Rehab fights to save addicts before they change their minds

90 people a day are dying in this country due to opioid abuse - the President has declared the epidemic a Public Health Emergency. A rehab facility in Kaufman County is hitting the problem head on.

SCURRY - At just 19 years old Jager Watson was lost. 


"My Dad passed away and after that happened I got really depressed," Watson said from a rehab facility in Kaufman County. 


In the grips of Heroin Addiction the Rowlett teen needed help and he knew it. His family reached out to a rehab facility but their son disappeared - that's where Micah Petty and her Ford Escape come in. 

 

"They kind of look at me like oh gosh she's going to talk me into doing something that I am not ready to do," said Petty a market director for Addiction Campuses.

 

Petty’s goal is to reach people who ask for help, but for whatever reason - have problem taking the next step. 

 

They may need a ride or help figuring out insurance. 

 

People who want treatment but give up before they get there.

 

According to Addiction Campus once an person admits they needs help and calls a treatment center there's , statistically, a 24 hour window before the addict relapses or simply changes their mind. 

 

Petty's goal is to get there before the window closes. And that exactly what happened with Watson's case. 

 

"I lost touch with him I kept following back up with him, following back up with him and I was scared like maybe he wasn't answering because he got a bad batch or maybe he took too much," Petty said. 

 

Her persistence paid off - it was her concern that ultimately got Watson back into treatment.

 

Today he's sober, just a few weeks, spending his days at the tree house in Kaufman County. 

 

The center uses conventional methods along with what they call adventure therapy. zip-lines and horses are just a few of the activities that accompany counseling sessions. 

It’s Meant to get a former addict's adrenaline pumping in a different way - a healthy way.

 

Every day gives Watson more clarity about how bad things really were. 

 

"I always said that I would never use needles I would never snort or do this or that and it got okay to me and I just disregarded everything that I said before and my values that I held when I was younger and I slowly just got worse and worse and it became okay to me," Watson said. 

 

He's in treatment because Petty and the Mobile Crisis Unit tracked him down.

Petty knows there are so many more people out there who want help.  She says it's her life's mission to make sure they get that help in time. 

"They are lying cheating stealing and that's what's really scary when someone doesn't agree to go to treatment and the tell you I'll call you when I'm ready you're worried that you're never going to hear from them again," Petty said.  

 

But should they call - Petty is there with an encouraging word. 

 

"Anytime that you want to change there's change in the world it's very scary - so I try to go and explain that they do have options and that it's not scary as they may think," Petty said. 

 

Watson has been in treatment before - it’s tough. But he hopes this time will be the last.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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