‘There’s hope after dope’: Second annual Hometown Hope Recovery Rally kicks off in Corbin

WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newscast at 6 p.m. on Saturday
Published: Jun. 3, 2023 at 4:39 PM EDT
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CORBIN, Ky. (WYMT) - The second annual Hometown Hope Recovery Rally kicked off in Corbin on Saturday, inviting those in recovery and those who have recovered to utilize treatment resources and sharing testimonies of overcoming addiction.

The event’s emcee, Tony Barrett, said one mission throughout this event is to break the stigma surrounding addiction recovery.

“Our communities at-large needs to know we’re not gonna regulate our way out of addiction, we’re not gonna incarcerate our way out of addiction,” Barrett said. “It’s gonna take communities coming together like they did today to make a difference.”

Saturday’s event offered personal testimonies, recovery resources and much more to those who are looking to overcome addiction.

“It was on my heart to come back to my hometown of Corbin, where we’re at, to just deliver some hope because drugs are taking over,” said event coordinator Mike St. John.

St. John and his wife, Marie, are both recovered addicts who want to create a community of support for those seeking recovery.

“I was a two-dollar needle junkie. I was a thief, I was a liar, I was a manipulator. I gave up everything I had. I didn’t lose it, I gave it up, and today, I’m a productive member of society, me and my wife both,” said St. John. “It’s amazing just to be here and to see the people that’s showed up and the people that’s behind this event; because there’s hope after dope.”

St. John said he hopes the event will continue to grow each year, impacting more lives in the process.

“We’re gonna need a bigger building, because we’re not gonna quit. We can’t save everybody, but we’re here to save one,” St. John said. “To see people come in and they’re laughing, and they got their kids and their families back, that’s the reward of doing what we’re doing what we do. To see people get reunited, man, and living life without drugs and alcohol.”

Barrett added the Lake Cumberland District Health Department was also in attendance at Saturday’s recovery rally to provide testing for HIV, Hepatitis and other illnesses and diseases.