A local woman gets a second chance at her job and her life after overcoming a heavy addiction.
“I found myself deeply addicted to fentanyl, and I’m grateful to be alive today,” Michelle Owens said.
Fentanyl is a powerful opioid used as a pain reliever and, along with other drugs, for anesthesia. It is also used as a recreational drug, sometimes mixed with heroin, cocaine, benzodiazepines or methamphetamine. It is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and has the potential to kill people with just a few grains.
“I ended up going to Adult & Teen Challenge (ATC), a faith-based program. I had never opened a Bible before, never been to a church day in my life, but i was at this point where i was going to go with an open mind i thought, this is not going to hurt me and i have to do something and that’s how god led me to the ATC.
Owens has degrees in chemistry and biochemistry. Its scientific mind had many questions for its leaders in the first two months.
“I said, I need a hypothesis. I need to test these things and if you can’t prove it, how is it real? I would ask, ‘If you can’t see it, how do you know it’s real? ‘ Something clicked with me and from that moment on it was amazing. When you pay attention, God is there and there is evidence.”
Throughout the program, if a student memorizes the longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119, they get a used, repaired car through ATC’s vehicle donation program. This is no small feat as Psalm 119 contains 176 verses.
“It was almost the end of my program and my boss asked me to come back to work and I needed a vehicle for this job. So I thought I had no choice now, so I’ve learned it.”
Owens recited Psalm 119 in full during his ATC graduation on July 17, along with nine other graduates, their families and friends.
“I was really nervous. I went up front and introduced it to people. It’s long like it took 24 minutes. I told everyone, it’s Psalm 119 , NLT version. If you have a Bible, follow it and if nothing else just listen to the words, because there is a lot of meaning. I came to verse 22 and completely empty. I turned around and I asked for two minutes. I got back on track and did it.
Owens said everyone was listening intently quietly, including the children in attendance. When she finished, people jumped out of their seats in excitement.
“It was like I won an Oscar or something.”
Owens says it is by the grace of God that she now has her own apartment in Winnipeg, with the help of her father, and is looking forward to getting back to work. She also does catering alongside her love for food.
“I want to build relationships with a lot of homeless people and drug addicts, and let them know there is a way out. At one point in my addiction, I just accepted it. I thought that was it. and i will try to use as little as possible so that i can survive.i need to let people know that there is a way and it is possible.i also want to be active in my church.