New device used at Ky. treatment center puts man on road to sobriety

Published: Dec. 21, 2017 at 4:17 PM EST
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Last year, more than 1,400 people died of a drug overdose in Kentucky. Experts believe the drug epidemic will claim even more lives in Kentucky this year. At the Isaiah House Rehab Center in Washington County, there are signs of hope.

WKYT's Miranda Combs first met Frankie Pittman at Isaiah House six months ago. He was just beginning his rehab, using a device called The Bridge to get past the side effects of opioid detox. Now, he's back home in Louisiana and doing well.

Mark Lapalme, who runs Isaiah House, says while the device can help get addicts past the misery of detox, it's not a miracle cure.

"The problem is, they feel better quick sometimes they feel like, 'Hey, I'm cured I'm outta here and they will typically leave in three days," said Lapalme.

He says getting clean for good takes time.

"It's not going to fix coping skills, it's not going to teach them how to work, it's not going to teach them how to be in a relationship, not going to teach them how to manage their money and things like that," Lapalme said.

Pittman left Isaiah house after 30 days. Lapalme likes patients to stay longer but he knows Pittman's family and knows he's getting support. He has a job, goes to meetings and was recently baptized.

"Some of the things that I saw while I was in treatment, the spiritual experiences that I had, it's just been very enlightening for me," said Pittman.

Lapalme is keeping an eye on Pittman as he recovers. In fact, he keeps a close relationship with all his patients. He says he talks to Pittman at least once a week.