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Former drug addict gives back to Serenity House in annual golf tournament

By Kristen Pope, Reporter, kpope@ktxs.com
Published On: Sep 15 2013 08:04:38 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 16 2013 11:09:04 AM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

Sometimes the best way to get help is to give help.

More than 100 men and women tee'd off in the "Third Annual Recovery Masters" at the Diamondback Golf Course. The tournament benefits Serenity House, an organization that helps people recover from substance abuse addictions.

Former addict James Denton didn't always see life clearly. For many years Denton battled with substance abuse addition.

"I was a drug addict for most of my adult life," Denton said. "From the age of 14 to the age of 36."

During his addiction years, Denton said he lost a lot. He said one day, something in his life shifted that made him change.

"I just got tired of living the way I was living," Denton said. "I was a single father of four little girls and I got tired of not being able to live life."

Denton credits Serenity House for helping to get him back on track.

"They taught me about things that I didn't know about myself," Denton said. "That I could be okay being who I am and that's the big key is learning how to be who I am and be okay with it."

The annual golf tournament raises money to help people who struggle like Denton did. 

"I didn't have insurance and so when I went to Serenity House they allowed me to come without insurance, without pay, and because of state cuts it's getting harder and harder for people to be able to do what I was able to do," Denton said.

"It's not just a job," Denton said. "It's a ministry and we think that life is counted more importantly by the things that you do and the people that you touch rather than just the money that you make."

Denton said his recovery was an uphill battle, but the wins outweigh the losses.

"There is a different way to live," Denton said. "There's a bunch of us who've done it and its a wonderful life. You don't ever have to do the things that you did before."

In 2014, Serenity House celebrates 30 years in business. To date, they've helped more then 30,000 people.