May 31, 2024 – “Thank you for your service,” Larry Turner told several law enforcement officers during a recent Fentanyl Awareness Day event in Ridgeland.  There was a time, not that long ago, when he would have done just about anything to avoid those officers, a time when scoring and using hardcore drugs was the primary focus of his day. 

Now Turner helps other recovering addicts as well as family members grieving the loss of loved ones to drug overdoses.  

“Those guys (officers) wanted me, and I didn’t respect them, and they were a pain,” Turner said. “Now that I have my head out of the clouds, I realize they need all the respect I can give them. Boy, I didn’t realize how far out there I was until I got clean.”  

Turner began taking drugs in his late teens and was an opioid addict for 23 years. He started by abusing alcohol.  

“I did not want to be an alcoholic because some of my people were alcoholics, so I ended up being a drug addict,” Turner said.