September is National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month.
A Hazard native shares his personal struggle with addiction in a new book.
You might remember Jared Combs, a pharmacist, who was arrested on the job twice.
Later this year he will celebrate eight years of sobriety.
Jared Combs graduated from the University of Kentucky School of Pharmacy in 1996.
He began working at the Hazard ARH Pharmacy and married his high school sweetheart, a ceremony he barely remembers thanks some Xanax pills.
“I went from using drugs to make me feel better to I needed to have something when I got up in the morning just to function,” Combs said.
Combs says he would even get high at work and started making mistakes with prescriptions.
“That's scary when you're giving people things that could harm them or kill them, that's a really scary thing,” Combs said.
In the summer of 1997his troubles would be made public.
He says he'd just taken a handful of pills when police picked him up.
A few days after his arrest he talked to WYMT's Tony Turner.
While combs says he didn't do everything he was accused of, he agreed to a plea deal and was given three years probation and served four weekends in jail.
He got another job as a pharmacist in Pikeville, but he continued to use drugs and alcohol.
This occurred even while he was driving back and forth to his job from Hazard.
“I would literally crush up pills while I was driving and use them driving down the road,” Combs said.
Combs would eventually be arrested again on the job in Pikeville and taken to jail and that's when he says something changed.
“I said out loud in that cell I'm an alcoholic and a drug addict and I don't have to keep living like this,” Combs said.
Since that day in 2000, Combs says he's been sober.
He went to two treatment facilities, moved to Lexington, and eventually got his pharmacy license back.
He now works at the UK pharmacy.
“I really feel like God has a purpose for me and I think he wasn't ready for me to die,” Combs said.
You can now read about Combs' lowest points and the journey to recovery in the book he was encouraged by many to write... Incomprehensible Demoralization.
Combs says he still struggles, but knows a sober life with his wife and three children is much better than the alternative.
For more information on the book and how to purchase it, go to www.jaredcombs.com