Overcoming substance abuse

Millions of Americans struggle with drug and alcohol abuse every day. The problem is growing not only in the nation, but in our region as well.

Executive Director for Recovery Works Gloria Young says Kentucky has the third highest rate for substance abuse in the United States. It costs the state $6 billion annually to cover treatment for those who need it. The biggest problems are people who get addicted to prescription pain pills and eventually resort to using heroin.

Substance abuse can include everything from prescription medication to alcohol.

“It kind of started in Northern Kentucky and it’s filtered down to other rural areas,” Young said.

Kentucky also ranks third for highest mortality rate because of this problem. Missouri ranks seventh and Tennessee eighth in the nation. Illinois is actually in 12th place for lowest mortality rate for substance abuse.

One local man, Jared Hill, knows firsthand what it’s like to have substance abuse take over your life. Three years ago he decided to take control and entered rehab to start a new and sober chapter of his life.

Today, Jared works as an addictions counselor and uses his story to help those who want to overcome addiction as well. In the short time he has worked at Recovery Works, Jared has implemented a wellness program where he uses exercise and nutrition to help his clients find their confidence again.

“I found that exercise was really therapeutic. Not only would it help me reduce stress and anxiety, but it helped fill a lot of time throughout the day,” Hill said.

Those who suffer with addiction can seek treatment without getting turned into police. Most states have laws saying treatment facilities cannot turn you away without a documented reason.

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