Former addicts spread hope of addiction recovery

It is National Opioid Awareness Day and events were planned all over the nation as well as right here in the scenic city.

News 12’s Amber Worthy spoke with two people who overcame their addiction and are now spreading their message of hope.

These two men say they have literally stared death in the face, completely hitting rock bottom and it was at that point they realized that they had to turn their life around. Now they are turning their pain pasts into inspiration.

“My life was out of control and I needed… If I was going to change my life I needed help.”

The Teen Challenge organization offers people 18 years old to 50 years old the opportunity to come out stronger and well balanced after a life devastated by bad choices.

Some took the mic at a National Opioid Awareness Day event, held at the Avondale YFD center, to talk about how the opioid epidemic has made headlines and wrecked the lives of millions of families for decades.

James Reason says he knows all too well the consequences of using those life altering drugs.

“I woke up and I was hand cuffed to a bed, I have a cop with 24 hour watch on me and I had no way to talk to anyone and I think at that point that was truly the moment that I really cried out to God and I was just like look I don’t know what I am doing and I really need help.”

And James is getting that help through a 12 month process at Teen Challenge.

Benjamin Cook plays a role in the last 4 months of that process, helping them reenter the world. But he says, it starts and ends with making sure they are spiritually whole.

“The biggest service that we offer is hope in Jesus Christ”.

After falling into an addiction to heroine, almost dying, and losing his mother to suicide, Benjamin knows this battle as well. He says the mission to instill one thing keeps him going today.

“There’s hope that tomorrow, YOUR tomorrow, doesn’t have to look like today that there’s a good out there that that a purpose and a plan for them. You may be a drug addict at this moment and that doesn’t mean you have to continue to be a drug addict.”

And Teen Challenge was apart of ballon release—- one of every person who’s lost their life in Chattanooga to the opioid epidemic.