Real Stories

From Addiction to Recovery: Ron Figaratto

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My name is Ron Figaratto and I have cannabis to thank for my wonderful life. I’m a licensed Occupational Therapist with a B.A. in psychology. I have a loving wife, Roxie, two daughters and a son, who are all thriving.

In my young adulthood, I struggled with addiction and withdrawal to hard drugs while living in my Subaru in Clermont, Florida. I was alone, broke and desperate to find my next fix. I began scanning the passenger side of my vehicle in hopes of finding the ever elusive and imaginable piece of “rock” that might have dropped. The vigilant yet failed attempt did not render me empty handed.

I found a joint that a fellow user gave me to “mellow out” my crash. This simple joint of cannabis, an earth given plant, minimized my cravings and gave me the ego check I needed to become mindful of my current situation. I got more cannabis and called my parents with hope and gratitude as I planned to head back home to Maine. My life and future was bright and full of intention and love. From that day, I continued to use cannabis and still do to this very day.

I earned two college degrees, I have a family and a successful career. Cannabis gave me my life back. It eased my long-lasting withdrawals, helped me with my ADD and balanced my ego. I knew cannabis was a great supplement used to treat deficiencies in the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and thus maintaining homeostasis. Cannabis is earth’s medicine and I’m a walking -30 year- testimonial.

As an OT, I worked as a rehab director in skilled nursing facilities. During this time, I couldn’t help but notice the opiate dependency among the seniors. It often was a barrier to treatment, as patients were overly sedated. I was also quite aware of the national opioid crisis, so my wife and I decided to become cannabis caregivers in Maine back in 2013. We wanted to provide an alternative medicine to pharmaceuticals.

In 2015, Maine passed a law that cut all opiate prescriptions in half. We knew this was going to lead to a withdrawal epidemic and be catastrophic to the already existing opioid crisis. Roxie and I decided to take our botanical expertise to a new level of accessibility. We opened up the Greener Pastures Plant Assisted Therapy (PAT) outpatient clinic, which utilizes cannabis and other botanicals as an all-natural harm reduction approach to minimize Post Acute Withdrawal symptoms (PAW).

Just as expected, PAT works. Countless positive testimonials stacked up and Greener Pastures’ local reputation grew quicker than a sativa at the equator. People were actually calling from out-of-state in hopes of coming to Maine for PAT-assisted recovery.

Around the same time, I lost my sister to a fentanyl overdose and it devastated my whole family. We knew we needed to take Green Pastures’ success and expand it to residential services that would offer 30 to 90 day recovery programs to in-state and out-of-state clients. That was when we truly founded Greener Pastures as it’s known today: a gorgeous mini-mansion nestled in the woods of Falmouth, Maine. It resides on 25-acres of private land with a swimming pool, lush gardens and roaming wildlife. A serene respite for the miracle of recovery.

Greener Pastures’ program is based on mindfulness and mutual respect within a supportive and collaborative environment. We work with our clients to restore their self efficacy rather than burden them with overwhelming rules that diminish their self-worth and confidence. We do all of this using cannabis and other botanicals to ease PAW symptoms, restore ego balance, potentiate mindfulness and achieve recovery and well being. CannaYoga, expressive therapy and mindfulness-based workshops are scheduled throughout the week. The Greener Pastures whole food diet helps restore a healthy gut that’s been ravaged by chronic drug use. We’ve only been open for a year and are proud to have a 98 percent success rate. We have a strong alumni program and our clients come back to visit us and share their stories of recovery. It truly is “greener pastures.”

This success has not been left unnoticed. The universities of Rochester, New England and British Columbia are all involved in a PAT three-year scientific study, looking at the efficacy of cannabis and other botanicals to ease PAW symptoms related to substance use disorder. We are also approved by the National Institute of Health, so this is a huge step forward to legitimize cannabis once and for all.

My wife and I have dedicated our lives to this passion project, and we aren’t about to stop now. One-third of American families are impacted by the opioid crisis and more than 70,000 people are fatally drug poisoned each year. These numbers are expected to rise through 2025. We need to spread PAT facilities across the country for increased accessibility. We are sacrificing everything to ensure this dream of hope becomes a reality of recovery for our nation.

Greener Pastures is currently looking for partnership. We have the knowledge, the compassion and the education. We heavily researched and developed proprietary blends that are all synergistic to each clients’ custom recovery and particular drug use. We pride ourselves in the expertise of all contraindications regarding cannabis and our proprietary supplement blends. We need good people to help us expand this goodwill. It takes more than just one couple in the woods of Maine.

Let’s get together and help heal this country from this epidemic that’s not going away anytime soon unless we do something out of the box. Visit us at greenerpasturesrecovery.com or call (207) 747- 4085. We would love to hear from you.


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