Changing Lives Foundation is supported by generous individual donors and several churches. As a way to “give back” to members of supporting churches, we offer No-Fee Phone Counseling for friends and family of someone struggling with drug or alcohol abuse.
We were recently featured in the December issue of First Pres. Boulder’s newsletter, The Flame (one of our supporting churches).
New Family Resource Available at First Pres – Counseling for Families of Substance Abusers
~By Russ Teets
Joe Herzanek is the president and founder of Changing Lives Foundation. As a certified addiction professional in Colorado he spent over seventeen years working in the criminal justice system as the Chaplain at the Boulder County Jail. His credentials include being a Colorado State Certified Addiction Counselor and a Board Certified Biblical Counselor. Joe is the author of the book “Why Don’t They Just Quit? What families and friends need to know about addiction and recovery” which won the Best Self-Help Book award in 2008. Joe’s wife Judy is the Director of Creative Development and Marketing for Changing Lives.
In 2010, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an estimated 22.1 million persons (8.7 percent of the population aged 12 or older) in the U.S. were classified with substance dependence or abuse in the past year. 15.0 million had dependence or abuse of alcohol, 4.2 million of illicit drugs and 2.9 of both. For drugs, marijuana is the number one drug of abuse and prescription painkillers are number two.
For each substance abuser there are an estimated 10 other people who are directly affected. Family members and friends are the ones who suffer the most as they watch their loved one continue down the road of self-destruction. They desperately want to help the abuser but their actions often make the situation worse.
Joe and Judy Herzanek founded Changing Lives to help families and friends of substance abusers. First Pres has supported Joe’s work for over seventeen years, beginning with the Boulder County Jail Chaplaincy and now in his work with families struggling with alcohol and drug abuse.
Joe says: “We are passionate about what we do and know that we are making a difference in people’s lives—both in the now and in eternity. The families we work with are in crisis. They feel extremely hopeless and lost not knowing what to do. With all of our experience, both in our lives and the lives of our family members, we offer real solutions, encouragement and hope—and hope, when you are desperate, is a priceless commodity.
“Substance abuse is growing exponentially and is impacting all people groups—even in the Christian community. I’m convinced that this is also an important and often overlooked issue for many of our families at First Pres. Most Christian families feel a sense of shame and are reluctant to seek help or talk about it. They continue to live with the problem or try to ignore it—often till a crisis develops, or when it is too late.”
“Judy and I strongly feel that we/Changing Lives—a local, church-sponsored resource, will best serve the First Pres congregation by offering no-fee phone counseling to members. Due to the poor economy, more families are stretched to the breaking point financially. This is a way that we will partner even more with First Pres to help serve these members in their time of need.
“Counseling over the phone has many advantages: it is an anonymous, no risk and easy way for church members to get clear guidance for their family. We can envision this turning into a possible family group meeting at First Pres at some point down the road.
Here is what some of Joe’s clients say:
We appreciate the convenience of being able to call. I don’t know if my husband would have participated otherwise. I also appreciated very much that you talked to us about faith. Just prior to the events over the last few weeks I received your email regarding this service. It kept coming to my mind. I feel that it was God’s direction to call you. Thanks for making yourself available. ~Patty B., Rutland, VT
Joe’s advice was very helpful & got me thinking realistically about the situation. I really feel as though Joe cares about the people he is trying to help. Some of the other people I talked to felt more like salesmen, trying to sell me on their program. ~Gina N., Foristell, MO
We felt so alone for such a long time, and when you reached out that gave us peace and strength that we can all get through this. Thank you so very much, God Bless you and your family. ~Trish & John, Colorado Springs, CO
Do you have a family member caught up in this cycle? Please take advantage of this great resource for families. Call Joe Herzanek at 303.775.6493 to schedule a time or get more details or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.