From star athlete to addiction: Devin Hinchey recovered from his drug addiction and wants to give back now as a counsellor.

When Devin Hinchey was 16 years old, he was one of Canada’s top competitive squash players.

Then a serious drug addiction derailed his dream.

“I’m 19 years old and entering rehab,”

“I had played on the junior national team for Squash Canada, I had a lot of friends. It was kind of hard to grasp: this is where I’m at right now.”

Lost count of friends killed

He and his friends in recovery have lost so many people they care about to overdoses, they’ve lost count.

“It’s gotten to the point where once somebody in our recovery community … when they do pass because of an overdose, people don’t even ask anymore,” he said. “Everyone just knows now. It’s fentanyl.”

Hinchey said improved awareness about the drug is a good start, but he said people may not know the particular dangers involved for people who relapse.

“We’ve pushed our bodies to the limit and then we take ourselves right out of that,” he said.

“When people go back to that, it can be a snap of a finger and your life is gone.”