A New Father: Chris Whitenack’s Story

Addiction is one of the most difficult things a family can face. It can strain even the closest relationships, like the bond between father and son. That was certainly the case for Chris Whitenack and his dad.

Chris, who spent approximately 20 years in addiction before entering recovery, says his battle with substance use left him feeling lost and without purpose. “I had no ambition to do anything,” he said.

Police arrested Chris multiple times. And on more than one occasion, Chris’ own father, who at the time served as the chief of police in Harrodsburg, was the one who brought him in.

“It’s really painful to do to your own son, but my thinking at the time was that he was safer in jail than he was on the street,” Chris’ dad, Billy Whitenack, explained.

His father’s tough love ultimately pointed him in the direction of recovery.

“Looking back on it, I would say it was harder on him than it was on me,” Chris said.

In 2019, Chris entered Addiction Recovery Care’s residential program at Sanibel House in Catlettsburg. There he began turning his life around.

“ARC helped me find my purpose,” Chris said. “For the first time, I was able to really interact with other people in recovery. I saw how happy and joyous they were – how they were able to love.”

Now in his third year of recovery, Chris provides that love to others through his job at ARC. As a Program Director, Chris is able to offer clients the same opportunities that he was given. 

With Kentucky overdose deaths reaching all-time highs, it has never been a more dangerous time to be in addiction. ARC’s Treatment on Demand approach ensures people can get into a program as quickly as possible once they decide to pursue recovery.

“Even if you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom and that your relationships with family members and friends are beyond repair, it’s not too late to get help,” Chris said.

“It’s been a rough road but I’ve never been more proud of Chris than I am now,” Billy added.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, call ARC’s 24/7 addiction help hotline at (606) 638-0938. To learn more about Addiction Recovery Care, visit www.arccenters.com. Hope and help are a call or click away.