The Morton Center helps addicts and their loved ones - WDRB 41 Louisville News

The Morton Center helps addicts and their loved ones

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Addiction doesn't just hurt the person abusing drugs or alcohol, it can also destroy families. That's why a local center helps family members of addicts.

The Morton Center not only treats the person with the addiction, but also family members who don't know how to cope.

"It is not as easy as saying 'if you love me, you'll stop,'" said Morton Center CEO Priscilla McIntosh.

McIntosh is speaking from personal experience.

"I know. I myself was in a situation with a loved one who was really struggling with an addiction," said McIntosh.

The negative affects of that loved one's addiction were contagious, according to McIntosh.

"I really started to struggle at work," she said. "I, unfortunately, started to lose my hair because of the stress of it, financially it was very difficult."

McIntosh eventually found the help and support she needed at The Morton Center in the Highlands.

"They say for each one person who is struggling with substance abuse, they're affecting 8 to 12 people," she explained.

The Morton Center not only helps people addicted to drugs, alcohol and gambling -- but also the loved ones who are trying to cope.

"We have family members come in all of the time who are struggling because they don't know what to do," said McIntosh.

Today, as CEO of the Morton Center, McIntosh feels uniquely qualified to help the people they serve. That's because she can empathize with some of their deepest thoughts and concerns.

"Of course they're wondering what's going on today -- you know -- are they drinking? Are they not drinking? Are they using? Have they blown their paycheck?"

McIntosh also said it's a painful journey and that's why she is dedicated to restoring and preserving the people and families who walk through the doors at the Morton Center.

"For someone to understand completely what is going on with that individual, they need to also have support and be able to come to a safe place and learn about the disease," said McIntosh.

That's part of what happens at the Morton Center. In addition to a therapy and art room for children, family members are also connected to a licensed therapist.

"To talk with them and to be able to give them some support," McIntosh explained.

The Morton Center also works with local schools to get a head start on educating students about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.

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