Weatherford Democrat

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February 10, 2013

Deadly Dope: Confronting a local problem


One of the issues raised by Hopkins and other family members who recently lost a loved one to heroin was a lack of knowledge about to get help.

Near Azle, Teen Challenge of Texas provides a year-long residential program for men who’re willing to change their life, said Desmond Atkins, vocational coordinator for the faith-based program.

It’s a busy, structured program that isn’t easy, according to Atkins.

Residents of the program, who are there voluntarily or are court-referred, participate in prayer three times a day, church several times a week, work and educational programs.

Though some participants come from as close as Azle, others are from Tennessee, Kansas and other states.

Thirty-two of 34 beds are currently filled at the location and they are constantly full, according to Atkins, who believes the community needs additional similar programs as they have to turn people away.

Over the last five years, many people have called him and said their child is addicted, Hopkins said. “The desperation is so heartfelt and so alarming. I don’t have the answers.”

His hope is that everybody can get on the same page, he said.

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