Debra and Chris Hedgcorth are former meth users and together they started Finding the Family, a Christian-based program to help people overcome addiction. (Photo provided)

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Previously known as the “poor man’s drug,” methamphetamine has crept into all corners of society.  From back alleys to gated communities, homeless camps to business suites, users have one thing in common — addiction. 

The homegrown basement meth labs have given way to super-labs across the U.S. border with drugs brought into the states through drug cartels and sold on our local streets. Because the drug’s “high” starts and quickly fades, users often take repeated doses in a “binge and crash” cycle. In many cases, people use meth in a form of binging known as a “run,” giving up food and sleep while continuing to take the drug every few hours for up to several days, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Meth has become the “crown drug” of the Ozarks.

Debra Hedgcorth, a former meth user said, “The mind of an addict is that drugs bring comfort, it’s a coping mechanism and this too is why my husband and I did meth. We understand the strongholds with addictions and how it affects families.”

Debra and her husband Chris have been free from meth for more than 21 years and together they started Finding the Family, a Christian-based program. It provides couples and single parents who have drug addictions with sustainable housing, discipleship and family care, and equips parents to live as the Bible teaches.

Bobby, a former meth user, is now Chaplain and Case Manager at Victory Mission Men’s Shelter in Springfield. (Photo provided)

Meth misleads people into thinking they need it to survive. It’s an inexpensive way to make you feel superhuman, staying awake for days. “It’s cheap and people know where to get it. I used meth to be able to party all night long and it kept my mind from trashing out. Then I needed it the next morning and soon everyday,” said Bobby, a former meth user and now Chaplain and Case Manager at Victory Mission Men’s Shelter in Springfield. “I went from having my own business and a great home to being homeless for four years. I had to hit rock bottom before I was ready to change.”

Victory Mission has a 12-18 month faith-based restoration and discipleship program designed to transform lives through a holistic approach of developing five-key areas of life: spiritual, personal, relational, vocational, and financial. Their mission is to share God’s love through intentional relationships for the restoration of a brokenhearted world.

Meth not only affects the user, it divides the family. The user becomes a part of a meth culture while the family watches in agony the deterioration of the one they love. Jason Hynson, Executive Director of Victory Mission said, “Meth is the No. 1 drug addiction we see, these people are broken. Brokenness walks together, it talks and looks the same, it has its own identity. We provide a bridge from brokenness to a path of healing and dignity through love and relational development.”

Jason continued, “Addiction has no boundaries, it hits all socio-economic levels, however the solution is the same. The user has to want to change and the family/friend has to stop intervening. It sounds very unkind, but if family or friends solve all of the user's problems, the user can’t feel the weight of all of their addictions.”

Drug addiction is not a casual dinner table topic. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health concluded that as of 2019, meth addictions affected more than 15 million people in the U.S. How does one help a person who is addicted to meth? Debra answered, “First, you never stop loving them and faithfully pray. Second, you set strong boundaries and give straight answers. Lastly and honestly, Jesus is the only answer. We weren’t created to do drugs and it’s only through the redemption of Jesus can a drug addict truly be set free.”

Bobby from Victory Mission added, “It is hard to do, but tough love is what’s best for the meth user. My family had to cut me off. Addiction is a vicious cycle and I would’ve never changed if my family would’ve kept helping me. I knew they loved me but it got to the point where my consequences had to hurt me more. I was on my own and when I got to a desperate point, I realized I couldn’t do it alone and found Christ. Now I’m clean, I have a relationship with my kids and I’m the godly father they’ve always wanted.”

Faith-based or secular treatment, it’s a choice of self-empowerment and reliance or faith in God.

As these former meth users have noted, people can’t rescue people, only God can rescue people. “For everyone with addictions, I am a living testimony that God is the answer,” said Debra Hedgcorth..

For families who are hopeless that the user will never change, there is hope. “I’ve seen many lives completely changed,” said Jason Hynson, “and we have to be better at telling stories so people with addictions and their family members know there is hope. The only culture that drug users know is the ‘addiction’ one that they’re in. Yet there’s more to life and they can have it. I’ve seen it, God will make a difference.”

To learn more about these ministries that are working with meth users and others who have addictions, go to and

Julie Higgins

Julie G. Higgins is a Springfield entrepreneur and a partner in Higgins Business Consulting. Her mantra is: “Teach with your life.” Follow her on Twitter: @julieGhiggins or email her at: More by Julie Higgins