Dennis Cummings is executive director of the Duluth Bethel, a nonprofit that provides chemical dependency recovery and community-based corrections programs to hundreds of men and women annually.
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Think about a toothpick. One single toothpick. Take it out of the box and you can easily snap it. Just a bit of pressure with your fingers causes it to splinter in two. Now think of a whole box of toothpicks. Take all the toothpicks out at once and try to break them together. It’s almost impossible.
Wayne's problems started early. "I looked at the world differently," he says. "I had a lot of bad in my life. That led to a lot of mistrust." Mistrust led to trouble, including drug and alcohol abuse, time in prison and stints in and out of drug and alcohol rehab, including at the Duluth Bethel. But a visit to his mother shortly before her death changed his perspective, and changed his life. "I knew it was the last time I was going to see her alive," Wayne says. "I knew I was either going to make a change and do it now or I'd never be able to do it again."
“How do I know this place is safe?” It’s a natural question asked by friends and relatives when their loved ones enter nursing homes, long-term care facilities and drug- and alcoholism treatments centers such as the Duluth Bethel.
You hear local people say it all the time: "There's good recovery here." What it means is we're fortunate to have hope and resources in our region to help people overcome addiction and substance abuse. And more than just talking about it, we've put time, money, attention and care into making sure that the tools are in place to offer help.
The Duluth Bethel is a 143-year-old organization that has been saving lives while saving our community's financial resources by providing effective and less-costly alternatives to addiction recovery and traditional jail or prison.