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March 10, 2009

For Immediate Release


By Hillary C. Wright, student news writer

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky.—“The lifestyle of drugs and alcohol can send your life spiraling out of control,” said Eric Berry, the speaker for Campbellsville University’s  March 4 chapel.

Berry, a former construction worker, T-ball and basketball coach and a father to a 16-year-old son, spoke to CU’s students, faculty, staff and coaches about how drugs and alcohol had taken over his life, and how he now has his life under control with the help of Jesus Christ.

Berry is incarcerated at the Marion Adjustment Center (MAC) in St. Mary, Ky., on a 15-year sentence, and is enrolled as a senior intern in the substance abuse program at MAC.

Berry was arrested in 2005, this being his third time in 10 years, and convicted in 2006 of burglary in the 2nd degree, wanton endangerment in the 1st degree and persistent felony offender in the 2nd degree.

Introduced by Veronica Hunt, addiction treatment manager at MAC, Berry told his story of drug and alcohol addiction, and how it led to a life behind bars.

"I pursued the life of drugs and alcohol, and it eventually took control of my life,” said Berry. “I had dreams of playing college football, but I chose to let drugs and alcohol steal those dreams from me. I was raised up in a good family. I wish I had listened to my father.”

Berry said he started experimenting with drugs in the eighth grade, and by his freshman year, he was drinking every weekend. 

By age 16, Berry said he had quit school and “went to work,” and by age 19, was “a functioning alcoholic and addict, and I held a job down and had a girlfriend.” Berry also participated in selling stolen goods, such as guns.

“Something was missing in my life, and I didn’t have good social and coping skills, and I used the drugs and alcohol as an escape,” said Berry. “Drugs have taken me places that I’d never thought I’d see. It consumed my thoughts and became my way of life.”

“There are a lot of things that I’ve got to live with because of the choices I made when I was younger, that still come back and haunt me today.”

Berry said he was baptized on Jan. 31, 2007, following his profession of faith in Christ. March 18 will mark three years of sobriety for him.

“Addiction is a very self-centered thing,” said Berry. “I’ve put my family through a lot.”

Berry received a standing ovation after his address when many came to talk with him about his experiences.

Chapel is designed to provide opportunities for corporate worship and exposure through a variety of informative speakers and presentations.

All chapel events are open to the public free of charge.

Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 2,601 students who represent 93 Kentucky counties, 27 states and 31 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2009 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 22nd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South for the second consecutive year. CU has been ranked 16 consecutive years with U.S. News & World Report. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges®. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his tenth year as president.