Big papers’ Page 1 stories spotlight recovery center for pill addicts, lack of state program for problem gamblers

Gripping stories from recovering addicts, on the front pages of Kentucky’s two largest newspapers this morning, highlight Kentuckians’ fights against all types of addiction, from gambling to drugs.

Hope of recovery emerges from Laura Ungar’s story in The Courier-Journal that focuses on the Isaiah House recovery center in Willisburg. A gymnasium at the site has been transformed into a factory of sorts, where a pill addict who has been clean three weeks polishes car parts, while a morphine addict with 103 days’ sobriety hammers nails into wood to make pallets, Ungar reports.

Work is an essential part of recovery at the Isaiah House, giving structure to chaotic lives, teaching job skills and building confidence. “It gives them a sense of purpose, of accomplishment,” Executive Director Mark LaPalme told Ungar. “They get their dignity back — that’s what work does.”

LaPalme, a Connecticut native and recovering cocaine addict, said he started Isaiah House in his basement in 1999, after a spiritual experience moved him to set aside seven bedrooms for other addicts. Today, the house helps to rebuild the lives of drug and alcohol addicts, while promoting worth ethic and responsibility throughout the recovery process (Read more).

Jack Brammer of the Lexington Herald-Leader writes about Kentucky’s lack of a state program to treat problem gamblers. It is one of 13 states without such a program.

Billy Stephens, 66, Hawesville Mayor
Rita Stephens’ husband, said he lived a “a life of
lies” with his gambling addiction, but with professional treatment, has not gambled since 2010. When he finally sought treatment, he could find no affordable treatment in
Kentucky. The family had to borrow money to pay for his $6,000 treatment in a
36-day program in Louisiana, which is free to residents of the Bayou State.

addiction almost destroyed me,” he told Brammer. “My insurance in
Kentucky would have helped with my treatment if it were alcohol. But it was
gambling.” (Read more)
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