Problems related to substance abuse in Kingwood and the surrounding Lake Houston area are plentiful, and for those coping with these problems, help is out there – in the heart of Kingwood. Cornerstone Recovery, a Houston-based program, has established a local presence and is reaching out to those in need by forming a partnership with Christ the King Lutheran Church, where weekly meetings are held. According to their website, Cornerstone's mission is to give hope and healing to teens and families through early recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Cornerstone's primary goal is to reunite families through healthy relationships based on sobriety and the principles that underlay the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon traditions. Furthermore, the program is open and free to any teen or parent who has a desire to change. "Over the past four years that I've been the Kingwood counselor for Cornerstone Recovery, I've seen many broken families restored to healthy, functioning and loving families again," said Anthony Garcia. "The insanity and dysfunction that resulted from the kids' drug and alcohol use has been replaced by a lot of love and mutual respect. What makes our program so effective is the dedication and commitment of the kids, parents and staff. For me, it is very rewarding to be a small part of helping families heal," he said. Cornerstone Recovery hopes to change lives during free weekly meetings for teens and their parents. "CTK allows Cornerstone to use space in our Student Center for their programs," said Doyle Theimer, associate pastor at Christ the King. "I would describe the relationship as a partnership between our church and a spiritually based community service organization …We simply value the hope and recovery that Cornerstone brings to families in this area." Theimer expressed a genuine concern for the young people that Cornerstone is helping and a strong appreciation of the end results. "When you see a group of Cornerstone kids, you might not get the first impression from their outward appearance that these youths are on their way to becoming model leaders of their generation, but many of them are," said Theimer. "They are learning and applying principles of recovery that will not only allow them to live free of drug and alcohol abuse; they are also learning how to develop relationships that are honest and accountable, and to be of service in the world.” "Having learned a little about recovery in our own church's Celebrate Recovery ministry," Theimer continued, "I have been consistently impressed with the quality of recovery I have seen, not only for the youths but for their parents, as well. I believe those who have gone through this program successfully are actually better prepared for life than those who have not experienced the need for these kinds of tools." Jackie Hauptfleisch is the parent coordinator for Cornerstone Recovery in the area, and she knows all too well the experiences families are going through when facing a substance-abuse related crisis. A few years ago she was in the parent program, while her son was getting help with Cornerstone. "Cornerstone is a recovery program for people to begin learning to live responsible, principle-based lives, and their primary goal is to build a foundation for parents and their teens to live free from self-destructive addictions, offering a life-changing journey with healthy choices," said Hauptfleisch. "Families need to take that first step and admit that their teen(s) have a problem, that they can't handle it by themselves. No one can do it alone, and it's OK to ask for help," she said. In addition to the Kingwood location, Cornerstone Recovery has a presence in The Woodlands, Clear Lake, Sugar Land and the West University area, and the groups all get together for a citywide meeting every Saturday. Cornerstone Recovery holds separate meetings for parents and teens every Thursday evening 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Christ the King Lutheran Church located at 3803 West Lake Houston Parkway, Kingwood. For more information, call 713-501-1089 and/or visit their website at Pictured: Jackie Hauptfleisch and Anthony Garcia are working with parents and teens at Cornerstone Recovery to help them successfully navigate through substance abuse issues. Photo by Trilla Cook

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