‘That curse has been broken.’ Perry Countian tells how she overcame addiction

WYMT Weekend Edition News at 11 p.m.
Published: Jan. 22, 2023 at 3:04 PM EST
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - They call it “Hazard IOP,” a branch of Mountain Comprehensive Care where people struggling with addiction can receive counseling.

Coordinating it all is Perry County native Ruby Gayheart.

“Somedays can be stressful, but when you have clients that come in here that get jobs and get their kids back, it’s just truly amazing,” Gayheart, who is a licensed therapist, said.

Not long ago, Gayheart herself was walking through the door looking for help.

She spent years addicted to different drugs before one day deciding to turn herself in to local police.

“It was the best day of my life. When I thought it was tough. I was scared, you know. I went to the (Kentucky) State Police post and turned myself in, and I remember that state policeman smiling saying ‘you made my job easy,’ and here I am all tore up inside, but from that day forward, I haven’t looked back,” Ruby Gayheart said.

Gayheart participated in drug court, where she decided education would be a good route to go.

“Drug court also had given me a gift. A gift of a chance, an opportunity to change my life, and during that time you had a choice of going back to school or work, and I chose to go back to school,” she said.

She walked the line at Lindsey Wilson College a few years later, graduating with a Master’s Degree in Counseling.

Now Gayheart’s story is an inspiration not only as a professional, but also as a mother and grandmother after winning a battle long fought by her family.

“I truly believe, and I call it a curse, that curse has been broken. My daughter’s are doing amazing, responsible, and I think them seeing my experience made a difference,” she said.

Gayheart said God, her family and clients are what motivates her to keep going.