Hope for opiate addiction headed here next month

    Murphy – Hope is coming for one of the worst drug addiction problems in western North Carolina.
    High On Hope Ministries is coming to Journey Church of God in Murphy on Saturday, Aug. 5, and Sunday, Aug. 6. The program is aimed at opiate addiction, which local law enforcement officials and drug abuse counselors say is a scourge across the area.
    “We are bringing about 10 to 12 people,” said Tim Craft, one of the founders of the Parkersburg, W.Va.-based ministry. “High On Hope is a movement of freedom over addiction.”
    Craft was a 12-year opiate addict when he met Mack Mckenzie, a five-year opiate/meth addict, while going through the Eddie James Ministries DreamLife Program. After completing that program, they became directors of the program in Parkersburg.
    Local resident Barry Getch was instrumental in getting High On Hope Ministries to come to Murphy. Opiate addiction is “pretty bad” in this area, and he said we only hear of a small extent of the problem.
    “The Lord kept putting this in front of me, and I found out that the pastor had the same mindset,” he said. “If it works up there (in the Ohio Valley), it will work here.”
    The Saturday strategy meeting for area pastors and law enforcement will begin at 6 p.m. at Journey Church, 129 Church of Christ Road on the hill above King Ford.
    “That will be a good meeting to equip pastors on what their congregations can do,” Craft said.
    The Sunday morning meeting will be at 10 a.m. during Journey Church’s morning service.
    “The morning service will be to tell people what we do and to hear stories from people who have overcome addiction,” he said.
    “Tim started this in February. He says they have already saved at least 40 kids in the Ohio Valley,” Getch said. “He says he wants this to go nationwide. He is bringing kids with him to Murphy who are living proof.”
    “We have seen amazing fruit from this program,” Craft added. “We have seen people’s lives completely transformed. We have been to Pennsylvania, West Virginia and several Ohio Valley communities. What we are doing can be copied [in Murphy].”
    When Craft was 18, he was exposed to opiate drugs while partying.
    “I just started partying and started innocently with pain pills,” he said. “I was actually prescribed them, and then I needed more and more, and that led to heroin and a needle.”
    McKenzie, a native of Rutledge, Ga., said he was surprised at the depth of the problem in the area.
    “I had a co-worker who was taking pain pills,” he said. “I just started taking them, not knowing I was getting addicted. So the first time I withdrew, I knew I had a problem, but the addiction took over and it just escalated. I didn’t know how to get out of it at the time.
    “My vision is to house and help addicts find freedom through Jesus Christ. That is my goal.”
    “I knew there was a need to fight the addiction problem, and I felt God placed me here for that,” Craft said.
    High On Hope Ministries can be contacted at 517 Market St., Parkersburg, WV 26101; 304-916-8468;  highonhopeministries@ gmail.com; or visit the website www.highonhopeministries.org.