By: Luke Short
HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (5/25/12)–For over 3 years, a bicycle helped Hopkins County, KY native Chad Davis, 34, to feed a dangerously addictive drug habit and, ultimately, drove him that much closer to absolute destruction. Today, however, that very same vehicle has become a major part of Chad’s ongoing physical and spiritual salvation. In fact, his restorative experiences with cycling have even inspired him to form a public biking group called “Ride It Out” that he hopes will inspire others to make positive changes in their lives.
To learn more about Chad’s life, his lengthy bout with addiction, and the Ride It Out group, SurfKY News got the chance to speak with the outgoing Madisonville, KY resident as well as his long time friend/Ride It Out advocate, Audrey Burns.
“Over the course of my life, I’ve done quite a few different drugs, but I never had anything consume me the way that Xanax [antidepressants]and other pharmaceuticals did,” says Chad. “I was taking so many that I was basically running on autopilot. I bought pills illegally and I would buy over three full prescriptions every month. There were times when I would take more than 30 Xanaxs in a single day. Tolerance is a powerful and dangerous thing,” says Chad. “There were times when my ex-wife would lay with me in bed and wait for my heart to beat because my system was moving so slow.”
“I’ve known Chad as a friend for about eight years,” says Audrey. “Me and my husband would go see him or I would talk to him on the phone when he was on pills, but it was so hard to understand what he was talking about. He would just blackout sometimes, too.”
Though Chad never overdosed from abusing pharmaceutical medications, he says that he was once transported to Regional Medical Center in Madisonville to get treatment for fatigue and malnourishment.
“I was rushed to the emergency room one day because I would just stay up for days and not eat a single thing, and when I did eat, I would just go to sleep because my system couldn’t keep up,” says Chad.
After surviving approximately three years of intense drug use, however, Chad was arrested for the possession of marijuana in March of 2009 and soon decided to quit using drugs all together.
Though his arrest and the ensuing court-ordered drug testing were a big part of his decision, Chad’s choice to stop using drugs following the incident was inspired and strengthened by his own willpower, the kindness of others, and, of course, his bicycle.
“When I was about to start taking the drug tests, I had one of the people I had bought pills from tell me that I was going to go into shock or have a panic attack and swallow my tongue, but I decided to quit everything cold turkey anyway,” said Chad. “The Hopkins County Drug Court told me I had about five weeks to get sober and that I could keep using just a little, but I just quit everything. I was mad at the situation I had found myself in. It was terrible.”
As Chad added, the police officers who arrested him, Josh Mitchell and Jason McKnight of the Madisonville Police Department, were very respectful to him during the arrest. As a result, Chad truly believes that they were “clearly serving as the hand of God in that instance.”
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