OD’ed 30 times, Addiction Recovery staff takes message to White House

Kenny Bearden

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – As COVID-19 surges across the Bluegrass and United States, it is also a concerning time in the fight against addiction. Despite making long strides in decreasing overdose rates, Kentucky and neighboring states all report increases since the pandemic started.

Monday, Addiction Recovery Care Louisville Community Liaison Kenneth Bearden took that message to President Donald Trump and his administration for a roundtable discussion.

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Bearden spent 13 years in addiction and overdosed at least 30 times.

“At least a dozen of those times I’ve had police officers there on-site administering Narcan saving my life,” Bearden recalled (see video of his trip here).

He, like so many, started using various drugs at a young age. When he was just 11 years-old, Bearden overdosed seven times in one summer. A path to recovery seemed uncertain. Yet now he’s six years sober and shares a new lease on life.

“I’m living my purpose and passion,” he acknowledged explaining his mission to help others find recovery through ARC’s residential and outpatient programs.

On top of his job at ARC, Bearden has full custody of his son, and owns his own home. His mission is to show those in addiction there is an opportunity awaiting.

“My experience at the White House has been wonderfully amazing, as I am humbled, and honored, to hold this space for those we have lost, those who still suffer, and for those in recovery,” said Bearden on his purpose to bring hope amid a crisis.

ARC operates a network of over 30 addiction treatment centers in 16 Kentucky counties. The organization, headquartered in Louisa, Kentucky, offers a full continuum of care of addiction treatment services.