drug abuse

Churches rally against drugs, violence and prostitution plaguing north St. Louis neighborhood

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Nearly three decades ago, Bernarda Phillips was sleeping on the sidewalk in front of Sts. Teresa and Bridget Church.

The church opened its doors to her, helping her get back on her feet and off drugs. She started a Narcotics Anonymous group there, and today she looks for lost souls, still helping out at NA meetings there on Saturday mornings.

"I know that deliverance through the power of God is possible," she said. "God has allowed me to pay it forward, and I let people know you're looking at a miracle, and you, too, can be delivered — you just need to trust in God."

Queen of Peace Center helps women pick up the pieces after drug addiction, abuse

Jessica Johnson, a graduate of Queen of Peace Center, sat with her son, Trevion Jackson, in her new apartment in north St. Louis. Johnson, who will regain full custody of Trevion next month, now volunteers at Queen of Peace Center.

At age 13, Jessica Johnson began smoking marijuana. From then on, she tried various drugs.

She moved from St. Louis to southern Missouri, where she continued to smoke pot, wound up in an abusive relationship, and then started selling and using methamphetamines.

Her downward spiral bottomed out with the meth. Her children suffered and were taken away from her. She needed to quit drugs. But is wasn't that easy.

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