The Crusader Newspaper Group

Finally Saved: An Addict’s Journey

By The Salvation Army

Theo Coleman lost everything to his crack cocaine addiction – his marriages, his houses, his cars and his freedom. He tried to overcome his addiction multiple times, always ending up back on the drug and doing awful things in pursuit of his next high.

“I hustled and pan handled to get money for my next hit,” Coleman said. “I had no pride at all. I had lost my desire to really do anything but get high.”

In fact, he even ended up hurting a couple who had let him stay in their home while he was homeless. While they were on vacation, Coleman used his drugs in the house. When the crack ran out, he broke into one of their rooms and stole a computer and checks.

“I really found myself going against anything that I was taught – for this drug. For this crack cocaine. It was one of the worst times of my life.”

Coleman did serve time for these crimes, and lost people who really cared about him.

While coming down from a multi-day bender, Coleman reached out for help from The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center in Gary, Indiana. With help from some good Samaritans, he made his way to the bus stop and to Gary where Salvation Army staff were waiting to give him love, support, hope and strength to finally beat his addiction.

Today, Coleman is sober 11 years and has given his life to God. He is the chaplain and Corps Ministries Director at The Salvation Army Red Shield Center in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood. There he leads worships, shares his amazing vocal talent, and shepherds the youth through the minefield of temptation and heartbreak they encounter in their neighborhood.

The Center for Disease Control estimates that every year more than 100 people die and more than 6,700 people visit the emergency room for treatment due to drug use.

That’s 6,800 families – with moms, dads, and kids – disrupted by the effects of addiction.

The Salvation Army has more no-fee residential treatment facilities than any rehab program in America. Its treatment facilities provide treatment and rehabilitation for men and women battling substance abuse. These programs restore an individual’s confidence and self-esteem through work, therapy, counseling, recreation and training. Once clients complete treatment, they are often reunited with their families and return to their communities as contributing members of society.

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