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.”