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Carbon County Man Starts Program To Help Those With Opioid Addictions

HELPER, Utah – You could probably count the number of cars that pass outside the big building every day on the corner of Roosevelt and North Main in Helper.

But there’s no way you could quantify what’s happening inside.

“Everybody is looking for a miracle. There it is. That’s the miracle,” said David Safford, who works in the big, beige colored building.

The store in Helper

Miracle is a strong word in Utah.

Even still, Safford stands by it.

“This building was empty when we got it,” he said with laugh.

Now, it’s full of stuff: clothes, books, picture frames, gear, and all of it is donated.

Clothes for Sale

It’s basically become a second-hand store.

“We sell it,” said Safford. “Then we use the proceeds to send people to faith-based treatment centers in California.”

Safford is the director of the Lost and Found Recovery Program in Carbon County.

Lost and Found Recovery Program

The store is how he makes money to help those addicted to opioids and other drugs.

“It’s just important. It’s important that you help people to recognize their value,” he said.

If there’s anybody who knows something about personal value, it’s Safford.

“I found God about five years ago,” he said. “I had addiction to meth and opioids. I had been using since I was 17 years old. It damaged a lot of relationships. There was trust broken. It took a long time to build that back up.”

David Safford shows where his treatment classes are held

He started repairing his life when he started getting help at a faith-based treatment facility in California.

He’s been clean ever since.

“They told me my pride was the hardest they’ve ever had to break,” he said with a grin. “It was tough. These programs, they’re not easy. But eventually, it did sink in and eventually I did walk away a different person.”

Carbon County

After getting out of treatment, he returned home to Carbon County and realized he could start a similar program to help others who are in the same place as he was.

“We do support groups here in the store,” said Safford, while pointing to benches and chairs on the second floor of the building.

So far this year, his ministry has raised enough money to send 37 people to treatment.

The Store

Ultimately, Safford would like to treat people here and keep them in Carbon County instead of sending them to California.

That’s going to take more money, but he already has room to do that in the building.

“We’ll put two bunks in each room,” he said, while showing where recovery rooms will be located. “There’s a lot of work, but we’re willing to do the work.”

Volunteers sort clothes

He knows what it means to get your life back.

“If this could work for a knucklehead like me, it could work for anybody,” he said. “Seeing people come back to life, man. That’s where the miracle happens.”

It doesn’t get much stronger than that.

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