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Two former drug users help others find hope for tomorrow

It's estimated that roughly 7.7 million people in the U.S. meet the diagnostic criteria for drug abuse or addiction. Chaplain Neil Richardson wants to help addicts in our area break the chain of addiction.

Recently, the "Tomorrow's Hope" rehabilitation program, housed at Safehouse Ministries, graduated two former drug users who are enjoying their new found freedom from drug dependence. 

Albert Sampson and Jennifer Teagle were both addicts for a very long time but after they graduated from the program and they decided to help others find their hope for tomorrow. 

"You can't run from it, you have got to face addiction head on, you can't run from it," says Albert Sampson Jr. 

That's his mindset now after his 20+ year addiction to coacaine. Now, he thanks God he's on the straight and narrow. 

"All the changes and stuff that I've been through, I'm blessed to be free and clean," Sampson Jr. says. 

The same goes for Jennifer Teagle, who was addicted to meth for 32 years. She made the decision to attend Chaplain Neil Richardson's drug rehab program for addicts, after her mother passed away. 

Teagle recounted the time she asked permission to attend a meeting. " He knew I was alwasy late. He said I don't even care if you're late, just come on up. I volunteered up here for nine month, I got into the program and I graduated February 8th," Teagle says. 

She was the second graduate of the program and Albert wwas the first. Now, they help out in the kitchen, feeding anybody that wants a hot meal. 

"I feel like I'm an inspiration to other people," Teagle nodded. 

Sampson Jr. didn't hesitate when News 3 asked him what motivates him to keep on the up and up. "Motivating factors to me: the people I get to serve and feed every day, put a smile on their face when you tell them to have a blessed day. You don't look down your nose at them, I'm in the same boat as them I just done got myself together - I'm letting the Lord lead me to where he wants me to be," Sampson Jr. says. 

They both feel as though they can impart some kind of message to the people they interact with every day. 

"Its about your self-worth," says Teagle. 

When times are tough Sampson Jr. says he does one thing. "My grandma always told me "if things are looking bad, you never give up, you got to keep your head up and go forward."


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