Breaking the Chains of Addiction

Breaking the Chains of Addiction

Reconnecting with the Torah helps heroin junkies, alcoholics, sex addicts and gamblers at a Jewish rehab center. (LAT)

Rabbi Mark Borovitz, himself a reformed criminal and recovering addict, is the driving force behind Beit T’Shuvah, a recovery program in Los Angeles that includes psychology, the 12 Steps and the Torah. This L.A. Times audio slideshow looks at how addicts of all stripes are able to come together and turn their lives around by focusing on Jewish spirituality. “We believe it’s our job to save a soul,” says Borovitz.

Striking portrait photography and powerful statements by 6 patients who describe their lives before and after treatment serve as bookends to an overview of life at the center. Borovitz uses analogies between Jewish history, such as being freed from the slavery of Egypt and “what is trapping you,” to help his clients understand their predicament and options for recovery. Following Borovitz’s example, residents are surprisingly open to the camera and frank about their problems in a setting that is usually shrouded in secrecy.

CHANNEL: Los Angeles Times

Length: 6:28

Photography & Audio by Rick Loomis
Produced by Albert Lee