I never dreamed at the age of 51 I would be celebrating five years in recovery. However, I never thought that at the age of 35 I would become an addict, addicted to pain pills, and eventually heroin, benzodiazepines, cocaine. Basically, anything that would change the way I felt….
According to the indictment, one pharmacy in Dayton, Ohio prescribed over 1.75 million opioid pills between October 2015 and October 2017, earning the nefarious designation of "pill mill," a medical office that prescribes opioids for no legitimate health care purpose.
The indictment states one doctor in the Western District of Tennessee, who called himself the "Rock Doc," would exchange opioids and benzodiazepines with patients in return for sexual favors. Over a three-year period this doctor prescribed approximately 500,000 hydrocodone pills, 300,000 oxycodone pills, 1,500 fentanyl patches, and more than 600,000 benzodiazepine pills.
One doctor charged in Tennessee allegedly prescribed approximately 4.2 million opioid pills.
A 30-year-old patient in Alabama allegedly overdosed after being prescribed more than 800 oxycodone pills over two months prior to her death, whereupon the doctor who prescribed them allegedly directed the patient's husband to dispose of all pill bottles before police arrived at the scene.
Ethan Health has given me a platform to reach more people suffering from the disease of addiction. When I see that light come on in someone's eyes, I know what we are doing is making a difference. Today, I am part of the solution and not the problem. I try to live each day with an attitude of gratitude. By God's grace I have been given another chance at life. Today I realize that no matter what happens in my life, using drugs will never be the answer to my problems. As I am writing this, I reflect back on my four years of sobriety. Not every day has been easy, but every day has been worth it.
Meet Cassie Jones, Operations Manager of Ethan Health North in Burlington. With a Masters Degree in Professional Counseling and a 2nd Masters Degree in Christian Studies, she has dedicated her career and her life to helping and loving those who are unable to help and love themselves until they are capable of doing so.
Here is her story..
Jason Jones, MA, LPCC, LCADC is Ethan Health (Richmond’s) Operations Manager as well as morning IOP Counselor.
Jason Jones said his story of accepting Jesus as Savior began briefly after he knew he had an addiction to prescription pain pills. He was working two jobs and was a full-time student at Morehead State University when he found out he was going to be a father. It was then he realized he needed to do something with his life, but he really had no direction. He said that in his mind it seemed like pain medication helped him study longer and work harder and until this point he had been able to hide his addiction from most of his family and friends.
But then there was a series of mornings that Jones was unable to go to work or go to class without first having that pill. Then things got considerably worse.
“I finally got into some legal trouble which forced the secret of my addiction of pain pills to be exposed for the first time. And to tell you the truth, even though I was in legal trouble and had all kinds of relationship problems that occurred, I was relieved and felt free from its bondage for the first time” said Jones.”
Jones asked God for forgiveness of his sins and was later baptized.
He recalled asking all his family to attend his baptism as if it were proof to them that he was not the person that they were reading about in the newspapers who had been indicted by the grand jury.
“I was serious though, I was throwing it all down” Jones said. “The only thing was I told myself that I didn’t have a problem with drinking alcohol and that I deserved a few drinks every once in a while, after work.”
Jones had convinced himself that pain pills were his problem, not alcohol, to justify his drinking. It was only a matter of weeks until he was using pills again.
Eventually Jones would be convicted on four counts of forgery and although the total on the forged checks wasn’t that much, he had already lost about everything that was important to him.
“I lost custody of my son during that time. That was the biggest thing” he said. “I lost all trust from my family. I lost jobs, all my money, anything that was worth anything because I’d traded or pawned it. My self-respect was gone. I remember praying one night to not wake up the next morning. I was a slave to the wrong master. But this master would like to see me dead, in jail, broken, in pain, and hurting everyone I love. It did a very good job of most of that list. “
While incarcerated for six months, Jones had a chance to clear his mind and body from the effects of drugs.
He said what he learned during this time was that Jesus Christ, his true master, had not given up on him
Jones said he began making plans on how he would get out of jail and not repeat the same actions. He wanted to eliminate any chance of returning to the misery. He received shock probation and was released into a long-term treatment facility.
Jones said that at this point he decided to finally surrender and put everything he could into the program.
This time it stuck. “I was at the end of my rope and I know that jail wasn’t change me and I’d be right back out using again.” Jones said. “Treatment was my only way out.”
He said the difference in this attempt at sobriety was that he realized God was there and available to help him fight his battles. The program helped him work on some of his character defects that fed into addictive behaviors, like self-pity, ungratefulness, and pride.
“When I finally surrendered, I actually won. I was able to learn things that brought me closer to God like forgiveness of myself and others, gratitude, humbleness, and humility” Jones said. “What I know now is the void I was trying to fill with drugs is actually where Jesus Christ belongs. I always say it’s like you are working a puzzle and there is only one piece that will fit, Jesus.”
After completing treatment, Jones returned to college and finished his degree. He had to go in front of the board to get readmitted due to his previous GPA. First, he was allowed to take one class, then going part time and making A’s in those classes as well. While he was in school, he got an opportunity to work in the substance abuse treatment field as a detox associate and later a detox counselor.
Upon graduation, he was offered a job as a full-time addictions counselor and began working toward, and eventually earning, state certification as an alcohol and drug counselor, which is now a licensure.
In 2016, Jones completed a master’s degree in professional counseling from the University of the Cumberlands, with a 4.0 GPA.
“I remember when the only thing that followed my name was a bad reputation. God has been so good to me. When Gold told me that I could do this and I said there is no way, he told me I was weak and that He would see me through this. I have been weak many times in the past, but God has kept his promise. I know it seems like a stretch or a lie after using for 15 years, but that’s where I believe God has taken away the craving. I believe He has transormed me.”
Jones says that the single most imporant piece of advice he can give to someone in addiction is keep trying.
“NEVER STOP TRYING TO GET AND KEEP SOBRIETY. I tried and failed seven times. I had a judge who told me I was ‘unrehabilitatable.’ I told him that wasn’t even a word. I was at the end of my rope and knew it didn’t matter what he was saying because in my mind that was the last option I had at life. Treatment was my only way out, and he was making a joke out of it.”
We’re proud to announce that we are now LegitScript certified!
About LegitScript: LegitScript is the industry leader in merchant and advertiser certification and monitoring in the e-commerce and payment sectors.
What certification means: LegitScript certification demonstrates that all Ethan Health Facilities comply with LegitScript’s certification standards, which help ensure transparency and compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
What this means for us moving forward, is that you’ll now likely see Ethan Health reaching out to more people than we previously could before. We’re so proud of this achievement and for all the support we have received to date.
Learn more about LegitScript’s addiction treatment certification here and their certification standards below.
LegitScript’s addiction treatment certification:
LegitScript certification standards:
With fewer than two months left in 2018, there have been 36 confirmed drug-related deaths in Madison County so far this year.
Madison County Coroner Jimmy Cornelison told The Register Friday drug-related deaths are trending above last year. The coroner said there were 40 drug-related deaths in 2017, which was up from 33 in 2016.
“I still see a lot of combinations of (drugs),” he said. “Most times on the report, I write the combined effects of (multiple drugs). … People don’t know what they’re getting with heroin or meth.”
Fentanyl is still playing a large role as well. Cornelison said he’s seeing methamphetamine mixed with fentanyl. He added heroin hasn’t gone away either.
After seeing a decrease in the amount of Narcan administered in the first six months of the year compared with 2017, Madison County EMS Director Carlos Coyle said that’s changed.
Coyle previously told The Register, from Jan. 1 through June 30 of this year, EMS administered 208 doses to 176 patients. Last year, 261 doses were administered to 179 patients during that same time frame.
However, through the end of October, 413 doses have been administered to 343 patients, which is close to 2017’s yearly totals — 511 doses to 361 patients.
The principle behind most ASAM-based systems is to treat clients at the “least restrictive” level at which they can benefit.
The barriers that necessitate a higher level of care are usually in the last 3 ASAM dimensions: motivation or readiness; potential for relapse or continued use; and recovery environment. Often, that translates to a client strongly resistant to the idea of treatment, unlikely to remain abstinent, or burdened with a ‘recovery-unfriendly’ situation.
The national opioid overdose epidemic was declared a public health emergency in 2017, and the state of Kentucky continues to be in the spotlight of this crisis. We must work together to fight this battle as a significant epidemic or the Commonwealth will experience crippling economic, social and health repercussions in years to come.
Though it is fall, we are experiencing some cold temperatures in the Bluegrass state. I’m already feeling the chill of winter yet to come. While many of us look at a coat as an item that is meant to keep us warm, cozy, and stylish, there are plenty of less fortunate people who don't even have that basic necessity.
Ethan Health is beginning our annual Coat Drive. Donating a winter coat is basically a no-effort way to do a good and charitable deed for someone else. Just make sure that it's in good, wearable condition and that you have cleaned out the pockets. Ideally, you'll even dry clean it before passing the coat on to its new owner, though most places won't require it.
If you're on the fence about whether or not to donate, first a peek in the closet: If you have any coats you haven't worn for years that are just taking up extra space, it's probably time to pass it on. Then, ask yourself this: "Could I still wear this jacket if I wasn't going to donate it?" If the answer is "yes," then it is still in quality condition and you should absolutely give it away to someone who will get better use out of it.
Once you have your pile of coats ready to go, stop by and drop them off at one of our Ethan Health locations! Your donation will keep someone warm and make them see the good in others this season.