Did you know this farm is helping to heal people?

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The Foundry Farm
The Foundry Farm is one of the life-change programs that provides the safety and support necessary for healing. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

As an addiction recovery center in Jefferson County, The Foundry has been helping people find hope and healing for over 50 years. They are coming alongside people struggling with addiction to help them make a complete 180 with their lives. Like any other journey, the first step is usually the hardest and The Foundry is here to help people better understand addiction and travel on the road to recovery.

Meet Brandon Lackey

He’s the Chief Program Officer at The Foundry. Brandon has an impressive background working in nonprofit organizations and recovery programs. More than just having an extensive bank of knowledge, he has a big heart, wanting to influence others and make a positive impact. Since he’s an A+ expert, we talked to Brandon to learn about what causes addictions and how people can find recovery.

Find out more about The Foundry’s recovery programs.

What is an addiction?

Usually, addiction stems from wanting to avoid pain. So, this can cause people to regularly engage in certain behaviors—usually a substance, relationship or action—that bring about a chemical reaction within the brain and body that feels good.

It’s hard to put a finger on just one cause or reason that causes addiction—there are just so many biological, psychological, social and moral implications. From a family member’s medicine cabinet to receiving a prescription for opioids after an accident, addictions can stem from various life and biological circumstances.

How big of a problem is addiction in Jefferson County?

Changed Lives Christian Center (Bham Now)
Addiction is a problem in Birmingham and The Foundry is coming alongside our community to help. (Bham Now)

Sadly, there are many people within our community struggling with addiction right now. In Birmingham, the most common drug addictions are nicotine and alcohol. According to Brandon, Alabama and the Greater Birmingham Area are experiencing about a 6% increase in overdoses compared to last year.

For the first time in more than six years, The Foundry has seen applications shift from listing opioids as the drug of choice to stimulants, such as cocaine and methamphetamines. On the surface, that may appear like a significant shift, but what it really means is that there are many more multi-substance users applying—opioids are the most common secondary drug of choice.

How does The Foundry help people overcome their addictions?

For The Foundry, every month is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month—not just October. They’re always working to help people find the life change they’re looking for.

“As a Christ-centered ministry, The Foundry Ministries believes that God has a purpose and a plan for everyone—a life robbed of its potential by addiction is not it. When life knocks you down, as long as you have breath, get back up. As with any journey the first step is often the hardest. There are millions who successfully traveled this path before you. There is hope.”

Brandon Lackey

The Foundry is helping men and women take that first step with their six-month-long life-change programs. These participants have experienced so much turmoil and pain in their lives. The recovery communities, including their farm, are safe havens where healing takes place and where permanent life transformation is possible.

Their work doesn’t stop there. The Foundry is here for the long game and has a support system for the graduates, so they’re always lending a helping hand when there’s a need. Some of their aftercare services include:

  • Church involvement opportunities
  • Counseling
  • Finance and job training
  • Job search help
  • Transitional housing

If you have a loved one battling addiction, what should you do?

The Foundry
Find freedom + healing at The Foundry. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

It’s an indescribable pain watching a family member or friend struggle with addiction. Just as difficult is knowing what’s the right thing to do to help a loved one overcome their addiction. Brandon has some advice on how to best help someone find healing:

  • Create a written family plan and agreement, which includes what all members of the family will and won’t do.
  • Educate yourself—a broader perspective and understanding of the scope of addiction can be liberating.
  • If you or someone you know is at risk of opioid overdose, visit the Jefferson County Department of Health’s website and take their 20-minute overdose reversal training. They’ll mail you a free overdose reversal kit.
  • Set healthy boundaries and be honest. Don’t enable and don’t become codependent. Tough love can be the shortest route to treatment and life-long recovery. Learn to say no, except for treatment.
  • Support your local recovery ministry financially and volunteer. Your experiences can make a difference in another family’s time of crisis.
  • Take care of yourself first! This can include taking part in personal, marriage or family counseling and surrounding yourself with people who understand what you are going through.

If you are battling with addiction or know of someone who is, The Foundry is here to rebuild lives, one step at a time.

To learn more about The Foundry and their life-changing efforts, check out their website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

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Selah Vetter
Selah Vetter
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