Experts at Ogden Regional Medical Center helped him to overcome 20 years of opioid dependence In 1998, JB Griggs suffered severe burns over 80 percent of his body. During the next 20 years, morphine prescriptions for controlling extreme pain increased from 100 mgs daily to 540 mgs daily as his tolerance grew. Last December, Griggs faced an ultimatum thanks to a new state law; either reduce his daily dose to 200 mgs within 2-3 weeks or undergo a detox. After calling multiple hospitals nationwide, Griggs found Ogden Regional Medical Center. Its addiction specialists were the only ones who agreed to help him with the complicated clinical withdrawal he needed.

Griggs lives in Arizona by his supportive family. On Jan, 14, 2019, after a painful road trip to Utah that was incredibly difficult, he underwent a medical detoxification at Ogden Regional. Addictionologist Nadya Wayment, M.D. and pulmonologist Charles Iverster, M.D. worked with a team of medical specialists in the ICU to manage his detoxification. It was a complex process given his dependence on high doses of morphine and other serious medical conditions.

Only three months later, Griggs is much more active and effectively managing chronic pain without opioids. He says that he feels like a “new man.”

“After the accident, I spent a lot of time sleeping; exhausted by pain every single day at the level of 7 to 7.5 on a scale of 0 to 10, despite taking regular doses of morphine,” said JB Griggs. “Now, I have a whole new lease on life! I’m feeling much better, physically and emotionally, and I’m enjoying life instead of trudging through it. I’m living instead of just existing.”

Through the collaborative efforts of specialists with the expertise that Griggs needed, he made it through an intense withdrawal. Six days after being admitted to the hospital, he started to feel alert again. Most important, he no longer felt the need for another dose of morphine – and the pain was bearable.

“Not everyone faced with the necessity of withdrawing from opioid dependence needs a medical detoxification like Griggs did,” said Nadya Wayment, addictionologist at Ogden Regional Medical Center. “As a team, we were able to help him. That is very encouraging news for people who depend on opioids to control acute, chronic pain but are not in the same situation as Griggs. There is hope for them too.”

The team that came together to help Griggs also successfully reduced his dependence on 540 mgs of morphine daily to an appropriate level of a different pain management prescription called Suboxone®. It combines two proven generic medications: buprenorphine and naloxone. A maintenance dose of 24 mgs/6 mgs daily is enough to keep Griggs’ pain at a level four.

According to Wayment, the medications used to facilitate addiction recovery are very useful in helping people who need help to appropriately manage acute, chronic pain. With Suboxone as an effective alternative, Griggs plans to work with his physician in Arizona, Carrie Bordinko, M.D., to further reduce the dosage to the lowest possible to control pain. J B “JB’s story is like a fairy tale, almost a medical miracle,” said Carrie Bordinko, M.D., internal medicine specialist at Consolare Primary Care in Paradise Valley, Arizona. “It takes an incredible amount of courage to undergo the type of detox he needed. His commitment to getting it done played a role in this success story. JB is living proof that we can turn the pain signal down without the use of opioids.”

Chronic pain sufferers like Griggs who now struggle with restrictions on the opioid prescriptions they need will find alternative treatment options that work at Ogden Regional. Its team of specialists can help people with varying levels of dependence on opioids, as well as people struggling with any addiction.

Ogden Regional Medical Center offers a combination of recovery options and five distinct levels of treatment for addictions. This comprehensive program is unique in Utah and surrounding regions:

  • Medical detoxification
  • Inpatient rehabilitation (28 days)
  • Residential treatment (30-90 days)
  • Partial hospitalization / daytime program
  • Intensive outpatient programs