From Ground Zero, Kentucky, Crisis in America: We offer Hope

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As Told By Patty Moscalyk

Patti is the Executive Director of Recovery Works Southshore-Greenup and has spent most of her adult life in the field of addiction treatment.

 I sit in the coordinates often called “ground zero” in the nation’s opioid crisis. Combine that with the historical fact that our residential treatment location is known as the house that drugs built. By this, I mean, we purchased the home once owned by the infamous Dr. Proctor who was one of the early physicians to bring pain medication to the area and to overprescribe it. This resulted in an addiction crisis that is mirrored in communities across our country. “His home” now provides treatment to folks who are afflicted with drug and alcohol addiction.

This disease that is killing more people faster than Cancer and car accidents. It is the public health crisis of our times. It is what Dreamland author Sam Quinones published in a recent blog post (in a letter from a Portsmouth resident)

In small rural towns there are the “saints” and “sinners” and the doctors in any town normally are in the “saint” category.  One of my local small dealer friends went to Proctor while he was still apart of Dr. Riddle’s office. Proctor told him he would write him a script for any drug he wanted.  When my friend told me this I will never forget the stunned and serious look on his face, even though he got a prescription for Black Beauties.  My friend knew in the back of his sinner brain that something was very wrong.

There are some universal truths about drug use and addiction. First, it impacts all of us. Most of us know someone – a friend, family member or neighbor who has the disease call addiction. No one is spared. Many of us have lost family members.  This illness does not discriminate. It preys upon the educated, the poor, the wealthy and the successful. It hurts people who lead “normal lives” and raise children, go to church and to their jobs. It is not a question or if, but when.

The second truth is that treatment works. Treatment is a commitment. It is a commitment to healing and health. I am honored to lead an organization to provides successful treatment. Successful treatment includes tending to an individuals physical, emotional and psychological needs. This means seeing and believing in the whole person.

The third truth is that our facility, Recovery South Shore-Green Up is always nearly full. We have recently doubled our bed number. This reflects the constant need for our services and the willingness of people and their desire to heal.

Treatment means entering a program that meets individuals on their own terms and time frame. This means staying put in a place that works with the person, their family and support system. It also means a place for a safe landing when treatment ends – such as a transitional living environment. It also may mean access to outpatient services. Fortunately, all three are available in Kentucky.

While we may not be an answer for everyone. We are the positive choice for many. Treatment provides inspiration and options in a sometimes challenged world. It provides choices when people feel limited.

We thank the community members who have worked with us to provide hope to individuals.

Where there is treatment, there is hope. Please join us on the journey.