A small group in a small Preston County town hopes to make a big difference in the ongoing battle against drug and alcohol addictions.
A new addiction recovery program, led by Dr. Kevin Blankenship, kicked off this week, offering an approach that’s different from traditional rehab.
“We are way under-served, not only in West Virginia, but across the country,” said Blankenship.
Through group sessions and therapy, along with other activities like painting, playing instruments, hiking and farming, Blankenship hopes patients at Jacob’s Ladder will make deep, personal connections and overcome their addictions.
“I kept thinking to myself: ‘Let’s try to put West Virginia on the map for doing something unique, maybe even a paradigm shift in the recovery world,'” Blankenship said. “That’s where I got the idea to take advantage of the resources we have here, and try to put something together which can provide an environment for people to change their lives.”
Blankenship believes added responsibilities and stable routines over a year’s time will provide the gateway to recovery for patients. He created this program after realizing how a traditional 30-day stint in rehab doesn’t often provide that same gateway.
“Jacob’s Ladder refers to something that’s near and dear to my heart, and that’s my son, Jacob, who is the reason I’m involved in addiction treatment,” Blankenship said. “He struggled with addiction.”
When this program was announced about a year ago, Blankenship said members of the community in Aurora opposed it. That opposition has died down over the last few months, but it made Blankenship realize that this program must fight more than just addiction.
“The stigma, probably, is worse than addiction itself, because the stigma of addiction allows families and allows communities to sweep these things under the rug and to ignore problems we know exist,” Blankenship said. “The time for ignoring it or pretending it’s not here is over.”
Jacob’s Ladder exists to serve men ages 18-25 who meet certain qualifications. Each patient will be evaluated to determine eligibility for a six month commitment to Jacob’s Ladder and an additional six month “after care” program. Click here for more information.