Recovery center sees an increase in fentanyl abuse, man shares his story

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - At the Hope Center in Lexington, staff members say they've seen a 20-30 percent increase in clients who've abused fentanyl.

Timothy Sanders is one of those clients.

"Apparently, this is where God wants me to be. That's how I had to accept this at first," Sanders said.

Sanders said he's experienced a lot of loss in his life. He said he was on a path where he would turn to drugs in order to not feel pain.

"Fentanyl almost enhanced it - the relief of not having to deal with the reality of things," he said.

Sanders said he experienced a wake up call when he took something he thought was a fentanyl-heroin mix, but turned out to be carfentanil.

"[I] fell over dead. Fell over OD'd. Fell off the car and rolled into the street," he said.

Fast forward to now, Sanders has spent the last 5.5 months in the Hope Center's recovery program for men.

"All that stuff that kept me trapped for years that I thought I needed the drugs for to live through, started to ease up," he said.

Director of Development Carrie Thayer said they see a lot of people come through their doors who have abused powerful drugs.

"That is why it is very important to help someone, to notice the signs, and help someone who needs treatment and recovery right away," Thayer said.

As for Sanders, he has a message for anyone who needs help, but is hesitant to enter a program.

"They genuinely care," Sanders said. "They want to see you do something different and improve your life."

The recovery program lasts from six to nine months, is peer-driven, and based on 12-steps. For more information, click here.

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