Josh Butcher has a desire to give back to his hometown of Grove City.

Josh Butcher has a desire to give back to his hometown of Grove City.

But it's not so much because of what the city has done for him, he said.

"It's a payback, really, for what I've done to them," Butcher said with a rueful smile. "I want to help the town I victimized."

Butcher founded the Ohio Addiction Recovery Center a little over a year ago and operates a residential inpatient facility on East Main Street in Columbus.

His goal is to open another facility in Grove City by the end of the year.

Butcher turns 30 on March 25. At age 21, the Grove City High School graduate said he was addicted to heroin and sitting in a Franklin County Jail.

He said he took his first drink at 15 and then moved on to using a succession of substances, abusing marijuana, cocaine and Ecstasy before turning to OxyContin and, finally, heroin.

"Every time I started taking another drug, I fell in love with that drug," Butcher said. "Each one gave me confidence and helped me be who I thought I wanted to be."

He said the higher he got, the lower he sank. From ages 15 and 21, he was arrested at least once a year by Grove City police, he said.

"It felt terrible to be getting in trouble, but it wasn't so bad to make me not want the feeling the drugs gave me," Butcher said.

Finally, he ended up behind bars.

"I spent 70 days in jail and it gave me time to sober up and think about what I wanted to do with my life," he said. "I had a choice: go to prison or enter a treatment center in Florida. Not surprisingly, I chose Florida."

He found sobriety at a facility in Florida and modeled his center's program after the one that turned his life around eight years ago.

"We're the first life-skill-based addiction rehabilitation center in Ohio," Butcher said. "It takes a long-term program to give a client the resources and skills they need to not only get sober, but stay sober."

Clients at Ohio Addiction Recovery Center go through a multiphase program, he said, beginning with a 30- to 45-day inpatient treatment at the residential facility on East Main Street.

After that, clients live in one of the center's three central Ohio sober-living residences and enter a 30- to 60-day intensive outpatient program, which is followed by a final 60- to 90-day outpatient program.

"Most facilities aren't able or willing to make this kind of commitment to their clients," Butcher said. "Someone goes through a 14- or 28-day program, but they don't learn the skills they need to help them maintain sobriety.

"We take it a step further for our clients and their families. Addiction is a disease of the mind, body and soul. Unless you've gone through it yourself, it's hard to understand how it takes over your whole being."

About 30 clients currently are in the center's program. The center accepts only male clients for now, but Butcher has plans to expand the program to include females.

He said most of the center's clients are ages 18 to 35.

"Heroin is a problem with most of our clients," he said. "It's a drug that has just taken hold in our society."

The Ohio Addiction Recovery Center's staff includes a medical director, three primary therapists and six behavior-health technicians who assist clients with their transition to living sober, searching for jobs and building resumes.

One of the staff members is Butcher's mother, Lisa Ciminello, who serves as human-resources manager.

Butcher has created a program of care and support for his clients, she said.

"He's out playing basketball with them, he goes to church with them, he's there for them every single day," Ciminello said.

"I know how hard it is to beat addiction, but I also know what it takes," Butcher said. "The message we're giving is that you can do it. You can overcome your addiction and lead a successful and sober life."

"What Josh has been able to achieve is amazing," Ciminello said. "Even when he was at his lowest point, I somehow believed he could get through it."

Butcher said he is scouting potential locations in Grove City and anticipates seeking a rezoning or variance later this year.

"We'd like to be open in Grove City by the end of the year," he said. "It's important to me to be able to do something constructive for the town I grew up in."

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