The opioid crisis has pummeled Kentucky, killing 1273 people in 2015 – the nation’s third highest death rate for drug overdose. Alex Elswick lived to tell about his grim descent into prescription narcotics and heroin abuse. Today, the Lexington native is fighting for other lives at risk. Every minute of every hour of every day that I spent in addiction was abject misery, Elswick told the Kentucky State Legislature recently, as lawmakers considered proposals to address the epidemic. Growing up in an affluent suburb, Elswick attended private schools and played baseball for Centre College in Danville, Ky.He followed a familiar path into addiction, moving from prescription painkillers to heroin. I spent the very last days of my addiction sleeping on a tarpand shooting heroin under Highway 35 in Dayton, Ohio, Elswick said. Herecovered with the support of his parents and a six-month stay in a Salvation Army treatment program. Today, Elswick is a graduate student and co-founder of the non-profit Voices of Hope(his mother Shelley is also a co-founder), which trains people how to recognize and respond to a drug overdose.