Jim, himself 17 yrs sober from any mood altering drug including alcohol, has left rock and roll to help others with addiction, mainly to prescribed opioids. With a heroine epidemic touching many of our lives this subject is one that is top of mind. And a calling that hits VERY close to home.
In part 2 of our interview we talk about Jim's spina bifida and how he has endured over 55 surgeries. He received opioid treatment for 18 years and is convinced he was addicted for 17 of those years. In 1999 he decided to get help. He went back to college and acquired a Master’s degree in counseling and human services from John Carroll University and is a licensed mental health counselor and licensed clinical addictions counselor.
He was determined to find a better way to manage chronic pain. Including treating addiction/mental illness with the same dignity that we treat other behaviorally based illness such as diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure. Very few people “shame” a diabetic for ending up with problems because they forgot to take their insulin or ate too much sugar. Jim believes the same can be done for those suffering from addiction.
Using an Outpatient program that encompasses support groups, a 12 step program and physical and occupational therapy he hopes to keep fighting the war on drugs one recovering addict at a time. This podcast will enlighten and entertain as we talk about the early days of his music and “taste of rock n roll success” to the continuing job of staying sober and helping others. He even pulls out the guitar for a live musical treat.
Since the time spent with Jim was so informative and entertaining we are separating the podcast into 2 episodes this week. Enjoy!
For more info on the Chronic Pain program please email Jim Ryser at Jryser@iuhealth.org
or for immediate assistance call: 317-962-2622