0906_dnr_Brad Lewis_2

Brad Lewis, pastor of Impact Ministries, poses for a photo in the Elkton church’s sanctuary in September. Lewis will be expanding the church’s addiction recovery program into Harrisonburg soon.

HARRISONBURG — Impact Ministries of Elkton will be bringing its substance abuse rehab program to Harrisonburg in the near future, said Brad Lewis, the pastor of Impact Ministries.

“If you look at the epidemic that’s in our area, we have seen people get their lives back together,” Lewis said.

Lewis leads groups through a 12-week, faith-based program to help locals quit their addiction for a fraction of the cost of other rehab centers. The program is framed using federal standards.

Normally, Lewis leads the meetings in Elkton, but after recent publicity, interest in the program grew, with many in Harrisonburg contacting Lewis.

“We just got overwhelmed with people from Harrisonburg,” he said. “And for the most part, they don’t have a driver’s license or vehicle.”

Lewis decided to start a Harrisonburg program two weeks ago. Prior, Lewis was regularly meeting one-on-one with Harrisonburg residents struggling with drugs inside of various locations across the city, including fast-food restaurants.

“I was driving home on Friday being in Harrisonburg almost every day that week, and I just thought there’s gotta be a better way to do this,” he said.

So Lewis reached out to fellow a pastor, George Williams, who leads Home Church in Dayton and works as a bail bondsman with Freedom Bail Bonds in Harrisonburg.

Home Church meets at the American Legion Post No. 27 on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings, said Williams, who is also veteran and a member of the post.

The services are for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, Williams said.

“There are people dying daily due to their addictions,” he said.

Williams said he carries around naloxone, which is a life-saving nasal spray that can treat narcotics overdoses.

“Because I see people all the time who die because of their drug addiction and to have an accessible, cost-effective program in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County is nothing but a win-win situation,” he said.

The new Harrisonburg meetings are slated to take place Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 to 10:30 a.m.

Williams helped Lewis rent space for the meetings at the Hess and Miller building at 234 E. Market St.

Lewis said he does not yet have an exact date for the first program to begin, but hopes to start as soon as possible.

The new Harrisonburg program costs $150, which is more than the Elkton program, but all of the costs are used for the materials and to rent the space, Lewis said.

The cost is still a fraction of what people pay for other rehab programs, according to Lewis and Williams.

A dozen people will be able to sign up for the program at a time, according to Lewis.

Publicly funded rehab centers can offer services starting at $1,500, while private facilities can have price tags as large as $60,000, according to the Recovery Village, a network of rehab centers across the country.

“It’s going to make it accessible to people who never thought they could have access to a drug rehab program,” Williams said.

Those interested in the program can reach Lewis by emailing intothebible@comcast.net or calling 560-8520.

“It’s just an opportunity to help more people — impact more lives,” Lewis said.

Contact Ian Munro at 574-6278 or

imunro@dnronline.com. Follow Ian on Twitter @IanMunroDNR

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