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Meth counselor to speak in DL, Mahnomen

Almost everyone has an addiction -- whether it's coffee, chocolate, alcohol or meth. It's just a matter of if the addiction is hurting someone.

"It's not they versus us. It's we. We're all addicted to something," said Todd Wes-brook, an addition counselor at Trinity Mission in Lafayette, Ind.

Wesbrook, whose family still lives in Detroit Lakes, is speaking on meth addiction March 23 at 7 p.m. in the Historic Holmes Theatre, March 25 at 10 a.m. in First Lutheran Church, and March 27 at 7 p.m. in Shooting Star Casino.

Trinity Mission is a Christian drug rehabilitation facility where Wesbrook and others "minister to those that are most down and out." Various people with various addictions go through a 14-month program to get clean and learn skills needed to stay clean outside the organization.

"We don't just give them fish to eat, we teach them to fish," he said during a phone inter-view.

The four-phase program teaches recovering addicts everything from work skills and ethics to nutrition, resolving conflict without violence to re-building important, healthy family relationships.

When Wesbrook comes to speak in Detroit Lakes and Mahnomen this week, he said he plans to talk on meth but also to answer questions and educate people on the effects, how to spot users and how to get them help.

"I want people to become involved in their local community to help those with an addiction," he said.

His said his goal for the trip back to Minnesota is "ultimately, if there's one person who won't touch the stuff because I came there, it's worth it."

Wesbrook has worked for years with non-profit services, mainly with food pantries and the homeless. He decided he wanted more direct contact with people, and came to Trinity Mission. Here, he goes to court with people in the program, etc.

"Getting to be a part of something like that is amazing," he said.

Addiction rehab is about the choices people make, he said. Three men that went through Trinity Mission program last year died because of poor decisions they made.

Another man was six months from graduation of the program and decided to use meth again. He's now serving time in prison.

And regardless of how some may say that once a meth user, always a meth user, "that is not a true statement," Wesbrook stressed.

People can make the right decisions and live a clean life. One man was the biggest meth dealer in a his community and was facing 40 years in prison. He went through Trinity Mission's program and is now a plumber with his father, owns his own home and is a part of a church community.

"We don't treat meth any differently than any other addiction," he said. "They can live life differently."

And, he said, while some skeptics may say people will join Trinity Mission's program just to avoid jail time, that's not true either.

A variety of people for a variety of reasons check into the program. Some people realize their addiction and check in themselves, some are referred by the courts.

"We're not some liberal Christian organization, we work with the community," he said.

For example, with the man who went to jail six months shy of gradating from the program, it was Trinity Mission who called the police to report the relapse.

"You messed up, so you need to repay you debt to the community, but you don't have to repay it the rest of your life," he said is what Trinity Mission believes and he plans to spread to the Becker County area this week.