Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

November 10, 2013

Options limited for getting clean

ASHLAND — Michael Haney is one of many who works with individuals working to become clean and sober.

The area addiction program supervisor for Pathways Inc. says his own convictions about drug users have evolved since he first began working in the crisis unit in 1991, although his experience also tells him proper treatment is the only solution for those who want to break the cycle of addiction to substances such as crystal meth and heroin.

“Addiction gets in your head and drives you like a slave master,” Haney said, sitting in a small office at the Pathways crisis/detox facility at the corner of Greenup Avenue and 22nd Street in Ashland.

While heroin use seems to be increasing in the area, Haney said he’s certain the drug has been here for years.

“Heroin has always been around, I think. It has been in Huntington and Charleston for years. It’s almost like fashion. Heroin is the bell-bottom of the drug world,” he said.

“It (heroin) was pushed aside for the pure, easy to get pharmaceutical drugs,” he said, adding people often justified their use of prescription drugs by saying “I’m prescribed this. A doctor gave me this.” He responds to that logic by pointing out no doctor ever prescribed oxycodone “five times a day up your nose.”

The overuse of prescription painkillers in this area can almost be explained by the cultural expectation of hard work without complaint, Haney theorized, noting people who were hurt on the job often sought relief and found prescription drugs allowed them to return to work instead of allowing time to heal, resulting in even greater injuries and the need for additional drugs just to get by.

“And now, most of them are switching to heroin and meth. Those are the two big players,” he said, speculating narcotic use is divided “50/50 or 60/40 between pills and heroin.”

Considering the transition from prescription drug abuse to heroin use, Haney said the change is the result of increased efforts to solve the drug abuse problem through legislation and law enforcement. “We really have traded one thing for something else,” he said.

Haney said a late friend once gave him a valuable piece of advice to consider while working with people struggling against addiction.

“He said there are people who commit crimes to support their need for drugs, and there are also criminals that use drugs. A certain number of them — they are just criminals. I don’t want to give addicts a bad name by associating with them,” he said.

People who do seek help with addiction have limited options, Haney said, including Pathways’ nine-bed non-medical detox facility in Ashland, and a medical detox program at Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital. The non-medical detox facility has limited options for someone suffering from severe drug withdrawal, although there is more often than not a waiting list to get a spot in the program there.

“You have a lot of people wanting to get in. Often there is a waiting list, but other times they can get right in. Sometimes it may take a week or two to get a bed,” he said, noting he personally finds that waiting period to be especially tricky because therapists do not want anyone to continue using, but also know the dangers of a person stopping all at once.

For more information about addiction recovery programs available through Pathways Inc., call (606) 324-1141 or 800-562-8909.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com.

Text Only
Local News
  • BREAKING: APD probes gun report near Blazer campus

    April 24, 2014

  • Judge denies renewed motion to dismiss Rosen lawsuit

    A judge has refused to dismiss a former Boyd district and circuit judge’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a law that affects his ability to run for re-election this fall.
    In an order entered on Friday, Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas D. Wingate denied a renewed motion to dismiss by current Boyd Circuit Judge George W. Davis III, an intervening respondent in the suit filed in January by Marc I. Rosen.

    April 23, 2014

  • Ashland football players join special-needs students for prom

    The purple chiffon gown and the sparkling tiara are back in the closet four days after the big dance, but Karina McBride still hasn’t stopped talking about Saturday night — the decorations, boys bringing her cups of punch, her first kiss (on the cheek, her mother hastens to interject), and dancing the night away at her first prom.
    “She’s been flying high since that night,” said Michele Woods, who is Karina’s mother and who brought together friends and volunteers to organize a prom for special needs students.

    April 23, 2014

  • Concrete pouring at Putnam

    Workers are pouring concrete foundations at Putnam Stadium and once those are dry and cured will be ready to install seats at the historic arena.
    The workers are putting in 12-hour shifts to keep on schedule to complete the stadium’s reconstruction in time for this fall’s football opener, said site supervisor Craig Chinn of Trace Creek Construction.
    The most visible work is happening on the home-team side of the stadium, where workers Tuesday were setting forms for the cylindrical concrete piers that will support the seats. Once those are poured, cured and inspected they will add the seats.

    April 23, 2014

  • Unique races for Carter magistrates

    Carter County magistrate ballots are full of candidates eager to represent constituents in each of the five districts that make up the county’s fiscal court.

    April 23, 2014

  • Martin County marks 50 years since LBJ visit

    Today marks 5o years since former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson visited Inez resident Tom Fletcher and promised to end poverty in America on April 24, 1964. On Friday, Inez will be commemorating the occasion with a special event.

    April 23, 2014

  • Trail Town trial run to be in Olive Hill this Sunday

    Olive Hill will participate in a trial run this Saturday in the city’s push to become a certified Kentucky Trail Town.

    April 23, 2014

  • Some area farmers may be eligible for LIP program

    The Grayson  Farm Service Agency, (Boyd, Carter, Elliott and Lawrence) is having registration for the Livestock Indemnity Program to eligible producers who suffered losses beginning Oct. 1, 2011, and subsequent years.

    April 23, 2014

  • News in brief, 04/24/14

    The King’s Daughters Pregancy and Infant Loss Support Group invites families who have experienced the loss of an infant during pregnancy or following birth to participate in a butterfly release and prayer ceremony at 2 p.m. May 10 at the Ashland Central Park fountain.

    April 23, 2014

  • Garner hosting National Day of Prayer activities

    The Garner Missionary Baptist Church will be hosting day long events at the Kyova Mall to commemorate the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 1.

    April 23, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP basketball
SEC Zone