At 22, I was heavily addicted to opiates, homeless, unable to hold a long-term job, disowned by my family, and unable to care for my daughter. I also had undiagnosed bipolar disorder.

On January 1, 2014, I was admitted to the Chemical Dependency Unit at Kootenai. Since then, I have been clean and sober. (Over 100 months.)

This program saved my life. Not only was I able to purify myself and heal from the trauma that caused my addiction. but I was also able to continue care at Kootenai Outpatient Psychiatry, where I was able to control my bipolar disorder so I could live and function in the world.

Since then I have had many successes in my life, from buying a house, a happy marriage, healthy friendships, close family relationships, raising four healthy children, education and running an incredibly successful business. This was all the result of being able to recover at Kootenai Health’s Chemical Addiction Unit.

Kootenai Health announced that it was closing both its inpatient chemical dependency unit and its outpatient psychiatry office. Because treatment availability and therapists are very limited, the state needs a plan to address mental health care and addiction treatment in northern Idaho.


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About Stephen Ewing

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