Hughes & Coleman Hometown Hero of the Month: Nikki Turner

Nikki Turner’s personal experience with prison and addiction has fueled her determination to make a difference in the lives of others facing similar struggles.
Published: Oct. 1, 2023 at 6:50 PM CDT
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FRANKLIN, Ky. (WBKO) - October’s Hometown Hero of the Month is brought to you by Hughes & Coleman Injury Lawyers.

Nikki Turner’s personal experience with prison and addiction has fueled her determination to make a difference in the lives of others facing similar struggles. Having successfully overcome her own demons, she is giving back to the community that helped her overcome them.

Turner grew up in Warren County in the Rockfield community. She lived a life that most would consider ordinary until she experienced hip pain due to pregnancy and was referred to a pain clinic that prescribed her Oxycontin.

She took the medication as indicated until stresses in her life led to abuse of the medication, triggering her addiction.

“Sometimes we don’t get to choose our paths,” Turner said. “Sometimes the creator has it for us and we’re going to take it whether we want it or not.”

Turner eventually found herself in the Texas prison system after homelessness and drug convictions. Her time in prison inspired her to change her life.

“When these things happen in our lives, we have an opportunity. We can look at it as an opportunity or we can spend all that time being really ticked off,” Turner said. “I got over being ticked off really quick because I realized that my actions are what got me there.”

When she was released from prison, she made her way back home to Kentucky, unsure of her future due to her status as a felon.

“Forty days out of prison, I went to work for Hope Haven,” Turner said. “They took a chance on me and put me behind the security cameras and so it gave me the confidence to say yes this is where I’m at, but people believe in me and now, I can move forward too.”

Moving forward has led her to navigate the legal system to regain custody of her twin daughters, becoming a CADC-A1, Career Counselor for Goodwill Industries, and establishing Bowling Green’s newest sober living home named Malta. A name she chose from the Bible.

The sober living home follows a holistic approach to recovery, addressing not only the physical aspects of addiction but also the emotional, psychological, and social elements that contribute to the recovery journey.

Residents at Malta engage in various therapeutic activities, including group counseling, individual therapy sessions, life skills workshops, and recreational pursuits that promote personal growth and community building.

A large part of building the community in Malta was Turner’s mother who suddenly passed away a few weeks ago.

“She was the glue that held everything together. I’ve always had this reservation that if anything ever happened to my mom or to my kids that I would probably end up relapsing. I didn’t partly because of what my mom helped us build here,” Turner said.

Turner emphasizes the significance of community and accountability in the recovery process. She envisions Malta as a tight-knit community where residents support and uplift one another, fostering an environment of understanding and empathy. This communal approach aims to reduce the sense of isolation that often accompanies recovery, creating a space where individuals can truly heal and rebuild their lives.

The recovery community from all over the region has chipped in to help her get Malta going.

“It’s been so amazing just to watch everybody so into this place whether it be financially, mentally, emotionally, prayer, time and effort, talents, and it’s just come together,” Turner said.

Turner’s dedication to giving back and helping others find the path to sobriety is an inspiration to everyone who hears her story.

“Give back what’s freely been given to you,” she said. “That’s the 12th step and if you can’t, then that’s really going to harm you in the end, so please for the love of God give back to your community.”