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He surrendered his life to God in a crack house, 24 yrs later he is a leader in recovery [VIDEO]

Updated: Sep 3, 2020

"I remember falling on my hands and knees in the crack house, and I called on God. I said, God if you spare me from this life I will do your will for the rest of my life," that's what Derrick Jenkins said roughly 24 years ago in middle of the crack house.


It was a day later that a dealer gave Jenkins more dope and he said, "I didn't even want it. That night I prayed God took the taste out of my mouth." He didn't even desire drugs after that moment of surrender.


It was only a few days later Derrick was on a flight on his way to Orange County, CA heading to rehab. "That's where life really changed for me," the now Tuscarawas County Health Supervisor emphasized.


Born to two hard working parents and a big family in the Akron/Canton area of Northeast Ohio, Jenkins grew up going to church. He was a good athlete and hard worker, "I was responsible. I worked, went to school, I had my name in the paper. Good things happened to me, I was blessed," he explained about his upbringing.


But with drugs and alcohol abuse being prevalent in his neighborhood and siblings, addiction crept into his life as a young teenager. As life progressed so did his drug use, "22 years old I tried cocaine, man, and that was it. The fist time I snorted it...I was on cloud nine. From that point on I snorted it everyday."


His drug use provoked health issues as he recalls one night having such an intense seizure, "I thought I was not going to come out of it. I remember my father, he was at home, and he was calling my name. And it got to a point where it was faint." In that moment of fading out of reality and into possible death Derrick prayed, "God if you get me out of this, I won't do this no more. I remember opening my eyes and looking at my dad and he was frightened."


At 24 years old that incident scared him straight, for a short while. Shortly thereafter he got into dealing drugs. "I was making a lot of money," he recalls, but his conscious began eating at him. It still was not enough to get him to quit, yet.


At 25 years old he went from dealing crack cocaine, to smoking it. "I tried it one night, and it was over. I thought powder cocaine was it, but crack took me to another level," he candidly shared. Immediately crack cocaine took over his life, from 25 to 30 years old he was in and out of treatment every year.