Michigan Family Goes Public with Addiction Story

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Ross Poel, 27, started his downward spiral by using a variety of drugs in his teens. Eventually he was shooting heroin daily, despite several brushes with death by overdose.

His church, Fellowship Christian Reformed Church in Grandville, Mich., had no idea what was happening until Ross and his parents spoke publicly earlier this spring. About 70 people came to hear their story.

Ross’ parents, William and Kathy Poel, got him into many different treatment programs, but nothing worked. In shame, they struggled in silence.

“Many parents tend to live in their own private hell, usually too embarrassed to share such a story,” said William, a probation officer for the state of Michigan who knows the often-bleak prognosis for heroin addicts.

“It’s a feeling of loneliness and hard to talk about. Our friends had no idea,” he said.

Finally, in 2010, after ten years of struggle, William and Kathy heard of a treatment center called Consultorios de Medicina Integral Abasto in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Desperate for healing, Ross was on a plane 24 hours later. The treatment program tailored to his particular needs proved effective.

“The happiness, joy, and freedom—that’s a much higher and more pure sensation than any chemical can give you,” Ross said.

Ross has spoken in other venues besides his church and plans to write a book and open a nonprofit to help others find freedom. “God gave me a beautiful and powerful gift to do his work,” Poel said.

Likewise, Kathy and William want to reach out to hurting parents. “It’s hard to share, but once you get over the hump, just to talk about it is helpful. People think they are alone in this, but they aren’t,” William said.

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After watching the link to his testimonial video...all I can say is WOW! This treament center must be unlike anything in the United States. Every person I know that is in the rehab field NEVER uses the word "cured" so to see this success story is amazing! God is good!

I wonder if this treatment can be brought to the US? I am touched by this story and hopefully many, many can also benefit from it! Thank You Banner!

God Bless

Wow, good story about healing. However, I think the CRC needs to think about why many folks feel they cannot share problems like this with their brothers and sisters in Christ much earlier in the struggle. Your article points out that this family endured their own private hell for 10 years with no one at their church knowing about the issue. Sometimes church isn't a 'safe' place to share personal issues, and sometimes people are judged. Whatever the cause, we need to be bearing one another's burdens in ways these folk's burdens were not apparently borne by their church.

So proud of you Ross! You have such
wonderful parents too, proud of u guys
too Bill and Kathy!

I was just there and did a treatment for 7 days, I had the most unbelievable and unforgettable experience at CMI! I had a blast and never would expected it. I meet Ross before I left from Argentina, and I fell in love with his story, after I meet him I do believe people can be cured! Please watch the video and contact CMI or Ross. Thanks everyone, I apperciate it!

I was just there and did a treatment for 7 days, I had the most unbelievable and unforgettable experience at CMI! I had a blast and never would expected it. I meet Ross before I left from Argentina, and I fell in love with his story, after I meet him I do believe people can be cured! Please watch the video and contact CMI or Ross. Thanks everyone, I apperciate it!

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