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I moved to Owen County in 1995 at the age of 14. I played football, ran track, dabbled in basketball, and was the first male cheerleader for Owen County High School. I consider Owen County to be my hometown, although I haven’t lived here my whole life.
Today, I live within the Owenton city limits and I am on a mission to give back to the community that helped make me who I am. I feel blessed to have found other people in the community who share my passion in fighting the disease of addiction. We call ourselves the “Champions REACH towards a Drug Free Owen County” and I want to encourage you to join us on this mission.
I am an addict. I have been an addict for the better half of my life. My drug of choice is heroin. This is not to say that I choose to pick heroin but rather heroin has the most addictive attraction to my body. Heroin has stripped me of everything I have ever loved. It took my freedom, my children, my wife and any respect for myself or any respect that was given to me by anyone else. Heroin changed me into a shell of a man and destroyed my judgment. I mentioned losing my freedom before and in fact I was arrested and put in jail for committing crimes to try and provide myself with this horrible drug. I went to jail for about 20 months and after that I went to a place that, I know, saved my life. I was sent to The Men’s Hope Center in Lexington. This is where I was introduced to recovery. I learned about who I am and that my problem is in me and not the drug I was on. The program I went through is very powerful and like I said, it saved my life.
I am devoted not only to giving back to recovery because I was taught that is what I must do to stay sober. I have a personal debt I feel I owe to this wonderful community. You see, I have done things in and to this county that are not very favorable and in order for me to make things right for me, I must strive to make things right in this county.
This would prove to be extremely difficult if I was alone in this endeavor. Thankfully, I’ve had the privilege to work with members of REACH, Epoch Fellowship, KRCC, Hope’s Hands, the SADD Program, our library and other volunteers with common goals.
Epoch has allowed our group to use the Wild Goose Café across from the old courthouse for meetings and events. KRCC allows us to air videos of personal stories of addiction and also videos that teach people of the disease of addiction. Becky Mefford, a youth-service coordinator at Owen County High School, has a group of remarkable students that are involved with the SADD group and we are working with them to give them assistance in executing their plans to fight against youth consumption of drugs and alcohol.
We have also made contact with representatives from The University of Kentucky and we are providing a class for family members of addicts that would help teach them of the disease of addiction and healthy ways to support those addicted. This was only made possible by the generosity of Jennifer Nippert and the Owen County Public Library by providing us with a place to have this class.
I hope that you too will get involved and help us fight back against the disease that is killing our families and friends. I want to encourage you to use this letter in any shape or form to carry our message.