By Gerard Flanagan, news writer/photographer/social media, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – For nearly two decades of his life, Dr. Jason Roop stumbled through the chaos of addiction and had a front row seat to its destructive effects.
Now, Roop, executive director of the Virginia Ponser Flanagan Technology Training Center at Campbellsville University, has the chance to help others like himself who have also suffered from addiction.
He has been appointed by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron to the Kentucky Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission. On the commission, Roop will represent victims of the opioid crisis.
“I’ve sat in countless funeral homes wondering how many more friends I would lose, and if perhaps I’d lose my own life,” Roop said. “Although I can’t explain why, God has used the prayers and efforts of those closest to me to lead me to recovery and an abundant life.”
The commission will be responsible for distributing more than $240 million awarded to the Commonwealth of Kentucky from a litigation settlement with opioid distributors. The funds will cover areas such as treatment, prevention, education, healthcare and other solutions to combat the drug epidemic.
“These resources will reach across every region in the Commonwealth and deliver real solutions for the prevention and treatment of substance use disorder,” Roop said. “The people of Kentucky will now have better prevention efforts, enhanced treatment options and broadened educational and career opportunities, which all lead to life beyond addiction.”
Roop, who has served at Campbellsville University since July 2019, said the commission will carry out its work with “all the seriousness, compassion and commitment it requires to see this epidemic brought to its knees.”
“In representing the victims of the opioid crisis, I have the opportunity to stand in the gap for those that have been ignored and forgotten,” Roop said.
“The work done through this commission will help bring healing to broken families that have suffered loss, renewal to the communities that have seen an entire generation succumb to this disease and hope for those that are still stuck in the grip of addiction.”
Roop said nearly every family in Kentucky has been affected by addiction in some way.
“In order to treat this disease, we need to approach it from every angle,” Roop said. “It takes education, healthcare, law enforcement, spirituality, treatment initiatives, and even business owners, to come together and commit to doing what it takes to see lives saved.”
Roop has also served as pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church in Campbellsville since 2017.
Roop earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Chemistry from Tusculum University in 1999 and a Master of Arts in Theology from Campbellsville University in 2018. He also earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Management with Specialization in Leadership from Campbellsville University in May of this year.
He is married to Amanda Roop, consultant and student liaison in the Technology Training Center.
The Kentucky Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission consists of nine voting members and two non-voting members. The members include stakeholders from the prevention and treatment community, law enforcement, and victims of the opioid crisis. Roop is one of the voting members.
On Feb. 25, 2022, Cameron announced the finalization of a $26 billion agreement with Cardinal, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen – the three major pharmaceutical distributors in the United States – and Johnson & Johnson (J&J), which manufactured and marketed opioids, for their role in creating and fueling the opioid epidemic.
“When I think about all the destruction that OxyContin brought with it, and how it effectively ravaged so many lives in our state, I can’t help but to get a bit emotional at the chance to spend their profits back into our state,” Roop said.
“Now, the fruit of their greed will become the pathway to hope and restoration for our people.”
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university that has enrolled up to 12,000 students yearly. The university offers over 100 programs of study including doctoral, masters, bachelors, associate and certification programs. The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.