Thursday, April 22, 2021

How Pastor Rev. Burton Barr Jr. Overcame Drug Addiction With Faith

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In his new book and documentary, 121: Overcoming Drug Addiction by Faith, Rev. Burton Barr Jr. traces the steps of how he climbed from rock bottom to full recovery. The film can be streamed and the book can be purchased at

At the age of 20, Barr was held down by a group of friends while they injected heroin into his veins, which started his 22-year drug addiction. At the height of his addiction and during his darkest hour, his father came to him.

He didn't start preaching at Barr, telling him that he needed to quit. He didn't talk about the hurt and the pain that Barr was causing his family.

He didn't even tell Barr about the damage that he was doing to himself. He just opened the Bible to a certain scripture, gave it to Barr, and told him to read that scripture every morning before he left home. The scripture was Psalms 121.

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Article And Movie Trailer On "121: Overcoming Drug Addiction by Faith," Rev. Burton Barr Jr., Continues Below...

He comments, “One day after work, I also overdosed on heroin but was lucky I wasn’t alone when it happened. There were a few of us in my apartment at the time. I pressed the needle into my vein and allowed the heroin to take over. My legs became weak as I fell back against the wall. The next thing I remember was waking up on the couch. Someone said Poopy shot some salt in my arm to bring me out of it. I never would’ve thought that a guy named Poopy would be the one that God used to save my life.”

121: Overcoming Drug Addiction by Faith details how Burton Barr Jr. overcame his addiction to heroin, cocaine, crack, alcohol, cigarettes, and sex by learning to harness and live out the words of the 121st Psalm.

Excerpt from the book:

I had to make some drastic changes in my life. Asking God to deliver me from drugs was one thing but there were some things that I had to do for myself:

1) Stop hanging out with my old crowd. How could I expect to stop using drugs if I was constantly surrounding myself with other addicts and dealers?

2) Surround myself with positive people. Positive people are those who are trying to make something of themselves -- Not the players, hustlers, and cons that I used to hang out with. The problem was, I didn’t know any. At least not any that wanted to have anything to do with me. So, I decided to leave Chicago and moved to St. Louis. I knew a lot of people that were in the drug game there, but I stayed away from them. It wasn’t easy, but I was determined to make it this time.

3) Never give up. I kept getting penny-ante jobs but every time they found out about my background or criminal record, I was fired. Still, I refused to give up! I kept getting other jobs until finally, I found one that didn’t care about my past. With the help of my mother and some of my other relatives, I was able to make it. At one point in time, Barr was addicted to heroin, cocaine, and crack and overdosed several times. “I’m simply one man who was strung out on every drug that you cimagine, overdosed at least four times and, by the grace of God, climbed my way from rock bottom to sobriety and now live a life filled with joy and purpose.”

Learn more about the book and the documentary at

Watch the movie trailer:

About the Author

Burton Barr Jr. speaks at prisons, churches, and schools and serves as a Missouri State Opioid Response consultant to help prevent opioid overdose deaths. Barr is a member of the Criminal Justice Commission for the National Baptist Convention USA, Inc. and has earned both Bachelor and Master Degrees in Christian Education from Western Baptist Bible College in Kansas City, Missouri. He was awarded an honorary doctorate degree for his work in prison reform and criminal justice. Barr is also certified to teach Prison Ministry by the Sunday School Publishing Board of the National Baptist Convention.

Book Details:
121: Overcoming Drug Addiction by Faith by Burton Barr Jr.
ISBN: 978-1-7358914-0-8; 166 Pages
Kindle and Trade Paperback
Publisher: Kobalt Books

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Posted by community events coordinator, Nzinga Lonstein Austin, is a prolific blogger who writes on the entertainment industry and issues for people with developmental and physical challenges.

She is presently in high school looking to have a career in video, film, and media. You can see more of her entertainment writing on Lonstein Movies.

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