Local hospitals doing more to help drug abusers - WNEM TV 5

Local hospitals doing more to help drug abusers

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The heroin and opioid epidemic continues to threaten families in every Mid-Michigan community. Now, local hospitals are doing more to keep drug abusers from shooting up again. 

“It's devastating, it means that someone lost a mother or a father or a sister or a brother or a child. It's devastating just like any other death,” Cindra Finney said.

Finney has seen the tragic events of a heroin overdose first-hand. She's a wellness counselor at MidMichigan Medical Center in Midland. Her job is to talk to people with a drug problem who come into the hospital and convince them to seek treatment.

Finney said she’s been busy lately as the number of people coming into the center due to drugs is skyrocketing.

However, she wants them to know there is help available.

"There's people who care. There's lots and lots of services out there that will support you in the process in going from where you are stuck right now to where you want to get and healing is an option,” Finney said.

Erica Mitchell also knows the devastation of drug overdose. Her friend passed away at the young age of 32.

A bright life, snuffed out by heroin.

“She leaves behind two little kids,” Mitchell said. “The pain I’m feeling now is horrible like I feel pain in my heart, heaviness in my chest. And if I feel this pain, I can’t even imagine what her family feels like.”

What can be done to stop this epidemic? Finney said educating our young people is the best way to start.

“I've seen heroin users as young as 14. They reported their use of IV drug use beginning at 14. That's happening right now. So we need to educate our kids. We need to support our kids. We need to teach them life skills and communication,” Finney said.

Finney said more people need to find other ways to deal with the pitfalls life deals them from time to time. Saying drugs are not the answer.

“If we don't support our population and give them resources, then they'll turn to something else to deal with life,” she said.

If you or someone you know could benefit from addiction treatment or detox centers, click here

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