Clean Heart Ministries
Clean Heart Ministries
Focus On:
Addiction, Poverty, Health, Family & Biblical Teaching

CHM - Addiction Ministry


The Journey of Drug Addiction Assistance

Estimated 9 minute read

Article Index:


Partnership and Approach

The Stages of the Journey

Additional Information




This is an overview of the Clean Heart Ministries insights into a drug addict's journey to recovery, that we hope to assist in.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is subject to change based on the volumes that we assist and the resources we have available to meet the needs.
Some of what we provide (cost wise) may not be readily available if we consider the reality we exist in.
We obviously do appreciate donations to help our efforts, to offer the assistance needed, but not from any who come to us in need. Simply stated: This is
free assistance to any addict requiring help.
Our part is small, yet we will "stay with an addict", throughout the journey explained below and be his/her only link to the past, especially in the first few months away.
We check in and update loved ones on the journey to recovery, as needed. We also will relay significant information from loved ones via our partner organization's defined protocols. (Especially during the addict's first few months away, as partners may restrict the addict's communication initially, as part of their program).
This document is to outline the possible stages of recovery and we will detail our part in operational functions, along the recovery journey, elsewhere on our website.
The stages of the journey, explained below, serve as a general informational guide to those seeking help, from "this leg" of our ministry, for self, friends or loved ones.


Partnership and Approach


Our primary drug addiction assistance, area of focus, is the Western Cape province of South Africa and more specifically the Cape Peninsula.
We are open to partner with any other ministry, organization or facility that may want to explore, possible mutually beneficial areas of similarity, in our respective desire to assist those trapped in the horror of drug addiction.
We will assist and advise, outside of the Cape Peninsula area, on a situational basis, from time to time.
Clean Heart Ministries have taken steps to, at this point, create informal partnerships or agreements with other ministries, shelters and facilities, outside of the Cape Peninsula area, who can assist in receiving an addict according to their own calling and abilities.
We facilitate the transport booking and costs, some basic needs (care package as and if required) and facilitate the "meet up" at the destination with the receiving partner.
We use mainline bus services, as our preferred transportation option, to the destination.
(A primary reason is that the confined bus environment reduces temptations that may be found on a train journey. Cost is also a factor, but as opposed to flight of two hours, the overnight bus journey does emphasize that it is indeed a journey to recovery, which we highlight before sending the addict to a partner ministry.)
We track the trip with SMS messages (back and forth) and some phone call exchanges with the traveling party too, if needed. We provide a basic, cheap pay-as-you-go cellphone, with some airtime and a SMS bundle to the traveller. The receiving partner is provided with the cellphone number, to facilitate the destination initial contact and pick-up arrangements on their side.
The cell phone will more than likely be taken away and stored by the receiving partner. A final call may sometimes be allowed before the phone is handed in.
Once the addict has reached the partner we "step back" from our part in the journey and the partner takes the lead according to their calling, approach and protocols. Our involvement is thereafter maintained from a supportive posture, with regular "check-in" communication with the partner, to follow the progress or provide any information or other support the partner may require.
We and our partner ministries often prefer that we remain the single point of contact during the recovery period. This simplifies the logistics for the partner.
If all goes well then we continue passively, as per the above, yet in the event of any unforeseen problems, we stay ready to take an active role to facilitate any reasonable need of the addict, who still remains active on our records, until the end of his/her journey to recovery and often beyond.
The severity of addiction can vary and as such the necessary skills required by the receiving facility will too.
Our interview with the addict is essential, in establishing the matching partner facility, to send them to.
Their time at the receiving facility may vary, based on numerous factors too, that we will explain elsewhere on our website.
The overriding belief we have and promote, is that no person on Earth can "fix", change or liberate the bondage of an addicted soul. Neither we, nor our partners can offer any lasting solution from human devices.
We believe God alone "owns" the business of "fixing" souls in addicted bondage and we and any of our partners, may merely be part of the agency that facilities the process of that journey.
We set no expected outcome, from our own thoughts or devices, for anyone coming for assistance, yet proceed in faith, that there is surely hope in God, for the very best outcome, for any addicted soul.
Our part starts in prayerful obedience to God's guidance and we maintain that focus, as the only rule, while doing all we are practically able to, in assisting those who have been led to us.
We strictly adhere to the following guidelines with anyone, in the bondage of drug addiction, that may approach us:
- no judgment
- no discrimination of any sort
- no prerequisites, other than an honest desire to end their addiction and be interviewed in relation to their condition
- no expectation of the addict to accept our method of assistance (mismatches do happen)
- no expectation that the path ahead will go smoothly, as our relationship with the addict begins, as "false starts" may occur often, before the actual journey begins (we apply the utmost patience that is reasonably possible)
- we don't tolerate "games" and will be "brutally honest" and direct with the addict
- no promise to assist (usually only if we perceive anything is "out of order" during our encounter with a person)
- no guarantee that our partners will be able to accommodate the addict, at the time of our initial engagement
- we adhere to a clinical, non-emotional and "hands on" approach (though founded on love, hope and faithful prayer for every soul who approaches us).


The Stages of the Journey




The various partners, mentioned above, are in other provinces to put distance between the addict and his/her current environment. This proves to be a valuable first step.

The distance creates separation from:

  • current environment (comfort zone & lifestyle)

  • family and friends (often unwitting enablers)

  • bad influences (peer pressure / gangs)

  • familiar drug merchants (substance source)

  • familiar territories (known escape and hiding places)

This separation can be an initial source of anxiety for the addict, yet is the starting point of change within, as it creates a powerful challenge to adapt to the reality of a "new life", now without any known foundation to lean on.
The trauma of this alone, can confront the addict's usual avoidance, deflection, escapism, manipulation and many other well honed "skills", keeping him/her in the bondage of addiction.
Unfamiliar Environment:

The partner facilities will mostly be a very unfamiliar environment to the addict. We have selected partners outside of city and suburban environments. Most are well functioning rural facilities that are a "safe" distance away from the general environment of the typical addict.
This, together with the distance, strengthens the break from the "past life" of addiction, to face an unknown future, which impresses a sudden and extreme realisation, of the possibility of imminent change, on the addict's mind.
Routine Behaviour:

The partner facilities will each have their unique routine for the type of assistance they offer addicts, which may vary based on their knowledge, experience and well-tried best practice methods of assistance.
Some are strictly regimented on discipline, that fosters a strong approach to create a solid routine for those who before had little, if any, concept of daily routine, other than their desperate need to find ways to satisfy their urgent craving to maintain their warped "normal".
Others may be more focused on "rewards" recovery methods, while others may use an individual-focused (customised) approach to assist their charges.
A mix of varied methods may also be employed by some.
All of the above and other methods of assistance have merit through their established routines, creating much needed structure, to the addict in recovery.
Working Value:

Human dignity is best restored in every soul, by a sense of contributing, to the society you find yourself part of.
The partner facilities all apply this concept, either by design or natural progression, within their given sphere of assistance.
The newly arriving addict will be given a task, evaluated as best suited based on age, skill and experience of the individual. He/she will be given work within the facility which will perhaps start on a "wobbly" footing, yet build a sense of belonging and restore dignity, that may have been lost for so long, by the bondage of addiction.
This is an essential part of liberating the mind and soul of the addict, from the "worthless life" of the past, in focused labour for a common benefit, to all in the facility.
Belonging Safely:

Over a period of time all of the above steps (and others in-between) give the previously addicted person a tangible sense of, belonging safely, within the community of the facility.
The natural and normal interaction within the safe space, that they find themselves in now (not without arguments, struggles and the usual tensions in life), is therapeutic and they find themselves firmly "pegged" in a place they now have an affinity with. The old unstable addicted life looses power, as the belonging to their now freshly familiar environment, builds and grows a new perceptible life of value.
The journey to this stage can take weeks, months or longer, depending on too many factors to mention. If they've stayed the course, this stage will come along without any coaxing or pushing of any sort, as a natural progression.
The steady healing continues here, but not without risk, as it is also natural that the "new life", will ultimately seek greater expression.
The dulling hopelessness, of the addicted life of the past, fades and during this stage the new liberated life, can see so many new options and dream again of the possibilities they had, before their addiction dragged them down to the blindness of addicted bondage.
At any given point here, as variable as the uniqueness of each personality, the hunger for more for their new life, will lead to a decision point within, taking them to the next stage in recovery.
Decision and Self:

As mentioned above, it is inevitable that a decision point will be reached, in the life of the previously addicted person during their recovery journey.
Some may, sadly, "want out" before breaking from their addictive past and finding the renewal they need.
At an early point, the counsel will always be to stay the course, yet often such counsel will be rejected during the early part of the journey.
At any point along the above stages, the sense of self coming alive, can also trigger an "I'll take it from here" thinking, that may be premature and again the counsel is to stay the course, as partial recovery is future relapse, in most cases.
Those who get to the "belonging stage", will also eventually get to a decision point. Some will want to "pay forward", the release they have found and join the facility they are with as part of that team. Some with the same idea, may want to go back home, to also "pay forward", in their original hometown, by joining ministries or facilities there.
When the decision point arrives and the renewed self seeks to "move forward", although a significantly positive step of recovery, counsel and guidance will be essential.
The decision point, once made, will require support, especially for those returning to their previous ("old life") environment.
Chosen Return:

The chosen "return to the world", needs a plan and strategy to ensure sufficient available assistance, when leaving the "safe space", of the hosting facility's community and returning to "normal life".
The path ahead will be challenging, often lonely and the return may not be as warmly welcomed, as the recovered addict may envision.
The past life of addiction, would have left scars on many "back home", who had endured the usually destructive "fallout" of their past life of addiction.
The mixed emotions, thoughts, words and responses, of loved ones and friends, on their return, can vary vastly from what the recovered soul may expect.
The returning addict may be met with responses that can range from acceptance, love and joy to scepticism, open hostility, cold shunning and a vast spectrum in-between.
There is so much that cannot be anticipated on returning.
Comprehensive preparation, to set expectations and mitigate risk factors,
must be done before returning.
The counsel and return strategy, before actually returning, needs to be thorough, with solid resources readily available to assist the reintegration process, which is essentially a journey in itself.


Additional Information:


We are planning to start a "returning facility", in the Cape Peninsula, to receive the recovered addict and assist in the transition back into normal life, which we have found to be essential to the hope of complete recovery.
Any further questions can be directed to us via the various communication channels on our contact page.
Any desire to join our ministry efforts or offer financial support can also be directed to us via the various communication channels on our contact page.



 Page last updated: 01 March 2020

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