Prayer and a UNITE treatment voucher changed Tucker Smith’s life.

Born in Louisville, Tucker moved to Breathitt County when he was five. His dad was hard-working but also an alcoholic, and his parents went through a couple of divorces. Tucker spent time living with relatives, then with friends, and finally on his own and eventually homeless for 5 years.

His substance abuse started with alcohol and pot. At age 16, Tucker had a car accident and was prescribed Percocet. He knew immediately that he was addicted. Cocaine and hallucinogens quickly followed, but pain pills were still his main addiction.

Tucker managed to hold down good-paying jobs with road crews for a while. His first daughter was born in 2010, then he had another daughter. At that point, he was almost broke because all of his money was going to drugs.

“I lost my life – my children, my home,” Tucker says. “Then I was introduced to meth. I started cooking it and selling it. I thought it was the answer, but I had lost my mind. I was crazy.”

Tucker served time in jail twice for trafficking drugs and was on the run for 11 months evading law enforcement. During that time, he went into a church and prayed for a sign to change his life.

He called his dad, who told Tucker to turn himself in. Tucker did and entered a 30-day treatment facility, which advised him to stay longer. He thought he was cured, so he left, found a job, then started drinking. The cycle began again. It was a stop in drug court, a UNITE treatment voucher and a peer support program at Addiction Recovery Care that changed him – along with a lot of prayer.

He spent a year as an intern and graduated with a peer support credential. Tucker now works for ARC as the lead peer support at Ashland TLC, a new facility of ARC’s.

His mother-in-law has his two daughters. She now allows Tucker to see them as often as he can, and his ultimate goal is being reunited with them permanently.

“Things are going well,” Tucker says. “I’m proud of who I am today. My family is now happy to see me. The power of prayer works. If you put in the time and effort, God will open doors. You just have to be willing to walk through them.”

“The UNITE voucher changed my life,” Tucker said. “I was lost. I was alone. Being in treatment allowed me to work on myself, get my head right, and get my family back.”