KNOX COUNTY — As people continue to die at the hands of drugs in Knox County, there is help for those who need it.
Thursday, the Metro Drug Coalition will host the second annual Knox County Recovery Resource Fair.
The event will include at least 50 vendors from around Knox County to help people get access to treatment, stay sober, and get a new job.
"We’ve reached out to every possible service that someone could need in the community," said Jason Goodman with the Metro Drug Coalition. "Treatment will be in the room. Sober living will be in the room. Any kind of social service you could name."
People can get free HEP-A vaccines, free HIV and HEP-C testing, and even start the process to reapply for a driver’s license.
For those suffering from addiction, the biggest obstacle to getting sober can often be knowing where to go to ask for help.
Thursday’s recovery fair has the power to change lives.
Just ask those who it’s helped in the past.
"Without that fair, I wouldn't be sitting at where I am today. That’s what got me started on the path of where I’m at today," said Shawn Thomas, a recovering addict. "About a month before I went to that recovery fair, I overdosed and went to jail. I think that was a breaking point where I really knew that something needed to change or I was going to die."
For more than two decades Thomas battled addiction, always falling to the powerful cravings of opioids. He was in and out of jail, desperate to get his feet back on the ground and restart his life.
"I didn’t really care at that point whether I lived or died," Thomas said. "The path I was going down, that was the only option left. Death."
A year later, Thomas will be at the event Thursday to help other's battling the same demons get their lives back.
"It feels great to be able to come out there and help other people that were in the same place as me," Thomas said.
The fair will take place Thursday, Sept. 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Central United Methodist Church. The address is 201 East Third Ave. in Knoxville.