Faith Logan Baptist Church in the sleepy town of Cottonwood, Arizona, has been a haven for heroin addicts for nearly 20 years.
The church has been one of the first to be hit by a major heroin epidemic.
The community, about an hour and a half northwest of Phoenix, has seen a rapid decline in the number of heroin users.
Now, the church is seeing a steady influx of heroin addicts.
“We’ve seen a lot of people come in to church.
They don’t know what to expect, they don’t really know how to use heroin,” said Pastor Eric K. Lee.
“And so that’s when the faith was born.”
The church is a small community of mostly Christian men who come together in church for worship every Saturday night to share spiritual insights and share what they’ve learned through the experience.
But this week, Lee said, he and the other pastors of Faith Logans are hearing from a growing number of people that they are seeing more heroin users in the community.
“I was just shocked, because we’re a very small church, and we’re getting a lot more people here,” Lee said.
“Now we’ve seen that the people coming into our church, they’re not only heroin users, they’ve also been abusing other drugs as well.
They’re using prescription painkillers, they used to be smoking crack, they now are buying heroin.”
Lee said the church recently opened a new heroin treatment center and is providing support to addicts who have come in.
“They’re in recovery, they are thriving.
And we just pray that God will give us the help we need to survive and we can continue to serve this community,” Lee added.
Faith Logos church has welcomed in thousands of addicts to share their experiences.
Some have returned to church for the first time in months, and many have come to the church for help.
“Some of them are just looking to get clean,” Lee told NBC News.
“One of them came back a couple of weeks ago.
He said, ‘I just want to come back and be clean.'”
Pastor Lee said many of the people who come in have been in the church since the 1990s.
“So, we’ve got a long history here,” he said.
Some of the addiction treatment patients are getting treatment at a church near their home, and the church’s pastor has seen many of them in recent days.
“A lot of them come in because they’re in the same place,” he added.
“But they’re also coming here because they have the same issues that we have, that we are seeing in this community.”
Pastor Lee, who is also the pastor of a smaller church in the area, said the churches church is now getting calls from other churches in the region.
“The more people that come into our building, the more people we get in touch with.
We’ve also had a lot in touch to our community,” he explained.
“It’s just the outpouring of support that we’ve been getting.”
In fact, Pastor Lee and his church have received so much support from local and state officials that they have decided to open a rehabilitation center and provide counseling and treatment to addicts and addicts who need it.
“If you need help, we are there to help you,” Lee explained.
So far, they have treated more than 2,000 addicts.
He is now working with the federal government to get a state license to provide addiction treatment to all addicts in the state.
“This has been an eye-opener for me, to see the number and the amount of people coming to our program,” Lee continued.
“Because of the response of our community, the response that we got from the federal and state, we’re now opening a rehabilitation facility in the middle of the desert and we will have to be very careful because the area is quite remote, and if it’s over-populated, we will be in trouble.”