'Life-saving' drug comes with warning, concerns - WDRB 41 Louisville News

'Life-saving' drug comes with warning, concerns

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It has been called a lifesaving drug, but it comes with a strong warning.

Suboxone is used to help treat people who are addicted to opiates, but in some cases, it only continues the cycle of drug abuse. That is precisely what The Healing Place warns of for those considering the drug.

"My life was spinning out of control because of my addition and alcoholism," said  recovering drug addict Marlene Cohner.

Cohner's addiction to heroin and alcohol took her to some pretty low places.

She said, "It caused jail time, it caused me to do things that I wouldn't do like theft and hurt my family."

After several years of abusing drugs and alcohol Cohner turned to legal drugs to help kick the habit.

"To keep from being sick, I would seek out suboxone," says Cohner. "It was time to try and change, but Suboxone just made it worse for me."

Instead of helping her, Suboxone kick started another habit and continued Cohner's cycle of drug abuse.

Cohner explained, "I still craved some type of drug - whether it be suboxone, opiate, whatever I could get my hands on."

Eventually, Cohner turned to the healing place in west Louisville for help.

"Suboxone, when used appropriately, can be a lifesaving medication," said Karyn Hascal, President & CEO of The Healing Place.

Hascal says they've treated dozens of men and women addicted to Suboxone. "We started seeing people two years ago, somewhere in that range...who were abusing suboxone."

Hascal says people are even buying and selling the drug on the streets. "They go to a doctor and get it appropriately and then they turn around and sell it on the street so that they can buy illegal drugs."

"My life is so good right now and I am so happy," Cohner says. With a year clean, she is in a better place now, but she knows what could have happened.

"Two of my kids dads died because of this disease," Cohner said.

And she doesn't want to be next. "No, my kids have gone through too much. they don't, that's the last thing they need is to lose me."

The healing place is more of an abstinence based program. That means there are no drugs used in recovery there.

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