Local drug rehab center expanding to offer help to more people

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, KY — A local drug rehabilitation center is expanding as the need for treatment continues.

“There’s a big drug problem everywhere, especially with the methamphetamine,” Garrett Hunt said. He graduated from Paducah Lifeline Ministries program in December and is sober.

PLM is a drug treatment program for men. It has a counterpart program for women called Ladies Living Free.

Executive Director Terrye Peeler said PLM has to turn away 80% of applicants because there is no room, but that is changing soon.

Garrett Hunt played baseball growing up and into college.

“My name is Garrett. I got here straight from jail,” Hunt said. He is 16 months sober, but it was eight years of addiction that brought him to PLM.

He was a star pitcher with a full ride to college. “Then at my first year at Kentucky Wesleyan, I threw my shoulder out,” Hunt said. Without a future on the field, he started abusing drugs.

“My addiction problem started with an identity problem. I didn’t know who I was, so I started filling the void with drugs,” Hunt said. “When you first start doing it, you love it. Everything is fine, but it took everything from me.”

It took two possession charges to get him to look at what he was doing. “I was like I’m done. I’m done with this life. I’m tired of living this way. I’ve ruined every relationship with people that matter to me.”

He applied to PLM for drug treatment. Now, he teaches classes there.

PLM works to rebuild lives, and now the ministry is building a new dorm. The new facility will house 20 men.

Peeler said the expansion has been five years in the making. She said the other buildings are in bad shape. “It takes a village. It takes all of us coming together help,” Peeler said.

“If we can get addiction under control, it will help homelessness. It will help domestic violence. It will help all the people in the court system,” said Peeler.

She said between the PLM center and LLF women’s center, the organization helps 125 people a year. They expect to have the new dorm open in six to eight months, enabling to offer that help to 20 more men.

“If I go back to where I came from, I would be back in jail. I could be dead,” said Hunt.

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