LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDRB) -- Almost five months clean, Roy Sherrill can now look back on an addiction to pain pills and heroin.

"Once it got me, I lost my choice," he said. "It took me there, and I had to do whatever I had to do to change the way I felt."

It took him down a dark path, one that so many others are still struggling to navigate. 

On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch tackled the issue at the University of Kentucky. 

"I know that here in Kentucky, you have experienced the ravages of heroin and the opioid epidemic with particular viciousness," Lynch said. "It has hit hard hard here."

She explained what the federal officials are doing to try and turn things around, pointing to more than $8 million in new funding to help track prescriptions and expanding investigations into drug traffickers. 

"We are focusing our enforcement efforts on this problem, because we have to stop the pipeline of poison into our communities," Lynch said.

But enforcement is just part of the approach, Lynch said. She says education and access to help are also key. 

"We are also supporting initiatives to divert heroin and opioid abusers from incarceration in the first place," she said. "We have to deal with this as a disease of addiction, not crime."

Sherrill wants people to know about the possibilities once you do get help. He found it here at The Healing Place in Louisville. 

"I'm not proud of everything I've done, but if there's a possibility I can help somebody else, then it's worth it," he said.

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