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Logan Young, 33, bows his head in morning prayer while preparing breakfast for more than 20 men at Belle Grove Springs, a residential drug treatment facility just outside Rowan County. Logan has been in recovery for three months from drug and alcohol dependence after living with an active addiction for almost 20 years.

A crucial camaraderie

story by Brianna Spause

Logan Young finds his peace in the rolling hills at a home on a lake where the water mirrors the sky. A mile off the main road and an hour from the nearest metropolitan area, the remoteness is key to Young's recovery from substance use. But the quiet doesn't last long at Belle Grove Spring.

At the Christian residential drug treatment facility for men, home to more than 20 men being rehabilitated from drug and alcohol use, the line for coffee in the communal kitchen in the mornings wraps around the stairs and into the living room.

"The camaraderie is crucial to recovery," Young said.

He believes fostering relationships with others in recovery helps him sustain his own.

"It's important to have that because when somebody does have a moment of weakness, they have a whole house of guys there to support them."

Young, who's 33, lived with an active addiction for almost 20 years. It began in high school and led to a dependence on opiates – a epidemic devastating states around the country. The Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics reported 1,404 people in the state died from an overdose in 2016. He graduated after completing the three-month rehab program at Belle Grove Spring. Now, still early in recovery, he works as an intern — a role that lets him continue to live at the house and benefit from the support and community.

"I would say this place saved my life honestly," Young said. "I don't want to say it's magical, but if you come in here with the right attitude and do what you're supposed to do and want to get better, it's here for you."

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Logan serves breakfast to a patient line of men at the recovery house. On one morning in October, the house served sausage, hashbrowns and toast. The group home is open to men 18 and older, and draws individuals from all stages of life and addiction. Everyone shares meals to build community and routine. Logan volunteers to do most of the cooking for the house because it’s something he enjoys and offers him the opportunity to take moments to himself in the busy household.

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A client tidies up after Bible study. Belle Grove Springs is a Christian facility, that emphasizes spirituality over denominational religion. There are several versions of the Bible available for its clients so that they can practice the elements of spirituality that most fit their needs.

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Logan takes a moment with Dakota Williams, peer support director for the house, after the lunch rush at the Community Soup Kitchen in Morehead. Men from Belle Grove Spring volunteer at the kitchen on Thursdays and Fridays. Learning to give back and care for others is a key principle in their practice of recovery.

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Ben Maylor, 20, jumps out of the van wearing pink birthday party hats to get a laugh out of Logan before heading back to the group home from the soup kitchen. Many of the men in the group home maintain lightheartedness as they build relationships throughout their stay in rehab.

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A group steps out of the house for fresh air while Roxy, the new puppy that hangs out at the group home at Belle Grove Springs, sniffs around in the grass. Logan says Roxy and her mother Luna are the house mascots. Although they are not allowed in the house, the dogs receive a lot of love and surreptitious treats, while also providing a form of therapy for residents.

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Aaron Preuett, 23, plays the guitar while Logan looks on. The guys at Belle Grove Spring get an hour of dedicated free time per day, which provides a break from their otherwise tightly structured day of chores, studies and group therapy. "When younger guys come in, I kind of cling to them," Logan says. "I don't think it, it just kind of happens because I know they're young enough that we can try and prevent them from destroying everything. They're still young enough to make things right."

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A few of the guys spend their free recreation hour by the water. Men at Belle Grove Springs can fish, boat and swim in the 22 acre lake on the residential drug treatment facility’s property. Spending time by the lake helps Logan find peace. "Being able to go off to the lake by yourself and just meditate, and think is a big part of the environment," he says. "This place saved my life, honestly."

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Randall Craft, 30, is the pastoral counsel at Belle Grove Springs, a Christian residential drug treatment facility just outside of Rowan County. The facility emphasizes building spiritual relationships to provide continual guidance on the lifelong journey of recovery.

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Logan takes a break from supervising volunteer service hours at the Community Soup Kitchen in Morehead to smoke a cigarette. Clients in the rehabilitation program at Belle Grove Springs practice complete abstinence from substances, including cigarettes. His role as an intern allows him more privileges than the guys in the program, including smoking and days off where he can leave the facility during the day. He hopes to finish his internship and find a full-time career in addiction recovery services so that he can continue to foster the brotherhood he has found at Belle Grove Springs.