Community Heroes: Tri-Cities man leading the way in tackling drug addiction in the region

Community Heroes

KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) The Tri-Cities is filled with hidden gems making a difference in our community. This week, we introduce you to a man who takes a difference approach in bringing awareness to drug addiction in our region.

It is not everyday you find someone willing to walk 340 miles for a cause, but Roger Powell did.

“It was tedious most of the time. A lot of it was very painstaking and I felt like an unwilling participant through most of it, based on the strenuous aspect, and it took a long time- probably still not even there but coming around to it for my body to acclimate to the whole process,” Recovery Resources co-founder, Roger Powell said.

The co-founder of Recovery Resources began his trek on August 23, and 28 days later he arrived home in the Tri-Cities, in Johnson City.

“The average residential treatment center is 28 days, give or take, depending on insurance or whatever the case may be,” Powell said.

He wanted to bring awareness to opioid addiction. In a time when COVID-19 has taken the driver seat. According to, in Tennessee, drug overdose deaths involving opioids totaled 1,307 in 2018.

Powell is trying to put an end to that.

“A lot of people in the community that deal with addicts or alcoholics know that we’re the most fun. We’re the easiest to deal with. A lot of that is based on the large percentage of people who don’t recover, people who don’t find any type for hope at the end of the road,” Powell said.

Roger, who is going on four years sober himself, wants those in the Tri-Cities to remember that help is always available, even amid the pandemic.

“We try to remain doing things as much as we can with COVID going on so a lot of our Zoom meetings, a lot of us have our phone numbers available and we’re constantly putting information out in the community that hopefully would be able to,” Powell said.

And that is why he is our community hero.

If you know someone who makes our community a better place to live, we want to hear from you! Nominate them to be an ABC Tri-Cities Community Hero! Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to nominate them.

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