A unique program for drug and alcohol rehab counselors
Seminary graduate Marusev Yevgenyevich began selling drugs on Russia’s expansive black market at age 15. By 17, Marusev began using intravenous drugs on a daily basis and continued this habit for the next seven years.
Unfortunately, Marusev’s story is not uncommon in Russia, where drug abuse and alcoholism have reached epic proportions. Official estimates are that 40% of men and 7% of women in Russia are alcoholics. In the 1990’s alone the numbers of drug abusers rose from 130,000 to 3 million. As a result, Russia’s life expectancy has dropped drastically and the nation has failed to provide treatment that can keep up with the rapid increase of addicts.
In an effort to address this epidemic, Moscow Theological Seminary (MTS) recently introduced a two-year program for directors of addiction rehabilitation centers. According to Sergei Zolotarevskyi, pastor of the historic Central Baptist Church in Moscow, Christian rehab programs provide a powerful tool for evangelism. “It is through these rehab centers that people come to know the Lord,” he explains. “Families are changed when former addicts go home and relatives witness their triumph over addiction as a result of their faith.” The program fuses scripture study, psychology, rehab methodology and understanding legal requirements for rehab centers in Russia, providing the necessary tools to address this growing problem.
As for Marusev, he sought treatment at a church in Omsk and soon made a commitment to turn his life around. Today, he’s married, has two children and a master’s degree in pastoral ministry from MTS. He leads the Sunday school program at the church that walked alongside him on his difficult road to recovery.
Millions of Russians are currently dealing with the same struggles that Marusev once faced, but the trained, compassionate leaders from MTS will offer hope and light.