HEALTHY MIND MATTERS

Ogden Man Overcomes Addiction With Help Of Intermountain Healthcare’s Access Center

Jul 27, 2018, 7:51 PM | Updated: 11:12 pm

OGDEN, Utah – 36-year-old Jacob Koger is a student at the Ogden-Weber Technical College. He hopes to one day build parts for airplanes. He’s learning to cut carbon fiber, build composites, and solve algebra equations in class.

Just 14 months ago, though, he was in a crisis.

“It was either get help or end my life,” Koger described.

Like many, Koger’s opioid addiction started with prescription pills for neck and back pain. With the additional burden of depression and anxiety, his addiction soon spiraled out of control when he started self-medicating.

He said the consequences were devastating.

“I lost my home, all my possessions, a marriage with three step kids I really loved. I mean I had nothing left,” he said.

Koger hit an extreme low. He said he felt an overpowering feeling of worthlessness.
“Just that nobody wants you around anymore,” he said.

He checked himself into Intermountain Healthcare’s Behavioral Health Access Center at McKay Dee Hospital.

The center is similar to an emergency room, designed for patients in mental health crisis.

“I was able to speak to a crisis counselor as soon as I got there,” Koger described.

Intermountain’s Carrin Dewey, a patient liaison at the center, first greeted Koger.

“They don’t look good when they come in. They’re not healthy and they need someone to tell them this can happen for you,” she said.

A team of nurses, therapists, and a psychiatrist asses each patient’s needs.

Clint Thurgood, Crisis Service Manager at the Access Center, said the goal of the center is simple: “To help stabilize to the point where they can live healthy and well outside of the hospital setting.”

After a 24-hour evaluation, the team decided to check Koger into the hospital. He spent 27 days in the behavioral health unit.

“They gave me the tools that I need in order to fight the substance abuse and the depression, as well as balancing me on medication,” he explained.

After evaluation, the hospital released Koger, but he still said he felt like he had little direction.

Dewey then connected him to Weber Human Services, a local community partner, which offered Koger further services and continued healing.

Koger went through a 16-week intensive outpatient substance abuse outreach program. He said it gave him the resources he needed to build a plan.

With the additional help of Medication-Assisted Treatment and therapy, Koger made it!
Dewey said she is thrilled to hear about Koger’s progress. She develops a personal relationship with many of the patients who visit the center.

“You are cared about,” she tells her patients.

Koger said his journey has been liberating.

“I can’t describe the feeling being able to wake up and focus on everything other than drugs,” Koger exclaimed.

Now Koger’s been clean for 14 months. He said he is still putting some of his relationships back together but now feels productive with a full-time job and a plan to work in aerospace.

To those still on the journey of recovery, Koger said: “It’s a fight every day, but don’t give up!”

Intermountain opened an additional Access Center at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake earlier this year. The Access Center is open 24/7 for patients in immediate need.

Check out more stories of overcoming addiction in KSL’s Healthy Mind Matters series:

Parents Fight For Opioid Education Earlier In The School System 
Two Families Find Healing From Addiction Through Marathon Racing
Living With Pain Without Opioids 

KSL 5 TV Live

Healthy Mind Matters

Lauren Hess has struggled with depression since she was a teen. Seasonal Affective Disorder affects...

Emma Benson

‘You can actually find joy again’: Why Utahns are at higher risk for seasonal affective disorder, how to cope

Seasonal affective disorder affects about 10% of Utahns, according to a Huntsman Mental Health Institute doctor.

28 days ago

(Safe2Feel)...

Tamara Vaifanua

Free SAFE2FEEL conference teaches coping, confidence-building skills

Mental health experts say there’s an epidemic of loneliness. 

1 month ago

(Laura Warburton)...

Emma Benson

‘Because of Hannah’: Utah mom who lost daughter to suicide provides resources for others

Laura Warburton remembers her daughter, Hannah, as a warrior.

3 months ago

SafeUT app...

Logan Stefanich, KSL.com 

SafeUT app sees ‘record-breaking’ use in 2023

The SafeUT app saw "record-breaking" utilization during 2023, program leaders and partners announced Tuesday.

4 months ago

Kelsey (left) and Wendy Fayle (right) holding up a NAMI sign. (Courtesy: Wendy Fayle)...

Candice Madsen, KSL TV

NAMI Utah offers free classes for parents and adolescents dealing with mental illness

NAMI is offering free classes for both parents and adolescents that are dealing with mental illness.

4 months ago

YCC text messages...

Alex Cabrero

YCC Family Crisis Center in Ogden now accepting text messages

It is certainly not the easiest job out there. Amber Paaso will be the first to tell you she's burned out of doing it in the past. 

4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Ogden Man Overcomes Addiction With Help Of Intermountain Healthcare’s Access Center