In an incredible moment during the State of the Commonwealth address Wednesday night, Governor Beshear took time to acknowledge the remarkable achievements of individuals combating the drug epidemic in Kentucky. Among those recognized was Pike County native Brad Bentley, whose inspiring journey from addiction to becoming a program director at ARC’s Crown Recovery Center exemplifies the transformative power of treatment and recovery.
“Four years ago, I was living in a prison I built for myself,” said Bentley. “Constantly, I lied to those who loved me and convinced myself, ‘I’m trying to do better.’ Today, I prove that surrendering yourself to treatment works and recovery is real.”
Governor Beshear highlighted the state’s strong focus on addressing the opioid crisis, citing a significant increase in treatment beds over the last four years. Kentucky now boasts the highest number of treatment beds per capita in the nation, a testament to the collective dedication to aiding those on the path to recovery.
“Combating this epidemic takes commitment – a commitment we have embraced by increasing treatment beds by over 50% in the last four years,” said Governor Beshear during his address to a joint session of state lawmakers. “This is thanks to so many who are committed to helping others recover.”
The governor acknowledged the work of providers like Addiction Recovery Care (ARC) and its CEO and founder, Tim Robinson, who was also in attendance. In 2020, ARC collaborated with the state to convert the former St. Catherine’s College in Washington County into Crown Recovery Center, a sprawling 575-bed facility dedicated to drug treatment, recovery, and job training.
Bentley’s triumph was celebrated as a symbol of hope and success; he was one of the first clients at Crown Recovery Center. Overcoming a 20-plus-year struggle with active addiction, Bentley entered treatment and also became the first client to obtain his GED at Crown Recovery Center.
“The things I always doubted I now believe in,” said Bentley. “I never envisioned a degree for myself. I never knew I could be the father I am today. I never saw myself as a mentor; now, I strive to be the light of positivity that guides others through difficult times.”
Bentley’s journey led him to work within the center, where he has steadily built a career. He plans to further his education this fall by enrolling in college. Bentley’s story illuminates the impact of addiction treatment and the exciting potential for individuals not only to recover but also to become meaningful contributors to society.