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Ashley: Connecting with others to make healthy changes

Ashley Mitchell, a Jackson Care Connect memberConnecting with the right people at the right time can lead to pivotal changes in a person’s life. That’s what Jackson Care Connect member Ashley discovered when she met the staff at Rogue Retreat. When she first walked through their doors, she was suffering from a psychosis brought on by her addiction to alcohol and drugs. She says the staff, especially Enrollment Manager Sharleina Stein, let her talk and cry, and then convinced her to focus on getting help.

She took that advice to heart, and spent the next 87 days in inpatient care at Addictions Recovery Center. From there, she returned to Rogue Retreat to live at Heather’s Haven, a Rogue Retreat additions recovery group home for women, in July 2016. Priority placement at Heather’s Haven is given to Oregon Health Plan members who are covered by Jackson Care Connect, and as a Jackson Care Connect member, the costs for Ashley’s housing and case management were covered.

At first, Ashley found the transition overwhelming. She says that after years of instability, she didn’t know how to be responsible, and meeting the expectations that Rogue Retreat has in place for residents in recovery seemed daunting. Soon, though, she began to find her footing, and meet her goals. She met with her case manager once a week, attended life skills classes, and, with Rogue Retreat’s help, got her driver’s license reinstated. She also got connected to other resources in the community, to help her as she continued on her recovery, and began to find ways to take part in and serve her community.

Now at 31, with the help of Jackson Care Connect and Rogue Retreat, Ashley has turned her life around. She says, “For the first time in my life I’m an adult. I feel good. Rogue Retreat has given that to me.”

After more than 13 months sober, Ashley is grateful and optimistic. She has a job she loves, and has moved into Rogue Retreat’s apartments. She has bought a vehicle, and is planning to get her GED and pursue a career that gives back to others. Inspired by Ashley’s success, her fiancé also sought treatment, and he has now been sober for nearly a year.

Knowing that others can see her progress makes Ashley feel gratified and motivated: “It feels good to have staff members that who have seen you the whole time—who saw me when I was in addiction—tell me how far I’ve come. It feels good to know I was worth getting sober and worth getting treatment.”

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