His dad was an alcoholic. His mom, a good Christian woman, died when he was 16. But it wasn’t until Jon Morris got hurt playing high school football that he was first introduced to pain pills. He blew out his knee and had the first of five surgeries on it.

Then, after he graduated from high school and starting doing oil field work, he was introduced to alcohol.

Morris eventually moved back home, got married, and had two kids. When he hurt his knee again, he had another surgery. More pain pills. It got worse. And worse. And worse.

Morris started and stopped with the pain pills but was in full-blown addiction after the fifth knee surgery. His prescription ran out when he was away from home on a job, so Morris bought crystal meth.

He was in and out of jail. He sold his children’s toys to feed his addiction. He overdosed several times, and his wife filed the first emergency protective order (EPO) against him.

Morris detoxed at The Ridge, then went to Mountain Center for Recovery and Hope on a UNITE voucher. He learned a lot about recovery, but once he started back to work, the pain medication and meth use started again. He spent all his paycheck on drugs and lied to his wife.

Two more EPOs, several arrests, and six months in jail followed. Morris’ wife continued to hope for the best and worked with the courts to get him help.

Morris again entered treatment with help from UNITE – this time at Edgewater. Realizing that he should have died, Morris really wanted to get straight. He entered treatment with nothing more than the clothes on his back. In addition to buying toiletries and other basic necessities, Edgewater helped him on the path to recovery.

But the most help came when Morris poured out his heart and soul to God one night while laying in bed. His mother-in-law had called to wish him a Happy Father’s Day, and he marks June 2018 as his clean date.

“Rehab facilities are awesome, but there’s nothing like the blood of Jesus Christ,” Morris proclaims.

Another big obstacle awaited – hernia surgery. Morris told his doctor that he wanted to do the surgery without follow-up pain medication – and he did.

“I’ve been homeless for two years. I slept under buses and bridges in Greasy Creek. I snorted pain pills and smoked crystal meth. I ran with the worst of the worst. I came close to starving to death. But my wife never gave up on me,” Morris said.

“I want to thank my wife; my uncle; the people at The Ridge, Mountain Center for Recovery and Hope, Edgewater; Judge Hall, who treated me with respect in his courtroom; Judge Marcum, who said a prayer before I was brought into his courtroom in shackles; and Floyd County Sheriff John Hunt. So many people in the community helped me.”

“I now teach Sunday School; my three kids respect me. I am paying off old debts,” Morris added. “There is hope.”