Pharmacist Talks About Beating Drug & Alcohol Addiction

By: Steve Hensley Email
By: Steve Hensley Email

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

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Vanessa Escalante Location: Peru on Oct 7, 2008 at 12:17 PM
    Jared , y love you much brother, Very Well. Many greetings from Peru. God bless you. VANESSA
  • by Dorathea Location: Lexington on Sep 17, 2008 at 06:48 PM
    I can safely say that knowing Jared has been one of the biggest honors in my life. He is very open about his past and tries very hard to make sure no pharmacy students or anyone else for that matter goes down the same path as him. I work with Jared at UK and I can say that he is one of the best pharmacists I work with. Everyone deserves a second chance. I have only known the sober Jared, but I see only a daily basis what he goes through to maintain that sobriety. I also saw what was required of him to get back his license and to keep it. I am so proud of him. GO JARED!
  • by Haznative Location: Hazard on Sep 6, 2008 at 05:01 PM
    Awesome story! Keep up the good work. I hope you sell a million copies!
  • by an old friend on Sep 4, 2008 at 02:24 PM
    Great to hear Jared, its great that your sharing you journey to sobriety and hopefully it will inspire others to follow your lead.Take care and Godspeed
  • by Amanda Location: Virgie on Sep 2, 2008 at 05:33 PM
    Take one day at a time, you can do it. Your words will be support for others that have not admitted their addictions.
  • by Concerned Location: E.Ky on Sep 2, 2008 at 04:09 PM
    I am so happy for you, Mr. Combs!! Thank God that you did not have an accident and kill some innocent person while you were driving under the influence. Yes, God does have a purpose for you, as well as everyone give Him praise!! So give Christ the praise for your turn around and keep trusting Him for the strength to persevere. You can do have proven it...just stay strong and trust God..and raise those children to be good God fearing people and good citizens. I am proud of you and of your willingness to talk about your may help some other person to make a change!! May God Bless and Keep You and Yours!!
  • by Anonymous Location: Pineville, Ky on Sep 2, 2008 at 03:05 PM
    I'm glad to hear that he beat his addiction and I hope he continues to live a sober life. But I can't understand how he can continue to work as a pharmacists. He was arrested for using drugs and admitted to making mistakes with other people's prescriptions. Why would anyone hire him? And how tempting is it for him to work at a pharmacy?
  • by SRM Location: Hazard on Sep 2, 2008 at 02:09 PM
    Hang in there you can do it. Everyone makes mistakes. Put it all behind you and don't look back.


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