Life Recovery Home program prepares to open second house for men recovering from addiction

The generosity of a landlord means Life Recovery Home can more than double the number of men it helps transition from addiction recovery back to normal life


A businessman bought a property on Goshen Road in northwest Fort Wayne to use outbuildings on the property for his company, said Brandon Bower, a licensed clinical addictions counselor and executive director of The Lighthouse, A Biblical Life Recovery Center, which operates the faith-based Life Recovery Home program.

The property also contained a two-story house, which wasn’t being used, so the businessman offered to rent it to The Lighthouse for less than half of what it would cost to rent similar accommodations elsewhere, Bower said.

After painting and minor remodeling, the home is set to open with a ribbon cutting at 2 p.m. Sunday.

The home, which has four bedrooms upstairs with a set of bunk beds in each, can accommodate eight men, Bower said. The first Life Recovery Home, which The Lighthouse owns at 3221 McCormick Ave., has space for six men.

“We’ve had to turn away people, which is why we wanted to open this one,” Bower said.

A large number of people are in need of addictions recovery help, in part due to the opioid crisis, he said.

The rental house also has a large room for group meetings, a small room for counseling sessions, a room for watching television and a large kitchen.

“It fit everything we were looking for,” he said.

The only drawback is the home isn’t on a Citilink bus route, so men who stay there will need to have their own transportation to get to and from their jobs, Bower said.

Men in the program are expected to get a job and work 40 hours a week to add structure to their lives. They also have chores to do at the house.

Life Recovery tries to help men make spiritual and lifestyle changes to recover from drug addiction, Bower said.

“We do not treat drugs with drugs,” he said. “We feel tying them into the sober community is more effective than medication.”

Along with providing counseling, spiritual education and structure in clients’ daily lives, the Life Recovery Home program also tries to connect each man with a group of supportive people at a local church, Bower said. The congregation members will help support the man as he transitions out of the program to living on his own.

Four churches are involved now, but Bower said it has been a struggle to get more congregations to participate.

Conversely, Life Recovery Home staff haven’t had any problem finding jobs for men in the program, but most of the jobs have been second-shift or third-shift positions, Bower said. Working those hours makes it more difficult for the men to take part in group sessions and activities at their Life Recovery Home, he said. First-shift jobs working a set schedule would be ideal.

Since 2014, The Lighthouse has worked with 16 men in its first Life Recovery Home, served nearly 210 people in group sessions and provided educational training to about 135 people, Bower said.

Men currently stay an average of about 4 1/2 months in the Life Recovery Home, Bower said. He’d like them to stay six months to a year to be better prepared to live on their own, but they aren’t obligated to stay. Most come to the program after being in other treatment, however, so they are in recovery longer than their time in the Life Recovery Home.

“My goal has always been to be a bridge from treatment back into the real world,” he said.


The Life Recovery Home program will hold a ribbon cutting for its second home for men recovering from addiction. The event will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday. Call 1-260-255-6413 for directions.

For more information about the Life Recovery Home program, go to


Life Recovery Home welcomes donations, such as:

• Toilet paper

• Paper towels

• Bar soap

• Postage stamps

• Envelopes

• Copy paper

• Walmart gift cards

For information about donating, call 1-260-255-6413.

Trump declares emergency in war on opioids

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Thursday declared the country’s opioid crisis a national emergency, saying the epidemic exceeds anything he has seen with other drugs.

The statement by the president came in response to a question as he spoke to reporters outside a national security briefing at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he is on vacation.

“The opioid crisis is an emergency, and I’m saying officially right now it is an emergency. It’s a national emergency. We’re going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis,” he said.

Last week, the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis issued a preliminary report that described the overdose death toll as “September 11th every three weeks” and urged the president to declare a national emergency.

Trump received an extended briefing on the subject Tuesday in Bedminster. White House aides said Trump is not yet ready to announce which of its recommendations he will embrace.

The declaration should allow the administration to remove some bureaucratic barriers and waive some federal rules governing how states and localities respond to the drug epidemic. One such rule restricts where Medicaid recipients can receive addiction treatment.

For Immediate Treatment Help call:

(866) 632-0135

“There’s no doubt that this shines a brighter light on the epidemic. It remains to be seen how much this will fundamentally change its course,” said Caleb Alexander, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness. “No one thinks the recovery from this is going to be fast, emergency or not.”

The emergency declaration may allow the government to deploy the equivalent of its medical cavalry, the U.S. Public Health Service, a uniformed service of physicians and other staffers that can target places with little medical care or drug treatment, said Andrew Kolodny, co-director of opioid policy research at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He said the Drug Enforcement Administration might be able to use the emergency to require prescriber education for those who dispense opioids.

“It could be very helpful, much more than just symbolic,” he said.



There are an estimated 2.6 million opioid addicts in the United States. The report issued last week states: “The opioid epidemic we are facing is unparalleled. The average American would likely be shocked to know that drug overdoses now kill more people than gun homicides and car crashes combined.”

The commission based its estimate of the number of fatal drug overdoses on 2015 statistics, when 52,404 people died of overdoses of all drugs, including opioids, for an average of 142 a day. But new federal data covering the first nine months of 2016 showed that the death toll could reach 60,000 once the numbers are all in.

In Thursday’s briefing, Trump said, “It is a serious problem, the likes of which we’ve never had. You know, when I was growing up, they had the LSD, and they had certain generations of drugs. There’s never been anything like what’s happened to this country over the last four or five years.”

Opioids are a broad category of legal and illegal drugs, ranging from prescription painkillers to heroin. In the past couple of years, according to the DEA, much of the street-level heroin in the United States has been laced with illicit fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid that is much cheaper to produce than heroin.

The current opioid crisis has its origin in the 1990s, when the pharmaceutical industry marketed new formulations of prescription opioids. Soon they flooded the market, making the United States by far the world’s leading consumer of such painkillers.

Ohio lawmakers — regardless of party — expressed nearly universal applause for Trump’s decision.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who spent Thursday morning touring a Chillicothe drug-treatment facility and who last year successfully pushed for a bill to address the problem, said, “There is no doubt that this heroin and prescription drug epidemic is a crisis affecting our entire country.”


Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said he hopes the designation will spur the administration to work quickly to address the epidemic. “Communities across Ohio don’t need a declaration to tell them the opioid crisis is an emergency,” he said.

Brown said a key element of the emergency declaration is the apparent elimination of a 16-bed cap for residential substance-abuse and mental-health treatment facilities that can be covered under Medicaid. Brown and Portman had sponsored legislation to lift the cap.

Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, applauded Trump but said: “This is not a problem we as a country are going to be able to arrest, incarcerate or legislate our way out of. We all have to be in this effort together.”

Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Upper Arlington, also said “the key is what we do moving forward to address the issue.”

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles, was the lone critic, saying he was “alarmed at what appears to be a dangerously uncoordinated response to the emergency unfolding in front of our eyes.”

Information from Dispatch Reporter Jessica Wehrman was included in this story 


For Immediate Treatment Help call:

(866) 632-0135

Too Much Medication?

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