Their stories all begin in desperate places. Many of them – a stunning 65% or more – rise victoriously to overcome drug and alcohol addiction, be restored with their families, get married, become employed, finish college, be men, sons, husbands and friends who are proud of themselves.
Jason was 12 when his dad abandoned the family. At 13, he had his first beer. At 14, he was sent to his first recovery program. At 19, Jason took cocaine which quickly consumed his existence, and in less than six months, he was estranged from everyone. Like so many destitute, addicted men, he overdosed, cried out to God and got sober for a few months. Then one drink plunged him back into misery. “I was merely surviving,” he recalls, “when a friend loved me enough to confront me about my lifestyle.” Jason entered the Eagles Nest Regeneration program. “Areas of hopelessness and despair in my heart were filled with hope for a future and love for others.”
Jason was married in 2010 and now serves as director of the locally-based organization “teaching inner healing and praying with guys as they work through their own hurts. I had no idea what God had in store for me when I gave up my old life, but what He’s given me is better than anything I ever would have dreamed of.”
Eagles Nest Regeneration is a faith-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to help men lost in alcohol and drug addition who have a sincere desire to change. “We are a recovery ministry that believes that a life of sustainable recovery is available through discipleship and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” states founder Robbie Maddox. “Chemical addiction is a physical, social and spiritual problem, and Eagles Nest creates the atmosphere, setting and support network where men can be regenerated anew and do not return to where they have already been.”
With a success rate that vastly exceeds other rehab programs on a national average, this licensed residential substance abuse treatment center extensively interviews and assesses all applicants and works with medical insurance providers. “Our residents learn to take personal responsibility for the damage their addiction has caused themselves, their relationships and any dreams and goals they once held dear,” Jason explains.
Ryan was a performance-driven athlete born and raised in the New River Valley who attended Marshall University on a sports scholarship. A motorcycle accident in his sophomore year ended life as he knew it, and addiction to pain medication came quickly. “It helped me escape reality. I was in and out of rehab centers for years, destroyed every relationship and performed my way right into jail,” he explains. He was sentenced to five years, but served just two for early release. That lasted 13 days. “From the cell block bunk, I cried out to the Lord for the first time, and He met me there and led me to Eagles Nest.” Ryan is now married with two children and serves on the staff at Eagles Nest.
The men in the 12-month, intensive residential rehab program not only journal, read, pray, break down and share their shame and failures, but also they work. Transformation Painting, the flagship business of this self-supporting non-profit, is a Class A licensed and fully-insured painting contractor for exterior and interior painting throughout the New River Valley.
Eagles Nest has been serving up to 25 residential clients at a time for the past 12 1/2 years. One of the organization’s goals is to double its capacity within five years. It also has plans to build five more houses, one at a time, on its 66 rural acres in Floyd County. The first fund-raising dinner was held last spring to advance the expansion objectives. On a day-to-day basis, the entire organization is self-sustaining financially through its business. “We have not had any success yet with grant writing,” Jason states, “but we are optimistic about capturing extra outside funding to assist with capital projects.”
One of the most devastating and isolating factors in drug or alcohol addiction is the feeling of being alone, as well as the approach that counselors, leaders, facilitators and others cannot begin to fathom what one is going through. One of the greatest advantages at Eagles Nest is that every front-line, hands-on staff person has completed the program. He does know the desperation of an addicted life spiraling out of control and the disgrace that nearly strangles the soul. He has lived through torment, shame and feelings of failure to emerge victorious, productive and full of hope.
Will hails from a solid family in Tennessee. “I tried drinking alcohol in 7th grade, and I loved it. Then smoking pot. I’d like to say I fell into the wrong crowd, but I became the wrong crowd,” he says. Addicted to opiods by the time Will entered college, he was arrested for robbing a pharmacy. Finally, he intentionally overdosed believing his family and all his other alienated relationships would be better off without him. “By God’s grace, I woke up in the University of Tennessee Medical Center. Not long after, my wife was only too happy to send me packing to Eagles Nest. My marriage was pretty much over, and I was in danger of losing parental rights to my children.” Will completed the program and went on to serve as the first operations manager for Transformation Painting and was instrumental in launching Transformation Grounds in 2014. He, his wife and three children live and work in the New River Valley.
Eagles Nest Regeneration is a uniquely-positioned ministry with an impressive track record. In this beautiful season of giving, you can participate in the organization’s mission to figuratively and literally save the souls of men from the brink of disaster. There is a “Donation” button on the upper right of the home page, along with more information on the website. If you have building supplies, tools, equipment or labor to contribute, please send an email.
Text by Joanne M. Anderson