BY ASHLEY D. THOMAS
Jeffrey J. Dove is no stranger to addiction. The pastor of DeLand Bethel AME Church openly speaks of his struggle with substance abuse and has partnered with the nationally recognized Southeastern Institute on Chemical Dependency to host a “Recovery for the Community and Congregation” workshop Feb. 7 at the church located at 226 Howery Ave.
The workshop will focus on not only street drugs, but prescription drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
Purpose of workshop
The mission of the institute is to provide addiction education and resources to congregations and communities throughout the Southeastern United States and offers regularly scheduled, comprehensive workshops for anyone seeking to better understand chemical dependency and its many related problems.
“The focus is on addictive behavior,” Dove explained. “Cigarettes, gambling, drugs. It has those components also.”
Instruction is led by professionals from the field of substance abuse and addictions, bringing faith and science together as active agents of prevention and supporters of recovery.
Dove grappled with a cocaine addiction in his home of Jacksonville for a number of years before relocating to the Volusia County area.
“I struggled for 15 years, all throughout my teenage years and have remained sober and drug free another 15 years,” Dove shared. “There was a plethora of drinking, smoking weed and then on to cocaine.
“This workshop is designed to educate and motivate the community and local congregations about drug use,” he continued. “The Southeastern Institute on Chemical Dependency hosts these workshops throughout the state and chose Volusia County for next month’s event.”
Dove’s mother, Theresa Dove Waters, a member of the institute requested the workshop be held at Bethel AME, as one component of her son’s ministry has a large focus on people who have battled with addiction.
Dove mentioned one success story of a young lady who has recently received multiple drug charges and convictions but has “turned her life all the way around.”
“Our ministry offers drug counseling for people who have been on probation and tries to help people to recover from those addictions. A lot of time they (those who have served time in prison or jail) have a hard time fitting in or being put back into the community.
“We also offer resume building and assistance for those seeking employment.”
Jewell Meringer, Dr. James Huysman and Waters will be the speakers. The workshop is open to the community.
“I’m excited about the partnership and hope we have a good turnout,” Dove concluded.
For more information about the workshop, call 386-855-4087, 386-585-4944 or register at thesicd.org.