Gospel star Joseph Habedank's new album isn't just a way of branching out on his own; it is also a very personal project that sheds light on his experience battling addiction and finding redemption.
Image via @JosephHabedank
"Welcome Home," Habedank's first solo album, comes a little more than a year after the singer checked himself into a treatment facility outside of Nashville, Tennessee, to combat his prescription drug dependence.
Habedank was originally introduced to prescription medications to treat an ulcer on his throat, but his usage eventually spiraled out of control.
"I just kind of fell in love with the feeling that it gave me," he told TheBlaze, the first time he has publicly shared his battle with addiction.
Over time, Habedank said he "really became dependent on ... prescription drugs and, in specific, opiates."
"By the end of it I was taking ten to twelve pain pills a day," he said.
Eventually, his dependence took its toll and the singer was confronted by the other members of The Perrys, a Southern Gospel group that he was touring with at the time.
"The group that I was with became aware of my problem and came to me and basically were very kind and gave me an ultimatum said 'Hey, you know, what would you like to do? We can't really have you on the road, but what would you like to do?'"
Habedank chose to resign from The Perrys, and on June 8, 2013, he checked into Cumberland Heights, a treatment facility just outside Nashville, Tennessee, a decision that he said saved his life.
But the process wasn't easy and the road to recovery has been a long one. After spending 30 days in the treatment facility, Habedank entered an outpatient program followed by 90 additional meetings. When he talked to TheBlaze recently, he was 432 days sober.
And now he's hoping his experience will help others.
"My biggest passion in life, though, is to not only help the addicts, but to help the addict in the church, because prescription drug abuse is rampant in the church," Habedank told TheBlaze. "I just have this huge passion to raise awareness about prescription drug abuse, because it’s so easy to justify it in our minds."
Aside from his own personal battle, Habedank is no stranger to drug and substance abuse. One of his brothers has used various drugs since he was an early teenager and another brother suffers from alcoholism.
All three are now in recovery.
"One of the craziest things about my story is that my wife found out that I had a little bit of a problem about three weeks before we got married and stayed with me," Habedank said.
When his addiction came out, his wife, Lindsay, she stood by him through it all, with the singer calling her "an amazing rock."
Looking forward, Habedank said that he wants to use his music to help others. Habedank co-wrote every song on "Welcome Home," calling it "kind of a soundtrack to my life the past two or three years."
"This album, I think can help people ... I believe in what it stands for and what it can do for people," he said.