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SPOTLIGHT ON RECOVERY: NIKKI POWELL

K. William Boyer
Washington County News

HOLMES COUNTY – A vital component of combating the presence of drugs in our community is understanding that behind every drug arrest is a story - a story of someone who has lost their way and a family that has been torn apart by addiction. 

Sheriff John Tate’s focus on assisting those struggling with addiction to find lasting recovery is just one step in healing families and giving those stories a chance to have a happy ending. Arrest itself is not an ending. Instead, it can be a new beginning. 

Each month, we share a story from individuals who have successfully completed a drug rehabilitative program through the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office and are now enjoying a new, fulfilled life of recovery. 

Their journey. Their words. A message of hope for us all. 

The August 2020 Spotlight on Recovery story comes from Nikki Powell: 

Powell

My name is Jackie Powell, but to everyone, I'm known as Nikki. I'm 39 years old, and this is my story. 

I was the granddaughter of a Baptist preacher, loved by my family. But like a lot of us, I knew right from wrong yet chose the wrong path, one that I witnessed growing up - but I took mine to a whole ‘nother level. 

I started getting high at the age of 19, doing cocaine. I was already the mother of one child and another on the way, had been in bad relationships and started using during my pregnancy which resulted in my baby being born premature. He weighed 4 lbs, but that didn't stop me; it only made me go a little deeper into my addiction. 

Powell at the time of her arrest.

I lost custody of my two kids and didn't care about doing anything but getting high. A few years later, at the age of 22, I had another child which I lost custody to when he was six weeks old and I went to jail for an 11/29 sentence. Upon my release, I immediately got high and started shooting meth. My life was spiraling out of control, and I had completely lost sight of everything EXCEPT getting high. This continued, and in 2009 m, I had my daughter. Four weeks after delivery, I was pregnant again with my last son. 

I was making dope, shooting dope, and thought I had it all together. Little did I know I was losing everything. 

Throughout the next several years, I would get into trouble, do a little jail time, get out do some probation - all the while getting high. I lost everything and everyone I loved because I chose drugs over it all. Nothing matter to me but being high at whatever cost - until finally, in December 2018, I was arrested by Holmes County Sheriff's Department for VOP with new charges of possession of meth and drug narcotics equipment. 

I stayed in jail seven months with every intention and all plans of going to rehab, had been excepted to go .... BUT GOD had other plans for my life. I was sentenced to 24 months in the Department of Corrections and sent to the Gadsden County facility where I signed up for the faith-based dorm and worked on my relationship with Jesus, as well as finding myself. It took me being forced to be clean, but it saved my life. 

I must say, I've been home since August 15, 2020, and on December 4, 2020, I'll be clean two years. It's not easy. Had I not gone to prison, I would still be just as lost as ever or dead by now. 

I know without God ... aside from Him, I can do nothing. I thank Him for our Sheriff, Mr. John Tate and the Holmes County Sheriff's Office. The Lord used them, who I once looked at as "The Bad Guys", and now I see they were "My Saving Grace" to save me, and I'm forever thankful. 

So, to those who are suffering from addiction...THERE IS HOPE...YOU CAN CHANGE...YOU DESERVE BETTER...Don't be afraid to reach out ask for help. It may not be what you want, but if it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you. IF I CAN SO, CAN YOU! 

My prayers are with you all that the Lord gives you strength and courage, as well as His love, mercy, and grace.