- Associated Press - Saturday, March 1, 2014

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) - Before Kristy Shelton found Haven Ministries, she had lost everything.

Shelton, now 41, started out as a Fayetteville hair stylist, married and raising raising two children. Then came the drugs.

“My husband was an addict,” she said. “He was using a lot. … I started using to block him out.”

She became an addict herself, spending a decade using cocaine and pills. She lost her business and her family, and spent time in jail.

Before he came to Haven, Luke Duggan was hooked on OxyContin, a powerful medication originally prescribed for him after a bad accident.

Now both are discipleship leaders at Haven Ministries, a Christian-based program that provides mental health and substance abuse care to people who need it, regardless of ability to pay.

It’s housed in an office at 20 S. 16th St. leased from St. Andrews-Covenant Presbyterian Church.

The ministry and psychiatric clinic was founded by Dr. Dwight Lysne. Like his clients, he lost much in the journey that took him from teaching and practicing psychiatry in North Dakota to his present post.

The Fargo, N.D., native spent 10 years as a prosperous doctor and child psychiatry professor before asking, “Is this all there is?”

“This isn’t the fulfilling life I thought I would have,” he recalls thinking.

He began attending a Bible study group and realized it was the only time where he felt peace.

“My perspective changed. Making money had become an empty pursuit,” he said.

“That’s when things started to change for me,” he said. “I found myself led to seminary.”

He moved his family to Winston-Salem in 2003 to accommodate a teenage daughter who wanted to dance at the N.C. School of the Arts.

He later served as medical director of Wilmington’s Yahweh Center, which provides psychiatric services to children traumatized by violence or abandonment.

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