Knoxville man who robbed Walgreens beats addiction and opens business

Published: Jul. 26, 2017 at 3:14 PM EDT
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Tyler Trotter is so excited after opening his new business "Clean Cut Grooming Lounge" on Chapman Highway. Five years ago, he was in a much different position.

"I found myself at Fountain City Walgreens at 6 on December 26, 2010, and I robbed them 'cause I didn't have any other ways to get drugs," said Trotter.

He went to jail, and when he got out he went right back to using. That's when he knew he must get help. So he called a help line.

"I said, 'I don't know how to live. I'm going to go to prison. I need help.'"

With the help of his wife and friends, Tyler got clean, got a job, and saved enough money to pursue his dream.

"I cried my eyes out," he said. "I was just so grateful for everything that had taken place."

Tyler now gives back to the community. He recently hosted free back-to-school haircuts with a local church. He now sponsors others who suffer from addiction, like Jason Goodman, who Tyler sponsors.

"I think it's an asset to the community," said Goodman. "He inspired me to make changes in my life recently."

Tyler wants everyone out there to know if you are struggling, you can overcome.

"If you want to live, you have to find people in recovery and talk to people and hold on because it's life and death," he said.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, call 1-800-662-HELP (4357). Calls are confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-days-a-year information services offered in English and Spanish for individuals and family members facing mental and substance use disorders.