Jon: a life improving through CenterPointe addiction services
Jon: A Life Improving
By Hilde Phipps, director of adult addiction services

Jon had stressed his relationships with his loved ones. He was addicted to prescription pills and meth, and he tried to quit many times. Jon was also diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and he needed help. After his grandfather passed, everything changed. Jon wanted a life, and he wanted it to matter. Following years of addiction and several attempts at sobriety, he was finally ready. He made a call and referred himself to the medical detoxification and residential rehabilitation at CenterPointe, services provided by the Helen Ross McNabb Center.

Substance use disorders impact the lives of millions of Americans, and thousands of East Tennesseans like Jon. Addiction is a chronic brain disease with a strong genetic influence. According to the Prescription for Success Report by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, “Prescription drug abuse is a pervasive, multi-dimensional issue impacting Tennessee individuals, families and communities. Of the 4,850,000 adults in Tennessee, it is estimated that 221,000 (or 4.56%) have used pain relievers, also known as prescription opioids, in the past year for non-medical purposes. Of those adults, it is estimated that 69,100 are addicted to prescription opioids and require treatment.”

As important as asking for help, is the need to provide the most effective level of care possible for the numerous issues an individual living with addiction is facing. Currently, approximately 1,000 individuals are waiting to use one of seven detoxification beds at CenterPointe. With the widespread use of opiates, benzodiazepines and alcohol in Tennessee, people are at a heightened risk for death if they do not receive detoxification in a safe, medically monitored environment. The need versus availability of treatment beds simply adds to the stress that individuals and family members are already facing.

Families face more and more crises as a result of substance use disorders. While no one is to blame when someone suffers from a substance use disorder, many times family members blame themselves and each other due to the devastation the disease has on the family system. When a family comes together to ensure a family member gets the help they need, they are often frustrated and discouraged by the long waiting lists as well as the systems of care that are fragmented and inadequate to meet the needs of the community. 

Substance use treatment is the most effective option for engaging people in life-long recovery. The biggest predictor of success in substance use treatment is length of stay. Therefore, it is necessary to build continuums of care that are capable of engaging people in treatment and providing recovery support over the long run.  These investments are cost-efficient and will effectively provide a healthier Tennessee for our citizens, our children and our grandchildren—just as Jon experienced. 

Jon found help, hope and healing through the Helen Ross McNabb Center’s addiction treatment services. With the help of resources and client-focused care at CenterPointe, Jon changed his way of long-term thinking. He learned that sobriety and recovery are the most important to him, and without them, he cannot positively experience relationships with family and friends or build a career. Now his heart and his mind are finally in the same place. Jon is a life improving.