At age 16, Chris would get dropped off at AA meetings, then his mom, who was a social worker, would attend Al-Anon. She did everything she could to help him.

But pot, pain pills and alcohol progressed to heroin and meth. Chris spent more than 10 years in jail and prison. Then, in 2017, his 13-year-old daughter died. His darkest period was yet to come.

Chris overdosed three or four times. He faced new criminal charges and spent another year in jail.

After receiving treatment in Louisville, things went well for a couple of months. Chris was allowed additional freedom and got a job. But he didn’t use the tools he learned and started shooting up heroin again.

He then went to Addiction Recovery Care with the goal of fulfilling a court order. But he stayed a year and has been there ever since.

“I was able to see people in recovery being successful,” Chris said. “I realized it was possible. And I was tired, so tired.”

Chris is now program director at Crown Recover Center, which is the largest Addiction Campus in the state. Located at the old St. Catharine’s College campus outside Springfield, Kentucky, there are more than 200 clients under his care.

He is honest with people entering recovery: “It is a struggle. You go to a wedding and see people drinking and having fun. It’s hard not to think that you can get away with it. But you can’t. If you surround yourself with people in recovery, you know that you can’t do those things.”

In 2021, Chris was selected to participate in BRIGHT Kentucky. A professional development program of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, BRIGHT Kentucky is designed to build the capacity of next-generation leaders in the Appalachian region of Kentucky to innovate, collaborate, and advance community and economic development.

“There is a life outside of drugs and alcohol.”