KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Lamar Jackson Sr. said he’s been around drugs his entire life.
“My uncle got me high the first time when I was 11,” Jackson said. “I was drinking and smoking PCP.”
Making the decision to get clean, he went to Swope Health Services outpatient treatment facility Imani House.
“This is a place I know if I'm out there and I'm feeling weak, or I feel like I'm vulnerable, then I come back here and feel welcome,” Jackson said.
“Their sole purpose in life is to survive and so what can I do to help that be their new future, their new normal,” Clinical Director for Behavioral Health at Swope Health Services Aundrea Buford said.
Helping Jackson adjust to his new normal, the recently renovated facility, which had its grand opening on April 20, now provides a rec room, computer lab, and group room for clients to feel welcome and have stability.
“We can't be the barrier,” Buford said to Jackson. “We can't be what's stopping you from getting better, from living better.”
Buford said the need for these facilities is critical.
“What we're seeing with our population is marijuana, crack cocaine, PCP, and alcohol,” Buford said. “Alcoholism, substance abuse, addiction is no different than having diabetes or heart disease.”
The facility has partnered with Healing House to provide both inpatient and outpatient treatment.
“We have 10 beds that are available to us from Healing House, and we call them and we keep a tally of how many people we have inpatient and they keep our clients for 28 days,” Buford said. “And we provide transportation to and from and we provide breakfast for them in the morning and in the afternoon and then Healing House feeds them in the evening time.”
For Jackson, he’s doing this for himself and his family.
“In order to be the father I need to be and maybe one day, be the husband - you know what I'm saying, that I can't do this anymore,” Jackson said.
Renovations for the facility cost roughly $655,000.
Buford said financial support came from the Department of Behavioral Health.