him sharpen his educational skills and prepare for gainful employment. Right now, through our CityTeam @ Work program, Joey is taking courses that will enable him to get good-paying work as an electrician. CityTeam’s partnerships with employers and vocational training schools are central to our programs, helping to ensure that our graduates can attain a living wage, have more stability, and don’t fall back into addiction.