Former drug user says jail could be best thing for Todd Harrell

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A Jackson County man who spent decades addicted to drugs and alcohol said going to jail may be a good thing for Todd Harrell. The founding member of the band 3 Doors Down was arrested Tuesday night in D'Iberville for second offense DUI. Harrell already has a DUI conviction in D'Iberville. He is also facing a vehicular homicide charge in Tennessee.

Rodney Williams is the author of the book "Club Meth to Christ." He said every addict has a different breaking point, and for some people that sobering moment comes while sitting inside of a jail cell.

Now, Williams is the pastor of a Baptist church in Big Point. However, for more than 20 years he was an addict using whatever drug he could get his hands on.

"When you get in that lifestyle it's almost impossible to get out," said Williams.

"It started out being fun and exciting. I could quit and doing when I wanted to. After a time it became I had to do it. It wasn't when I wanted to. It was I had to do it to function."

Williams' substance abuse problem started at the age of 12. In his book, Williams describes his years of addiction in which he didn't care about anything but getting high.

Then in 2002 while cooking meth, an explosion left him with second and third degree burns.

"I've seen people go through so much; jail, death of loved ones. Different people have different breaking points and that night I had finally come to my breaking point where I'd finally had enough."

Williams went to rehab at the Home of Grace in Vancleave, a facility he'd walked out of previously. He said an addict can only get sober when he or she is ready to get sober.

"If they don't want the help then it's not going to do them no good. That's why it's so good for a lot of people to go to jail because it's a wake-up call that 'hey, this causing me some serious problems'."

Williams said going to jail may be what helps break Harrell from the bondage of addiction. The pastor said it's hard for most of the public to understand the strong hold that addiction has.

"I still had the mentality of dealing with things of a 12 year old. Even if people go and try to get help, it's a point of maturity. They've got to go through to learn how to cope with things the correct way. When they have a major struggle and life comes upon them, they go back to the only thing they really know how to cope with."

He said sometimes well meaning parents do more harm than good.

"People all the time want help for their son and they're praying for them. Then they go to jail and they run down there and bail them out. I say that's not good. You need to leave them in there and get a good taste of what jail is. It's a wake-up call for them. It also gives them a chance to sober up and to think clearly again, because when you're under the influence of the drugs and alcohol you can't think clearly. You want out so you can go get high and drunk again."

Harrell was convicted of DUI first offense after a 2012 incident in which he slammed into a vehicle stopped at a stop sign on Lemoyne Boulevard. A judge sentenced him to two days in jail which was suspended on the condition he stays out of trouble for the next six months.

WLOX has attempted to contact the D'Iberville city prosecutor's office to see if there are any plans to make Harrell serve that jail time, but so far we've been unable to reach anyone for comment.

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