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t By Cindy Downes


ate Highberger’s life changed the day his roommate shoved a shotgun in his face and gave him an ultimatum: “Get out of the house or die!” Now, on the street with just the clothes on his back, he realized he’d become everything he hated: a liar, a cheat, and a thief.


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“I was sick and tired of who I was and what I was doing,” Highberger said. “I knew I needed help because I couldn’t help myself anymore.” Three weeks later, the Tulsa, Okla., resident entered the alcohol and drug ad- diction treatment program at Rob’s Ranch in Purcell, Okla. Highberger’s story is only one of many who enter the program. According to the National Institute of Health, an estimated 20 percent of people in the United States have used prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons. Lance Lang of Pryor, Okla., became part of these statistics after a series of opera- tions led to a decade of prescription drug abuse.


“No matter how many pills I had,” Lang said, “it was never enough.” He lost everything: his wife, his children and his job.


Chris Baugh had a trust fund and all the money he needed. The Edmond, Okla., resident graduated cum laude, had two college degrees and was excited about entering law school, his lifelong dream. His world appeared to be perfect; but one day, 17 years of drug addiction caught up with him. The police stopped him for driving without a headlight and found meth residue in his car. He now


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rob’s ranch:


faces a decade in prison; and, as a felon, he will never be allowed to practice law. Jason Woodring of Parker, Colo., was a major league baseball player, but ad- diction to alcohol and cocaine took everything he had. “The last time I saw my children was in October 2011,” Woodring said. Rather than talk about his problems, he bottled them up. In desperation, he even tried to commit suicide.


For many of the residents at Rob’s Ranch, an all-male recovery center on Okla- homa Electric Cooperative lines, this is not their first treatment. “In other facilities,” said Floyd Carter, a Rob’s Ranch staff member originally from Kingsport, Tenn., who’s been through more than one program, “you go through a 20 to 30-day treatment. They give you some pamphlets. They tell you where the local meetings are, and then it’s, ‘Good luck to you.’ Most of us spent years developing these bad habits so it’s probably going to take a few years to create good ones.”


The Ranch operates on the principle that community is the key to long-term, successful recovery and provides this community through its Alumni Associa- tion. After a 90-day residency, the clients are encouraged to return on a regu- lar basis to participate in volunteer opportunities, sports, a winter ski trip, and counseling. “This helps them to keep connected and accountable,” Carter said. Baugh is on campus today as a participant of the alumni program. He’ll attend lectures, go to some group meetings and visit with his counselor. “High school is nice,” Baugh said, “but Rob’s Ranch is more like college. It’s


1-800-664-7055 Tulsa: 918-495-0656


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Photo by Bill Downes


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