Jordan Hutton spent nearly half of her first pregnancy in jail. It took incarceration to get her sober. And, while this would not be the end to the saga of her stubborn drug addiction, it was one of the cobblestones that led to her now hopeful and happy ending. Once slaves to the want of drugs, she and her husband, Ross, are now finally sober, homeowners, parents of three, and helping others to conquer addictions of their own.
Jordan has a degree in substance abuse counseling, and Ross is a yard supervisor for Coppel Coal Supply & Co., a company that sells building materials. They are living the life they “always dreamed of” but never thought they could have.
“When you’re in that life and that state of mind, it’s so easy to feel hopeless and to think that you’ll never be able to get sober, but it is possible. And life is so much better when you make the decision to finally get clean,” Jordan told The Epoch Times. “Recovery is possible. You just have to want it and you have to work for it.
“Our kids were our main motivation though, and we knew we wanted to do it for them.”
‘Addiction Is a Disease’
Jordan, 31, and Ross, 33, grew up in Chillicothe, Ohio. They both started using drugs in high school. Ross began drinking and smoking marijuana and was then introduced to Percocet by a manager at the pizza parlor where he worked. First a user, he then began to sell the drug.
Jordan initiated her relationship with drugs by swallowing an Adderall handed to her by a friend at school. Having tried one, she loved them so much that she would buy them from a schoolmate who had a prescription. She popped a pill daily through her sophomore and junior years of high school. Then one day, her face started going numb. After an ambulance was called, Jordan listened to a doctor tell her that she had suffered a “mini-stroke.” For the time at least, it was enough to keep her from using Adderall. But, this was only the beginning of her tale.
She continued drinking with her friends and eventually began using Klonopin while drinking alcohol, because she “liked” that it would make her blackout. Her high school friends saw that she had a problem and hid the Klonopin from her. Then, after high school, Jordan began relationships with Percocet and Vicodin while drinking. Still, she didn’t think she had a problem.
“My friends who weren’t addicts were doing it as well, so I always told myself that it was never a problem,” she said.
Then, Jordan and Ross got together in 2009.
“I was right out of high school when we met. I saw him playing basketball at my neighbor’s house and I stopped to talk to him and, that same night, he had Percocet, and we both snorted them together,” Jordan said.
That’s when things began to spiral downward. From that moment on, Ross and Jordan lived together, and their mutual quest was to either locate or take drugs. “Our physical appearance changed dramatically,” Jordan said.
She would go weeks without showering, numb from suffering withdrawals. She stopped caring for herself and started losing weight. She grew angry—her only concern was to make sure that drugs were in hand. At her side, Ross grew skinnier, “his face looked sunken in, and his eyes were dark underneath.” Their relationship sickened.
“We hurt each other a lot physically and mentally,” Jordan recalled.
The two would do any drug they could get their hands on: oxycodone, heroin, crack. However, they potentially misused the painkiller Percocet, which also contains the opioid oxycodone. It was their “drug of choice,” which cost them $35–40 per pill at the time, Jordan said. At the height of their addictions, they were doing 12–15 Percocet pills per day. “We would do OxyContin if we couldn’t find [Percocet], and we got to the point where we would both snort heroin if needed,” she said.
The expensive habit led to stealing, persistent sickness, and the inability to hold down a living space. They needed drugs so that they could feel “normal.”
“We had both completely ruined our relationships with our families and friends, we were living in my van for a while, or sneaking in and out of my mom’s house,” she added.
The Pregnancy and Arrest
At one point, things became so dire that Jordan and Ross were living in their van while it was 20 degrees Fahrenheit outside. Their drug dealer acquaintances allowed them to stay in their home in order to get out of the cold, but the house was so infested with cockroaches that Jordan and Ross opted to return to the van. “Our lives were completely out of control, and we basically only had each other at that point,” she said.
Then, to add to the situation, Jordan found out she was pregnant. She was still using heavily. Jordan’s relationship with her mother was volatile; she had an active warrant for failing to serve 30 days in jail for a charge of domestic violence against her own mother. Eventually, her mother, who was struggling with alcohol addiction, kicked her out of the home.
“I knew I couldn’t bring a baby into the world with how I was living, and I knew I wasn’t ready to get clean, so I had actually scheduled an abortion,” she said.
When Jordan was four months pregnant, she was arrested. A neighborhood police officer, whom Jordan had succeeded at evading for months, finally found her on the back porch of her mother’s apartment building. Her arrest was the day before her abortion was scheduled. Now, she thanks God that she was put in jail for four months at that time.
“Thankfully, because of God, I was arrested and stuck in jail doing my 4 months,” she said. “While I was in jail, I actually enjoyed it. I was happy for the first time in a long time because I was clean, and I was regularly going to appointments for my baby, and I was getting excited about being a mom and about the future.”
In jail, Jordan took classes and even had a bed to sleep on. She wasn’t doing drugs. She had regular medical care. She liked jail so much, in fact, that when she was sent to a rehab facility in a close-by town, where her mom had managed to book a bed for her, she ran away from the facility.
“I hated the rehab facility. I wanted to go back to jail, but the rehab facility wouldn’t even let me call my probation officer to talk to him about it. I was court-ordered, so I wasn’t able to leave without getting in trouble, but I couldn’t take it anymore, so I ended up running away from the facility,” she said. “I was comfortable in the jail at that point.”
With the help of some construction workers who hid her in a shed when she was running from the police, and the help of an elderly woman who allowed her to use her home phone, Jordan telephoned her mother and the police, and turned herself back in, preferring to serve her time in jail rather than return to rehab. So, that night, she slept at her mother’s home—where she saw Ross and again decided to use drugs. The next morning, now five months pregnant, Jordan returned to jail.
In the meantime, Ross was still on a bender and, two weeks after Jordan returned to jail, he was arrested for a probation violation. He served 45 days, and in the course of that time, he and Jordan crossed paths at the small-town jail. “We were always in jail and rehab at the same time,” Jordan recalled.
Learning to Let Go of Baggage
After Jordan’s release from jail, she stayed sober until she gave birth to her first son. The day after she returned home from the hospital, she used drugs again.
Jordan’s drug use continued to get worse after that. Although Ross sent himself back to rehab eight months after the baby was born, Jordan could not stop using. Then, one day, in want of money—and when her mother wouldn’t give it to her—Jordan stole her mother’s car. When she returned to her mother’s home, she found that the police had been called. She was arrested again—this time for unauthorized use of a vehicle.
“I was terrified, because I didn’t know what was going to happen with my son, since Ross was in rehab and I was in jail,” she recalled.
The next day, an attorney visited her and suggested that she sign temporary custody of her son to Ross’s parents. Ross and Jordan both signed the forms, and it was done. “I signed the papers and so did Ross and it was the worst feeling I had ever felt in my entire life. I just felt like I wanted to die and I’ve never in my life been that sad and felt so helpless and angry,” she added.
Still, Jordan knew she was doing the best she could for her son. Ross’s parents were able to take the child to his doctors’ appointments, to day care, and to watch over him. Soon, Jordan was moved to another rehab program, called the Georgie Harris House in Waverly, Ohio. Both Jordan and Ross were doing well in rehab.
Jordan’s mother was soon able to bring Ross and the baby to visit Waverly. And there, Jordan connected with a counselor who was able to help her address baggage from her past. She was on the up.
Yet, in yet another twist, although Jordan and Ross both knew that the motivation of custody of their son was enough to warrant sobriety, they both ended up relapsing as soon as they were released from rehab. “It was just as bad as it has always been,” Jordan said.
Gaining Sobriety, Reclaiming Life
Meanwhile, Ross had a friend who thought he could get Ross a job in Mississippi. Thinking that a change of scenery would help the struggling couple, Ross and Jordan’s parents spotted them the money to move. At first, the move was indeed helpful. Although they had to sleep in their van in the Walmart parking lot, Ross was working an honest job. Jordan hung out in the van during the day watching television on Netflix.
Finally, Ross saved enough to pay for a hotel room—which proved to be a mistake, as the hotel was a drug user’s stomping ground. Soon, Jordan was “finding people and ways to get and do drugs again” while Ross was at work. Then, Jordan hit rock bottom. Ross, who had remained clean, was eventually able to pay for a rental house with his friend. Jordan, however, was not allowed to move in because she was still doing drugs. Instead, she lived homeless in Mississippi for two months.
“I was at my lowest of lows and I had had enough and finally my mom agreed to give me money to come home,” Jordan said.
“The day I got home from Mississippi was the first day I hadn’t done drugs in a long time and, to this day, I still haven’t touched a drug. Hitting my rock bottom and being so miserable is honestly what it took for me to get clean. I had to be ‘ready,’ and rehab and jail weren’t enough for that. I had to want it on my own time to be able to stay sober.”
Eventually, Ross returned to Ohio to be with Jordan and their son. Soon, they were pregnant with their second child—Sophie. They have not touched a drug since then.
“We both have been clean ever since and it’s weird because we honestly haven’t even had cravings,” she said. “We got so lucky, but we just knew we wanted to be done and we knew our son deserved his parents so we finally did it and we have been clean ever since.”
While Jordan and Ross’s families were happy for them when they decided to stop using drugs, it took a long time to regain the family’s trust. Friends had been lost too. Jordan had only one friend who “loved her from afar,” and who didn’t “judge” her, but was proud when she got clean.
While it took rock bottom to jolt Jordan awake, she feels that their son was “100 percent” the biggest motivator in their decision to get clean. “We probably would have never stopped if it wasn’t for him. Sometimes I think we would be dead if it wasn’t for him,” she said.
Jordan says she thanks God for Ross’s parents every single day, knowing that if it weren’t for them, her son would have ended up in foster care.
Jordan and Ross’s story has turned out to be a happy one of unmerited grace and mercy. Today, they have three healthy children, ages 10, 6, and 3. They own a home that they have gutted and remodeled.
To those who struggle with addiction, Jordan says, “never lose hope” and “never stop fighting.” Take one step at a time.
“Try to just put yourself in someone else’s shoes before judging them,” Jordan added. “Addiction is a disease. I guarantee no addict ever woke up one day and said, ‘I think I’m going to become a drug addict today and ruin my life!’ It’s a disease… Kindness and patience go a long way.”
Ross adds the following to any soul who struggles with addiction: “If deep down you really have the desire to get clean and are really tired of living that way then… keep trying. Because the odds are that you’re going to fail a few times before you get it and find whatever works for you—It takes one brick at a time to put a wall up.”
So, build! One right decision after the other—one brick after the other—start building the foundation for the rest of your life. And “never stop trying.”
Glimpses into Jordan and Ross’s journey so far:
(Courtesy of Jordan Hutton)