BALM IN GILEAD by Don Jeffries


A Baptist Minister's Personal Journey through Drug Addiction
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 Deeply moving account of a voyage into and out of the hell of uppers and downers. Jeffries, an advertising executive, tells the life of his longtime friend, H. Gordon Weekley, in a dispassionate, almost documentary voice. And that suffices, for the horror of Weekley's addiction to pills speaks for itself. Once upon a time, Weekley was an applauded Baptist preacher, happily married, loved by his congregation, a spokesman on several of Billy Graham's international crusades. Then one day in 1958, Weekley complained about feeling ``jittery'' and received a prescription for the sedative Doriden. For daytime pep, he added Dexamyl, a diet pill. Before long, Weekley was scrounging pills from druggists and doctors across the state. The downward spiral began, gaining momentum as the preacher lost his job, his friends, his wife, and his pride, added alcohol to his numbing pharmacy, and finally wound up in state mental hospitals and on the streets. After 18 years of sorrow, on September 4, 1976, Weekley turned to prayer ``with a white flag of surrender,'' admitting--in the classic A.A. phrase- -that he was powerless over his addiction. ``I turned it over to God last night...and when I woke up this morning, everything had changed.'' Weekley never touched drugs again, and today directs the Rebound Christian Rehabilitation Center in North Carolina. Gritty and unsentimental, but adamant in the conviction that there is always hope: as such, indispensable ammunition in the fight against addiction.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-87483-190-3
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: August House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1992