By Cassandra Stephenson
Selling marijuana was a means of survival for Jason Pritchard’s family when he was growing up. He started drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana when he was 18, and at 21 he began taking opioids to manage the pain of injuries he suffered in two car wrecks. “I began taking and selling the pills, and at this point, I embarked on a 16-year journey into addiction,” Pritchard said. He hung on as a “functioning addict” for a few years, earning a college degree in finance, but later became involved in the illegal distribution of pills and cocaine. He was incarcerated three times and has a criminal record studded with felonies.