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How a school superintendent and LDS bishop overcame opioid addiction

How a school superintendent and LDS bishop overcame opioid addiction

(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

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In September 2002, Mike Bennett, superintendent of Iron County public schools and a bishop in the LDS Church, got a phone call that changed his life. It was the county attorney, telling him he was being investigated for prescription fraud.

“In that moment, everything collapsed, it was like the bottom fell out from under my world,” Bennett remembers.

On several occasions between 1984 and 2001, Bennett’s doctor prescribed him Lortab and Percocet to treat the pain of kidney stones, knee surgery and a chronically inflamed elbow.

The medication freed Bennett from the physical pain that vexed him. He noticed that it gave psychological relief as well. He liked the relaxed feeling the pills gave him, and refilled his prescription as many times as his doctor would allow.

“It was kind of a magic potion,” he recalls, a way to lighten the burden of stress that accompanied his high-pressure position in the community.

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