Op-Ed

‘Who are you running for?’ Each runner in this race will honor a Kentucky overdose victim

Why it’s so hard to break an opioid addiction

More than half a million people died between 2000 and 2015 from opioid use. In 2017 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the national opioid crisis a public health emergency.
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More than half a million people died between 2000 and 2015 from opioid use. In 2017 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the national opioid crisis a public health emergency.

The Shepherd’s House is hosting our 20th annual Run for Recovery on July 27th at Keeneland. This is our largest fund-raiser of each year. This years’ theme is “Who are you running for?” (website is www.r4rky.com). The theme is based on the number, 1,468, which represents the number of confirmed overdose deaths in Kentucky in 2017. Our goal is 1,468 runners, one for each person who died from overdose in KY in 2017.

The Shepherd’s House, Inc. was organized in 1989 by a small group of concerned members of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church. These individuals had observed short-term (30, 60, 90 days) alcohol treatment programs fail the addicted. These visionaries had the desire to think ‘way’ outside of the box and developed a long-term alcohol treatment model.

Thirty years later, the Shepherds House has not made any drastic changes to its treatment model. The main mission is to provide a long-term (12-18 months), transitional-living, after-care treatment program for individuals who suffer from addiction. In Lexington, the Shepherds House residential program has four phases of living and operates out of three transitional living facilities.

In Danville, Ky., the Shepherds House manages two substance abuse treatment programs in partnerships with the Kentucky Department of Corrections and the Boyle County Detention Center. The Shepherds House provides treatment to low-risk, incarcerated men and women. The positive economic impact of these programs, in Boyle County, is easy to measure.

The Shepherds House provides substance abuse treatment at a rate of 40% of the cost of incarceration. We hope to be partners with the FCDC by Sept. 1, 2019, and more correctional facilities in Central Kentucky soon. The economic impact is a Win (for the detention center), Win (for the addicted), and a Win (for the community).

The Shepherds House’s ultimate goal is successful long-term recovery from substance abuse, to provide stable housing, a network of sober-living relationships, accountability, the reunification of families, and assist clients back into the workforce and their communities.

Chris Chaffin joined the Shepherds House, as its COO, on June 17, 2019, after 21 years as a Vice President at Traditional Bank. Inc. Chris’ faith and recovery journey has led him to the Shepherds House”. He can be reached for more information at cchaffin@shepherdshouseinc.com

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