New recovery effort comes to Clark County

Published 10:15 am Monday, May 21, 2018

Dwayne Mullins wears his SPARK shirt with pride.Throughout his life, Mullins said he has lots of laughs but even more heartaches and tears.

“Drugs and lust of flesh controlled my life,” he said.

Mullins started smoking marijuana at 9 years old.

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At 14, he was introduced to pain medication following knee surgery.

“I liked the way it made me feel,” he said.

The addiction grew.

At age 16, Mullins quit school. That same year he was in a car accident when a truck hit the car he was traveling in at more than 100 mph. Mullins’ pelvis was broken. He was in a coma for four days and was clinically dead three times. He had to learn how to walk again.

At 30, Mullins was arrested on a felony charge and went to prison for 31 months.

He got out March 3, 2010. He was sober and spent his time with his friend — his mom —  up until the day she died. Mullins buried his mother Sept. 28, 2010 — his birthday.

“I became angry at God,” he said. “He took my best friend, the person that was always there for me.”

Shortly after that, Mullins started using again.

“I hated who I was,” he said.

He prayed he would die in his sleep. He would wake up so angry, he said, punching himself in the head repeatedly.

“I didn’t want to deal with myself no more,” Mullins said.

Finally, Mullins said, he started praying a different prayer.

“I started asking God, telling him that I’m wanting to get off drugs” he said. “I told him I didn’t care what it took, if it took me going back to prison to get off the drugs, I was willing to do that because I hated who I was. I hated the things I was doing.”

Mullins said he prayed every night for God to help him get off drugs.

“Then I started speaking life into my life,” he said. “I started saying that God would do something big in my life. I kept telling everybody, God is getting ready to do something big in my life.

“I felt it.”

Mullins said he started going back to church while he was still using.

In December 2013, Mullins was arrested for driving with a suspended license, and then later charged with possession as he had just bought drugs before being pulled over, he said.

“God answered my prayers,” he said. “That’s where it all started.”

Mullins has been in recovery for about five years now, he said. He’s relapsed twice, once for two weeks, once for two months. But his journey of recovery is not over, and his faith continues to strengthen, he said.

Mullins shared his story of addiction and recovery with more than 100 people Saturday evening at the SPARK for Clark Rally 2018, in hopes of sparking change in the midst Clark County’s drug epidemic. Mullins also leads a men’s recovery group in Clay City.

“We’re taking this county back too,” Mullins said of SPARK coming to Clark County.

He said the reasons addict use drugs is to cover up pain, some sort of hurt. But now, he’s found God, he said, and he is born again.

“I’m still an addict, but I don’t live that way today,” he said.

The rally is a new event focused on recovery efforts. Ark of Mercy Church of God sponsored the first SPARK for Clark Rally 2018, Saturday from 4:30 to 8 p.m. on Main Street in front of the Clark County Courthouse.

SPARK Ministries began in Powell County and is a faith-based nonprofit aimed at helping addicts achieve recovery. According to the church, SPARK (Special People Advocating Recovery Kentucky) in Clark Ministries is presenting the event. The event included music, resource tables and activities for children.

Throughout the night, people spoke about Celebrate Recovery, Casey’s Law, which helps obtain involuntary addiction treatment in Kentucky, and others like Mullins shared their testimonies of recovery. Others wrote their stories on a piece of cardboard and carried it with them throughout the night.

Families, friend and people from Powell County, Clark County and more shared hot dogs, hamburgers, snow-cones, Ale-8 and more. They listened to music and watched a youth group perform a skit, showing how God can help break the chains of addiction. There was also a walk at the beginning of the event. Participants walked from Washington Street Apartments to the courthouse, carrying signs and chanting “Up with hope, Down with dope.”

Jenell Brewer, the founder of SPARK, organized the event and talked about how the community efforts in Powell County have cut the overdose rate almost in half. So, she wanted to help other counties, too.

“Now SPARK is in Clark,” she said.

About Lashana Harney

Lashana Harney is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. Her beats include schools and education, business and commerce, Winchester Municipal Utilities and other news. To contact her, email or call 859-759-0015.

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